Simian, the production asset management platform used globally by creative leaders, is introducing a new feature to its Media Library that will give producers and sales reps the ability to select multiple thumbnails for each spot or video in their library.

With the cheeky name ‘Opposable Thumbs,’ the feature is a simple yet evolutionary leap in reel building, letting users save multiple thumbnails to each individual spot and then choose that which best meets the needs of the respective pitch, whether it’s related to techniques, content, product categories, etc. 

“The role thumbnails play when assembling showreels for directors, editors or other production or post talents is deceptively important,” says Simian Chief Operating Officer Brian Atton. “Smart EPs and reps carefully curate their choice of spot thumbnails, looking for that perfect frame that suits the mood of the project in question, or captures a different ‘at a glance’ visual representation of what makes the spot – and the talent that produced it – stand out.”

“We’ve heard users say it would be great to be able to select different thumbnails for the same spot, without affecting other reels, so they can better meet the brief,” adds Simian Head of Sales Kellie Atton. “They know that if they’re not presenting a look at what their talent can do that matches what the job calls for, then it’s a harder sell. ‘Opposable Thumbs’ is going to make it much easier to interest prospects in watching spots assigned to multiple showreels – and they can do it without affecting the thumbnail that accompanies the same spot but on a different reel. It gives them great flexibility to use the same spot to chase two different assignments.”

Producers who’ve seen a preview of the feature are unanimous in their praise for this highly effective update. “Now I have the potential to sell my director for two entirely different jobs, let’s say for a tabletop spot as well as for a lifestyle project, using two different thumbnails for the same spot,” says Bernadette Rivero, President of the Santa Monica-based live action production company Cortez Brothers. “It’s brilliant!”

Adds Roland Gauthier, EP and Partner at Hinge, a VFX, animation and design studio in Portland, “The new multiple thumbnail feature is extremely helpful in targeting work to different clients. It’s that attention to industry needs that sets Simian apart.” 

Agency producers are similarly impressed with this advancement in thumbnail curation, as it benefits both their ability to either create reels for their own in-house needs or when viewing reels submitted by production houses or post companies. 

“I think having multiple thumbnails is particularly helpful when we as agency producers are reviewing dozens and dozens of reels,” says independent agency EP Katie Roach. “It allows me to focus on a few spots initially that seem to be in the right aesthetic arena, and prioritize viewing those first. I can also see where it helps differentiate versions when we’re in the midst of the editorial part of the project, as sometimes the difference is only one or two shots. This is a quick way for us to identify those variations.”

“When crafting a reel, it’s essential to ensure its aesthetics align with the creative brief,” adds Marcos Cline-Marquez, Executive Producer at Alter L.A., “However, it’s not uncommon for commercials to encompass multiple key frames representing various genres or specialties. A single spot might feature elements like sheet metal, babies, and even food shots! Whether the boards we’ve received focus on automotive, consumer goods, or diverse representation, this new feature empowers us to swiftly make these selections, ultimately saving valuable time for both us and the producer.”

Available now to all Simian users, ‘Opposable Thumbs’ works just the same as thumbnail capture always has: simply indicate which three frames to use from each spot in your library, or manually upload a new image to serve as a thumbnail. Simian created the feature so that producers and reps would change thumbnails to meet the needs of a board, without having it impact previously sent reels.  To screen a video that demonstrates how it works, click here.

For more information on Simian upgrades and features, visit