Since the mid–1970s, Industrial Light & Magic has provided exciting, ground–breaking visual effects for dozens of unforgettable Hollywood productions. In almost any major motion picture you can name—from Jurassic Park, Twister, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Forrest Gump, to Men In Black, The Perfect Storm and, of course, the Harry Potter series—George Lucas' dream factory has created stunning visual effects. From its headquarters in San Rafael, California, the ILM team consistently produces material that makes moviegoers sit up and say "wow!"
Every step of the way all that work must be carefully documented, and the information must be readily available on short notice to administrative personnel, without them having to work through a complicated data–management interface. "Members of our administrative team needed a system with more flexibility for tracking specific projects," comments ILM Database Developer Jim Randell. "They needed to be able to generate reports, change layouts, and make other adjustments on a dime, and the existing Oracle system just didn't have that level of flexibility. So they came up with a FileMaker Pro solution that became so useful it actually began to compete with the Oracle system."
Two parallel database systems in competition with each other threatened to become unproductive. So Jim developed a system in which the administrative staff's FileMaker Pro system and the production staff's Oracle system were able to work together—complimenting each other rather than competing.