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.
did you come to join the Shotgun team?
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
has your experience in the animation and VFX industry helped you in your
day-to-day working on the Shotgun team?
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.
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.
working on some new features that will allow users to visualize their
production data and analyze it to make better choices.
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?
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.