Meet the Shotgun Team: Ziah Fogel

We spoke to Ziah Fogel, a product manager working on some of the reporting functionality in the Shotgun web app, particularly features used by production management.

How did you come to join the Shotgun team?
I joined Shotgun in February 2017, so I’m still pretty new to the team! I have a long history of working in animation and visual effects, working as a technical director and supervisor at places like Pixar, Double Negative, and Framestore. I decided to move towards product management several years back and have worked on various products in the tech and startup space on my way to coming back to media software.

How has your experience in the animation and VFX industry helped you in your day-to-day working on the Shotgun team?
Having an understanding of the day-to-day challenges faced in producing creative content has really given me insights into customer pain-points. I think having worked outside of the animation/VFX industry for a while has also brought me a lot of insights into best-practices for software development, an agile methodologies mindset, and the knowledge to really create killer products aimed at my kindred sisters and brothers creating media content.

What does a day in your life look like at Shotgun?
For me, a typical day is spent gathering feedback from our clients, thinking about the best solutions to the biggest pain points people have around their reporting needs, and a lot of communications with other product managers, designers, and engineers. I have a giant to-do list and am constantly trying to prioritize both my time and the features we want to work on. I also have loads of meetings, but I try to mix that up with some heads’ down time writing specs, doing research, crunching numbers, or testing features in our dev builds.

I’m currently working on some new features that will allow users to visualize their production data and analyze it to make better choices.

What are some creative ways Shotgun is being used?
I’ve heard of tons of interesting (non-standard) uses of Shotgun - and some incredibly complex work-flows for things even outside of the typical media production.

What is something that you wish people knew they could do in Shotgun?
Lots of people aren’t aware there’s already some ability to have a graphical visualization of your data in Shotgun, by creating custom canvas pages and adding graph widgets into those pages. We’re hoping to make that much easier and give lots more functionality in this area soon!

What is your favorite Shotgun feature?
I think the most powerful feature of Shotgun isn’t really a feature at all, but more of a mind-set - Shotgun is so customizable and extendable that the sky really is the limit to what you can do with it.

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