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How Showrunner Partnered with A.Team to Revolutionize Virtual Film Production

By building the operating system for virtual production, Showrunner is making the filmmaking process 10x faster and more efficient.

For as long as millennials have been alive, film and TV production has clung to the waterfall approach—each member of the team has to finish their work before the next person can get started.

Shane Snow — best-selling author and founder of Contently — couldn’t get over the wild inefficiency of this system and how it was holding creators back. So alongside his three co-founders, Shane set out to build Showrunner, the world’s first single operating system for film production.

“We wanted to bring a fundamental shift in film production, transitioning from the traditional waterfall methodology to an agile one, akin to what software has achieved in other industries,” Snow explained. 

In the latest episode of Build Different, we explore how Snow and co-founders tackled the task of building a technology that would transform a $100 billion industry, and why they brought on an A.Team to help them tackle this monumental task.

The backstory:

Showrunner wanted to bring Mandelorian-style production capabilities to every company, making film production 10x more efficient and sustainable. But there’s a reason no one has done it before: Building a fully-integrated smart studio is damn near impossible.

The primary challenge was synchronizing the various devices on set, each with their distinct protocols. From the director wanting to adjust the lighting, to the cinematographer rotating the virtual background by a couple degrees, the system needed to be intuitive and seamless.

“We got into a kind of a crunch where finding the perfect talent to make that team of our dreams was really really hard,” Snow said. “So we spun up an A.Team of a few developers and a designer to help us really make progress on this and it was worth every penny.”

A.Team curated a specialized team with high cognitive diversity: there was Tim, a designer with a rich film background, ensuring a pragmatic interface for industry users; Ted, a globally recognized Unreal Engine developer, bringing in-depth knowledge of this critical platform; and Lucas, a stellar front-end developer, who transforms digital designs into tangible utilities. 

You not only want the best talent, you want groups of people that add up to more than the sum of their parts.

“Tech leaders and founders should all be considering A.Team,” Snow said. “Because you not only want the best talent, wherever they are in the world, but you want groups of people that add up to more than the sum of their parts. That's what A.Team is optimized to give you.”

Showrunner Virtual Film Production

Showrunner opted to fully perfect their product before its market debut. What began as an ambitious prototype, developed by the founders and a small crew, evolved into a larger project demanding more time and a broader skill set.

The product significantly reduces inefficiencies in film production, enabling crews to work proactively and get home in time for dinner. It allowed for improved control and coordination on set, reduced costs, and saved valuable time. This, in turn, boosted Showrunner's position in the market and helped them scale their business. 

“The next couple of years, we're going to see virtual production become more and more accepted as part of the fabric of Hollywood,” Snow said. “We're going to affect behavior change because these tools make filmmaking simpler.”

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