Watching a live production crew in unison is almost a performance in itself – with stage, lighting, and audio technicians working closely to set up and break down an event on a tight deadline. You can imagine that keeping all those people on the same page is not an easy task, but the new management application SHOFLO is helping to tighten up many of the processes used by professionals in the industry.
Shoflow is a browser-based digital cue sheet application that was developed by Show Production graduate TJ Krusinski and his partner Stephen Bowles. The two have years of experience working in live production, with the idea for the software coming out of their own need for a digital scheduling and task manager. We recently talked with TJ about SHOFLO, where he explained the versatility of its real-time features.
Full Sail: Where did the idea for the SHOFLO application come from?
TJ Kruskinski: Stephen and I both shared a same discontent with certain processes, and he came to me saying he wanted to build a prototype for a digital cue sheet. Something that was real-time, a cloud-based solution that could facilitate a better communication system and formalize a workflow system to make running live events easier. It’s about keep everyone aware at all times about what’s going in with a show.
FS: Can you explain how the features directly cater to the live production industry as opposed to other task managers?
TK: Since Stephen and I came out of the industry we really understand the needs of planning and executing a live event. We’ve collected those needs and figured out what’s the lowest barrier of entry to solve them. So we built something we would want to use ourselves – as a producer, a stage manager, and a technician.
Let’s say you have to move a video presentation to a different part of the show. Usually you’d need to change the cues, then have an assistant reprint the cue sheets and redistribute them to everyone. So our real-time component is a huge value to our users, you can check your computer, phone, or tablet for the most current cue sheets, and have the assurance that everyone is always up to speed.
FS: What kind of feedback have you gotten from those who have adopted it?
TK: We do a lot of demos and its been received really well because people understand the problems that we’re solving. The stage managers and producers that used it are going to their friends and telling them to check out SHOFLO. Our core customer base has come out of making people feel involved in a new cutting edge product. The whole thing has been really organic for us.