How do I help client users keep track of their review lists?

Is there any way for a client user to easily track the review sites they’ve been assigned to? We’re running into an issue where we update/reuse playlists, and clients want to be able to go back and view things on the review site, but they are hard to find by digging through emails, etc. We realized recently that we can’t send out a digest with links because they are individualized per client user. We keep recommending the clients bookmark the sites but we can’t control their behavior which is really annoying. Would turning off the login requirement make the links to the review sites generic and shareable? Any suggestions appreciated! Thanks.

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Hey there @jlweiss! No, there isn’t a way to have a digest or shared playlist client portal.

Under the hood, playlist shares are tied to an email address and :shotgun: generates a unique URL when you click share. By not requiring login, you’d reduce the overhead of your client needing to remember a password but they’d still need the URL.

Currently, the best bet is to reshare the playlist to the client again to pop it up in their email inbox.

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Does anyone have any good ideas for managing playlists that have been sent to clients? We are constantly contacted by confused clients that do not manage their playlists on their own, and there is not a good way for us to manage them from the shotgun side because they only seem to exist as emailed urls.

Ideally, it’d be great for the client (and production) to be able to access a list of their active (and possibly expired) playlists so they don’t have to dig through emails. As far as I can tell, we don’t have access to any Client Review Site events, so we can’t create any triggered scripts.

I’m curious to see if anybody has any suggestions for handling client reviews.

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This is a super-common lament about Client Review! I’m sure one of the official Shotgun folks will pop in to direct you to the roadmap suggestions thing, so be sure to put this on there - some sort of portal for the clients is a really common request and the more they hear about it, the more likely it is to eventually turn up.

The only current workaround I’m aware of is to constantly reuse the same Playlists and edit them to update with new content, so the clients can bookmark that URL and find what they’re looking for. So for instance, if you’re sending out shots in Scene 5 for review, you’d create a Scene 5 Playlist and ask them to bookmark that, then they’d know to go looking for any Scene 5 related content there. It’s not great, but it does work, but it also depends on the clients actually bookmarking it from their end, which is obviously outside of your control.

I’d also search here in the community posts for other things on Client Review because there’s been a lot of discussion about this.

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Hey @stavernia— as @jlweiss mentioned, I’m merged your post with this thread which covers the same challenge. I’ll also ask our product team to chime in on this one as well.

Please have the product team visit Frame.io… or, quicker solution: just go ahead and buy them. :wink:

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Hi!

Johnny brought this thread to my attention. Great topic! An admin portal isn’t on the near term roadmap, but I am gathering requirements around Client Review and trying to understand next steps. Admin & Management portal is high on the list of things we’ve been hearing, it seems to be a pretty common need. If you have other thoughts on this, please keep the discussion going and I’ll do my best to follow and update the thread! I’d love to hear more about the nuances of what clients can/can’t see and do in this scenario and what admins need to control for them. (And in both cases “why” they need to do this.) I can’t promise that it will end up in the app straight away but it will definitely influence how we are thinking about the problem.

As mentioned that roadmap portal is a great way to voice this opinion… it lands straight into my inbox. So I and the rest of the PM’s are definitely reading all of this feedback and using it as we dive into these issues.

Cheers,
Kevin

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We stopped using CRS and instead gave the clients proper shotgun accounts with a special “PseudoClient” permission group. Shotgun support helped us lock down the permission group so that it can only see Versions in playlists that contain the client user in a custom “Playlist.Shared With” field, and only see Notes that were created by client accounts. We didn’t care if one client could see notes written by another client. The Media App page has basically become our CRS.

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Same here! We call ours “Client Artist” since their access/permissions most closely resemble the standard Artist permissions group. In our particular case, our “clients” on a big project are really more like co-directors, so they can see everything an artist can (which is essential in this case so they can look back at old versions, use Screening Room, etc.) but they can only see Notes that are addressed or cc’d to them. There’s only 3 of them so it’s worth the cost of their subscriptions to keep someone from having to curate playlists on CRS 24/7. Your view limited to playlists solution sounds great though - I could see using that option too in a different scenario.

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Great suggestions @luke and @jlweiss! Yeah, I’ve considered making “Client Artist” users but was afraid the permissions might be pretty difficult to manage. I’m glad to hear Shotgun can help lock down those permissions. I may look into that. Unfortunately, we will likely have too many “Client Users” to be financially feasible.

Having clients as “users” would also give them access to review cuts, previous versions and their own previous notes (as mentioned above), all of which would greatly enrich the review process while reducing client confusion and unnecessary notes. They’d also have easy access to a list of their playlists, and we could add additional, automated information for them, such as playlist status.

It would also allow us to manage complex (multi-step) reviews a bit better (we have a fledgling system that hiccups with CRS). Since the CRS uses a single client approval on the Version it makes it very difficult to track multiple clients reviewing a single Version.

@Kevin, The main issues, for us, with CRS at the moment:

  • Clients don’t have a list of active playlists
  • Clients cannot view old versions, or their old notes (unless they are added as a description or a note with attachments, which is extra work)
  • Clients cannot view shots in context (unless we create a sequence for them to review, but then they are not leaving notes per shot, but per sequence, and these need to be transferred, which is extra work)
  • Multiple clients cannot approve the same version (unless they write, as a note, “approved,” then we search through the comments to parse out the approvals, which is extra work)
  • And then there’s the lack of a summary email, so production, and clients, get bombarded with emails during reviews

I will put these issues and suggestions in on the roadmap, but I wanted to see if the community had any other thoughts to add as well. Clients are such an important part of many productions (they pay the bills - like the the shotgun bill - after all), I hope their reviews can be a focus in the near future.

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This is such a beautiful summary of the issues with Client Review, @stavernia! I second everything you’ve outlined above, especially bullets 2 & 3 (reviewing old notes and reviewing in context). For us, the straw that broke the camel’s back was notes not being connected to shots (we would post review movies as scenes and then have to try to figure out on which date someone made a comment on shot 3 in scene 5 or whatever) and I finally convinced everyone that our clients needed to be users, not “clients” in the Shotgun sense. For this particular project we only had three clients to add so the financial burden was worth the trade off in terms of efficiency, but that can be complicated to scale up.

This ties in to adoption issues as well - the fact that you can’t post shots in a viewable sequence in CRS really detracts from Shotgun’s usability for some folks, because if they insist on being able to do that, CRS is completely useless. When we tried to roll out Shotgun to a smaller project here, that was exactly the thing that torpedoed it for the creative director. We had to post the full 2 minute piece each time (about 25 shots) and then we’d have to cut & paste all the comments into notes on the individual shots afterwards - it was not an attractive process and did nothing to advance Shotgun as a project management tool in this person’s experience. (And he wasn’t wrong.)