FileMaker Pro

by Online Product News

Assembling a feature-length animated film is a complicated job. Every individual scene is the product of many, animators, background artists, technicians, and all those individual elements have to fit together perfectly in the finished product. Keeping careful track of the production process is essential, and for the producers of the cartoon feature "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius," the key to keeping it all organized was FileMaker Pro, the award-winning database software application from FileMaker, Inc.

Four FileMaker Pro databases for Windows NT were at the heart of the movie's production tracking system -- one followed the initial storyboards, one tracked the assignment of shots to individual artists, one followed the progress of each shot through production -- and the final database assured that once each shot was completed, any necessary changes or follow-up work were completed on schedule.

"FileMaker Pro was a natural fit for production tracking," said Ben Gilberg, production coordinator for "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius." "Our FileMaker Pro databases not only helped us eliminate the manual and unwieldy key-ring-and-nail-board method, they allowed us to expand our tracking system exponentially. As each shot passed through the system we could readily call up its current location, frame length, which artist had been assigned to the shot, and all of its assigned-and-due-dates. We could also quickly identify which shots had and had not been approved at various points on the pipeline, allowing us to instantly figure out how far ahead or behind of the projected production schedule we were.

"For an average animated film consisting of 1500 individual shots, there might be nearly twenty thousand individual points where approval is required before moving on to the next stage. With the FileMaker system, what was especially helpful to Gilberg and his staff, was that everyone involved, regardless of their location in the building, could access the status of any shot in seconds -- with no delays and no confusion -- versus having to physically visit the production board for updates.

"FileMaker Pro reduced the exercise I typically get from continually running back and forth to the production board," laughed Gilberg, "but it enabled me to give the film's executives any answer they needed -- instantly!"

FileMaker is a worldwide leader in database tools for workgroups and individuals, from the desktop to the Web. Its award-winning FileMaker line of database software provides relational power, instant and custom Web publishing and legendary ease-of-use. FileMaker is a subsidiary of Apple Computer, Inc.

For more information, call 408-987-7227 or visit