: walter biscardi's Blog
Ribbon Cutting, always wanted to do one of these!
Screening Room with a Davinci Resolve Demo
Colorist Ron Anderson driving the incredible Davinci Resolve panels (on loan!)
A 1973 Muppet centerfold from an issue of National Geographic is one of my favorite momentos.
Stepping out of the vocal booth giving a tour of the facility.
Catering by Endive was sumptuous!
John manning The Core to keep all the demos running smoothly.
Partner Showcase set up out on our warehouse / insert stage space. AJA, TapeOnline, Maxx Digital, WH Platts, Panasonic, Flanders Scientific and Canon all brought really cool gear for the folks to see. Was truly a mini trade show out there.
Adrienne checking out the demo in Edit 3
One of my awesome "CNN Brothers" Darrall Johnson saying very nice things about me and the facility.
Folks enjoying Rebecca's Atomic Lounge.
We had over 150 folks show up over the course of the event which ended with an awesome Raffle. Our very own Bessie sent along some Creative Cow Master Series DVDs which were a big hit. Thanks to all our sponsors and friends who made this an absolutely incredible event! We'll post videos soon!
MARCH 5, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BUFORD, GA (USA)
Digital Media Firm Celebrates Grand Opening in Gwinnett
Biscardi Creative hosts Digital Entertainment Industry at New Facility Opening
Gwinnett County, Metro Atlanta, Georgia (March 5, 2011) –Biscardi Creative Media (BCM) celebrated the grand opening of its new 6,000 square-foot production studio and digital media fulfillment house tonight. The event brought over 200 industry professionals together to share in the expansion of both company and industry in the Metro Atlanta region. The expansion, announced last July in partnership with Gwinnett Chamber economic development, demonstrates an increasing trend for digital entertainment growth in Georgia.
Located in Buford, Georgia, this new building features eight edit suites, color enhancement suite, 5.1 surround mix suite, client theater, game room, kitchen, conference room, a 1,400 square foot multi-use room and over an acre of open wooded area for employees and their pets to roam.
“Our new facility provides more convenience and the space needed as our business continues to grow,” said Walter Biscardi, Jr. Creative Genius of Biscardi Creative Media. “The property is in an ideal location, providing our team with access to a great quality of life environment near big-city amenities. Not to mention a relaxing alternative for our clients just a short drive north. You usually don’t find a facility situated on nearly 2 acres backing up to nature. We think we’ve found the perfect creative location and we’re thrilled to be staying in Buford and Gwinnett County.”
Gretchen Corbin, Deputy Commissioner for Global Commerce at the Georgia Department of Economic Development added, “The digital entertainment industry is absolutely booming in Georgia. It's great that Biscardi Creative is growing here and we hope it continues to do so for a long time to come."
Recognized as a top professional in the world of media creation, Walter Biscardi, Jr., leads Biscardi Creative to not only meet, but exceed consumer expectations. Emmy-award winning programming, episodic television, commercials, feature films and corporate presentations are some of the projects Biscardi Media brings to the screen every day. Leading the way in High Definition, BCM supports all formats from DV to HD to RED 4k in-house. Since 2001, BCM has consistently achieved regional and national award-winning recognition, including five TELLY awards in 2008 for editing and production work in animation and over a dozen Emmy Awards in the company’s history.
Digital media is one of five targeted industries in Partnership Gwinnett, the community and economic development initiative led by the Gwinnett Chamber, to bring jobs and investment to the Greater Atlanta region. In April 2010, the Gwinnett Chamber released its first –ever digital entertainment white paper, touting the emerging mega-industry in metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia.
“Biscardi’s expansion is a classic example of the type of growth digital entertainment businesses can experience in Gwinnett,” commented Shirley Lasseter, Vice Chair for Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners. “And with technology being one of Partnership Gwinnett’s target industries, we consider this growth to be more than just positive economic news; it’s a strategic win for our community’s long-term vision.”
“The City of Buford embraces this ‘creative class’ company, which fits in with the quality of life we strive to provide,” said BufordCity Manager Bryan Kerlin. “The momentum we’ve created in our historic downtown is spreading to other areas of the city. We’re happy they chose to locate here.”
Nicole Wright, technology business development manager for the Gwinnett Chamber, said, “Biscardi’s expansion in Gwinnett adds tremendous value to an already stellar industry of digital media and application in Gwinnett and Georgia. It is both a testament and tribute to the claims of growth and sustainability that the white paper shares about this industry.”
For further information on Biscardi Creative Media, please visitwww.biscardicreative.com and for more on digital entertainment in Gwinnett, go to www.gwinnettchamber.org/technology.
We're getting close to finishing out our new Rialto Screening Room, which was designed for 5.1 Surround Sound Mixing, Color Enhancement and a Screening Room. We currently have 6 comfy chairs in there now though we could easily seat a dozen folks in there. The room was actually inspired by a consulting job I did a few years ago. I re-designed the entire post production facility for Georgia Public Broadcasting and they had a suite that originally designed for ProTools that wasn't being used. The layout lent itself beautifully for both sound and color enhancement so that's how we outfitted the room. When it came time to build our new facility, we drew from that experience. I planned out all the Color enhancement side of things with my good friend, Colorist Ron Anderson, and my buddy Patrick Belden designed the audio side of things.
The room features two Mac Pros. One is set up as Final Cut Studio / ProTools and the other is strictly Davinci Resolve. We're getting a Dual KVM switch so we only have one keyboard and one set of monitors in the actual suite. A Gefen 5500 Cat5 Extender drives the keyboard / monitor while the computer and storage sits back in the machine room.
For Color Enhancement, that's a 7' x 4' DaLite HD screen up front and we have a Panasonic DLP HD mid-venue projector in the back. It's capable of shooting a 75' image in a movie theater and looks absolutely stunning in this room. We'll be adding an FSI 2460W shortly for the console. We'll have an engineer come in and calibrate the projector to emulate the FSI. The trusty Anthro Fit Console is still my workstation of choice, they're just solid, they work and they look fantastic. Waiting until all the sound equipment is in place and then we'll run some additional 6500k lighting for the room for color work.
For Sound Design we have the ProTools HD Native system driving a 5.1 configuration of Genelec 8030A monitors and a 7060B Subwoofer. On the walls are a combination of the traditional Auralex square panels and the new Mio Acoustic Weave audio deflectors made from recycled cardboard. We used those Mio panels throughout the voice over booth as well. Of course the entire room was designed for sound deflection. There are no square walls in the entire room and the ceiling both slopes back to front and is "rippled" left to right. We've also set up a video feed to / from the audio booth so the engineer and talent can see each other, along with allowing for voice to picture work.
The cabling for the console comes up from the floor so Bob Zelin gave me extra long runs of cables so the audio engineer can sit with the console pretty much where you see it, but the colorist can set in the back of the room. The console will roll all the way back. Eventually we'll go back and put in a second run of cables coming out the back wall and then we'll simply disconnect and reconnect the console from two points.
Of course, the room can be used simply as a Screening Room to review a project with a small audience or make a presentation. We're also planning some workshops and classes for this room in the near future. Next month it'll be a photography studio for another project. It's pretty darn versatile.
It's been a fun project so far and we've already used the room to do two screenings of our current documentary in post, "Dark Forest, Black Fly." The client loved the vibe from the room and it really gives us the sense of what the film will look like when it's screened in film festival venues. I'll update this thread when we finish the room.
So NAB is rapidly approaching and as par for the course, we know nothing about Apple's plans for the event. We know they don't have a booth planned but will they announce anything at all?
Last year we had a completely underwhelming (you might say embarrassing) presentation by Apple at the SuperMeet. What will we see / hear this year?
In particular I'm curious what is going to happen to Color. Apple has really done zero to promote this application since it was acquired. When it was purchased I felt strongly, and still do, that it was a mistake to roll a $25,000 application into the $1,000 price of Final Cut Studio. By doing that, it created a lot of confusion with the end users who:
1 - Complained it doesn't operate like other Apple products
2 - Didn't take the time to learn the proper workflows.
3 - Complained the application doesn't support all the codecs / workflows of FCP.
4 - Complained the application was too hard to use.
5 - Compared it to Davinci, Baselight, Scratch and others, many of whom could only say that the others were realtime while Color was not.
There are many more examples of what the over 1 million end users who suddenly had this $25,000 color grading application complained about. Not to mention a lot of Colorists who felt threatened that 1 million plus users suddenly had a very powerful color grading application dropped into their laps.
Add all of this together and what you end up with is a very negative net value for Apple Color. People didn't even want to try it because of all the negativity associated with what is a very easy application to use and works brilliantly so long as you follow the proper workflow.
If Apple had kept it a stand-alone product priced at $999 or even $499 the people who wanted to use it would have had to make an investment into the application. When you make an investment into an application, you generally take the time to learn it properly. When it's simply an add-on to a major editing system like Final Cut Pro, it's just a freebie throw-in that I'll open up and if it doesn't work in a few clicks, well then it's trash and I won't bother.
The silence from Apple on the future development of the overall Final Cut Studio Suite in 2010 was deafening and no more so than with Color. NAB 2011 will be the point at which I will have to make the decision for our company as to whether we continue with the Apple suite of products or transition over to either Avid or Adobe CS5. We're essentially using the same software that was released back in 2009 and the production world has changed greatly in those two years, particularly with tapeless workflows and codecs that are not supported natively in FCP.
One of the big reasons we stick with Studio Suite is because of Color and the ease of use in moving projects in and out of that application. We literally run hundreds of projects each year through that app. Yes we have Davinci Resolve now as well because it makes sense to have both with the new pricing, but Color is still our primary color grading app.
I'm very curious to see whether Apple intends to keep the development of Color moving along. When Apple purchased it, we were ready to start beta testing Final Touch 3.0 which was scheduled to have some really nice features that have yet to appear in renamed Apple Color. April 2011 will be a very interesting month.
"The new Biscardi Creative Media is kick-ass." Bob Zelin.
Ok, so a lot of you know I've been designing / building a new home for the company. I was going for a welcome, inviting space that would be chock full of the latest equipment to meet any client need. Apparently we've jumped through ludicrous speed, past plaid and all the way to kick-ass. A first for the company!
Had to share with the Bovine Nation and hey, if you want to see for yourself, come on down March 5th to the Open House
. Bob will be there along with the guys at Maxx Digital who are bringing a bunch of Red, Red Rocket and Mobile Rocket gear. Panasonic is bringing some 3D gear and we're hoping for the AF-100. Small Tree will have some new ethernet SAN and storage toys. AJA will be on hand with the KiPro and KiPro Mini. Flanders Scientific will have their entire lineup of monitors and possibly a "surprise." TapeOnline is bringing some goodies along. Miss Bessie sent along a slew of Creative Cow Magazines and some Creative Cow Master Series DVDs for the raffle. Canon is bringing some fun stuff. David Catt, one of the original designers of Resolve will be there showing off the absolutely incredible Resolve panels. Red Giant Software sent along some goodies for the raffle and ATTO Technology wants you to have some nice SAS.
So in other words, it's gonna be a fun party. See our shop, meet some of the wonderful people who help make the Cow this incredible cowmmunity, play with some really cool toys and of course, we're gonna have some good eats! If for no other reason, you really need to come and meet the one and only (thankfully), Bob Zelin.
Save the date, Saturday March 5. Time is 5 to 9pm. The new Biscardi Creative Media in Buford, Georgia.
Register on our website to get all the details and directions.
A very VERY special thanks to our Bovine hosts on the Creative Cow for joining on as a sponsor. Really hope to see a lot of you there, I love putting faces with the names!
The incomparable Bob Zelin arrived at our new facility tonight. I figured we must be doing good if the first thing he said was "Wow!" when he entered the lobby. I just LOVE hanging with The Z because he's a great combination old school engineer and computer geek who is really into all the emerging technologies. That's such a rare combination because most old school engineers just want to talk about VTRs, routers and monitors and don't want to hear about all this computer driven "crap."
Bob loves the old school stuff but knows the new "crap" is what's driving our market today. He knows so much about the convergence old and new technologies and how best to take advantage of both to economically achieve the goals we've set out for our next chapter.
So now after a filling dinner and some great conversation, it's time to rest up for a VERY long weekend of wiring and installation of our entire new nerve center. Based on dinner, I can tell you we're gonna work hard and laugh even harder. I guess I'm going to have to do a revised article on Engineering the Bob Zelin Way. This is a whole step up from the last time we got together.
I can't say it enough, whether you're setting up a single suite, a couple of edit systems or an entire facility, you need to find someone like a Bob Zelin to help you along the way. I've been at this 20 years now and while I could plan out the engineering myself, why would I when someone with Bob's knowledge is so readily available. So find a good VAR, a good engineer who can help you get set up with a good stable system from the get go. And if it doesn't work, well then they have to come fix it.
They might not have the classic rock star looks as Bob, but at least they'll get you going. Man it's gonna be a fun weekend! Thank you Ron, Kathlyn and the entire Creative Cow Team for introducing me to the one and only Bob Zelin!
Well I've been blogging about the new facility for the past six months. Now I am very pleased to announce our Open House Event!
Saturday March 5th. More details to be announced as we finalize everything, but one of the exciting things I CAN tell you is that we will be featuring a showcase with many of the companies I love.
You hear me talk about the Panasonic cameras, Canon 5D and lenses, the Flanders Scientific monitors, AJA Kona and converters, Maxx Digital Final Share SAN, Small Tree servers, TapeOnline’s incredible service and the folks who supply us with all our gear and more, the WH Platts company.
Well, you will be able to meet some of the folks behind these companies, see and learn about their gear and have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you want. We are setting up a product showcase, a mini tradeshow if you will, and so far, all these fine companies I’ve mentioned are scheduled to participate.
I’m so excited all of these folks are going to be there to join us in the celebration and I can't thank them enough. So you will have an opportunity to not only tour our fun new facility, you’ll get a chance to check out some new gear and services too!
Registration is now open on the Open House page of our website. Check out the details, then scroll down to the bottom of the page to register.
Thanks so much and as always we thank you very much for your support of our dreams!
This is HUGE! BMD has approved an expansion chassis that allows up to four GPUs to be added to a Mac Pro or any manner of PCIe cards. Since Apple won't give us any more than four slots in a single machine, this is a HUGE addition for folks like me who are trying to install Davinci Resolve, ProTools and Final Cut Studio in a single Mac Pro that's also running on a SAN. Too many cards needed to do this in a single Mac Pro, so this expansion chassis could very well be the ticket.
I've got my VAR looking into this rig now and we'll report back if we end up getting it installed.
This past week Tangent Devices released the Tangent Wave Lite for use with the iPad. This mimics the Shadows, Gamma and Highlight control wheels that you would find on a control surface like the Tangent Wave.
You can see how the controls really mimic the look of a standard color control panel. They even have the reset buttons in the right place and you can control the Ring and Trackball sensitivity. My iPad is sitting up on a Rocketfish stand that holds the iPad up off the desk so I can still operate my tablet alongside of it.
How does it work? Surprisingly well! I started working the colors with two hands very similarly to how I actually operate the Wave Panel itself. The trackballs really operate very true to life where you can "spin" them and they keep spinning based on how hard you spun them.
The rings work exactly as you would expect from a real control surface. The neat thing is if you've never worked with a control surface, you can finally experience how nice it is to be able to work with both hands at the same time. You can operate two different controls simultaneously which makes your work that much faster.
The only downside to this app has nothing to do with the app at all. It's just that the iPad does not provide any tactile information on what you're operating. With a real control panel, once you get used to it, you almost never look at the control surface because you can feel for the controls with your hands. With the iPad you have to keep looking at the screen to grab the right controls first and then you can start working.
I kept hitting the ring when I wanted the trackball and vice versa. Again, no fault of Tangent, but just the way the iPad works.
Scott Simmons over at EditBlog heard an idea to use the app in conjunction with a mouse / tablet basically using it as "big sliders" to operate the wheels faster and easier than with a mouse or a pen. Neat idea.
I think this app is really good for anyone who is considering a control surface and what does it bring to the table? You can download this app for free and get a sense of how it is to operate with a control surface. I really didn't understand how much a control surface would help me until I started using one. They really do make your color work much more efficient.
If you have an iPad and use Apple Color, definitely download the app and give it a spin. VERY well done app and I hope Tangent has more plans to upgrade this app with even more control.
Two weeks ago "30 Rock" had a story arc involving the video editors of the show and how scary it was to go down to them. They controlled the video and you didn't want to piss them off or else you might not get your stories cut. Over the top humor that I love about 30 Rock and really made me laugh. And then it made me think, "Editors aren't really prima donnas, are we?"
And then a few days later yet another Final Cut Pro rumor came out including a nugget that Apple might be considering some sort of "super app" that combines Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, Color and DVD Studio Pro into one interface. So this re-ignited some worn out comments about the shortcomings of Final Cut Pro, some of the studio elements and the interfaces. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of legitimate things Apple really needs to get better with FCP and the Studio suite. Their Beta program is numero uno. At one point it was as small as 10 people outside of Apple. Yeah, that's a lot of input for a product with over 1 million registered users. But I digress.
What really gets me are the whiners about having to learn something new. When did Editors become such prima donnas that they can't be bothered to learn anything new? Interface. Software. Hardware. Whatever it is. If it doesn't conform to THEIR
workflow or THEIR
needs, well then
"Apple/Avid/Adobe/Quantel/Sony/Panasonic/FillInTheBlank better get off their ass and fix it to suit MY needs! Or Else I'm Going To Buy Something Else!!!! Thbbbbbbbbbbbt!"
I love these people. Whiners. Too important to learn. This is my favorite for the folks who use the Apple Studio suite.
"Waaaaaaaahh. Apple Color doesn't have an interface like anything else on Apple. It's too hard. Waaaaaaaah"
Really? Because something looks different, you can't be bothered to learn how to use an interface? Nevermind that Final Touch now Color has an interface that was designed with colorists. Now that it's included in Final Cut Studio suite, Apple MUST bend to the demand of the video editors who say "Make this look like iMovie so I can use it with a single click. I cannot be bothered to learn something new! Waaaaaaaaaaaah"
Maybe there is something about whiny prima donna editors after all. New tools, different interfaces, the video editor of today simply can't be bothered?
How about a quick history lesson?
I know it's hard to believe, but I've been editing video since 1984. I know, I know, you look at my pictures and you say, he can't be that old! I mean he looks like he just got out of college. It's my Italian genes, what can I say. So in 1984, we were using JVC 3/4" VTRs in community college. You edited using two decks, a Player and a Recorder. If I wanted to do a dissolve, wipe or any other "effect" well then I had to learn to use the switcher and do some fancy footwork. I had to set the main recorder into the Edit, then manually roll the B-Roll VTR, turn around to the other side of the room and operate the switcher.
At CNN all the editors did deck to deck editing, but if you wanted to move up to "Post Production" well you had to learn the Grass Valley 300 switcher, Abekas A53 DVE, Sony Audio Mixer, Chyron, BetaSP VTRs, D2 VTRs, and the CMX controller that controlled everything. And guess what? NOTHING had a similar interface or was tailored to the whims of the Editor.
If you wanted to be an Editor controlling that room, well you HAD to learn each piece of equipment and how it tied into every other piece of equipment. Then you had to learn the main controller and how you would trigger each piece of equipment to do what you needed at the precise moment you needed it to happen.
So now we have $999 software tools that completely replace the "big iron" editing systems of yesteryear and if something simply doesn't conform to WHAT I ALREADY KNOW well then it must be a piece of crap and therefore Apple/Adobe/Avid/Quantel/InsertManufacturerHere damn well better get off their ass and completely re-write the software SO THAT I AM HAPPY.
In fact, many editors of today want one big super app so they don't have to be bothered "round-tripping" to an external app. Nevermind that these external apps have been designed to do their own tasks very very well, they would rather have every feature under the sun in one app so it does absolutely everything, but can't possibly do everything very well.
Furthermore, many editors want pretty much everything automated because editing takes so darn long. On the Creative Cow alone, people have asked for essentially automated logging so they don't have to watch all the footage. It's called editing people, if you don't want to invest the time to do this correctly, when why are you in this field to begin with?
Or how about these people?
I MUST HAVE BLU-RAY COMPATIBILITY NOW! Apple do you hear me? I MUST have a BluRay solution from Apple NOW!
So when I suggest to folks that they can purchase Adobe Encore for simple BluRay discs and DoStudio from NetBlender for fully authored discs, the response is usually they can't do that and will wait for Apple, or else. Or in other words, "I don't want to spend any more money so I would rather bitch about Apple not delivering what I really need and it's much much cheaper to just keep whining about it when a perfectly good solution for BluRay authoring on the Mac has been available for over four years now but since it's not from Apple I'm not going to buy it because that would cost me more money and I'm not going to spend anymore money."
The same can be said of so many "issues" we see floating around the internet against just about any Non-Linear Editing system out there. People who want to whine rather than get the proper tools, learn to properly use the tools they already have, and keep whining about how much they have to spend to create quality work. The cheaper and more accessible the tools become, the more whining we seem to get.
Is this really what the non-linear editor of today has become? Looking at the Creative Cow forums, talking to folks offline, perusing Twitter, Facebook and many other websites / forums, the resounding answer is..... well looking like a big Yes. So many editors are too damn lazy to learn anything new, everything has to look and operate exactly the same or they won't touch it. Everything needs to be reduced to a plug-in so I can create that "300 look" with a single click of a mouse.
To all non-linear editors out there. Appreciate the fact that on your PC and Mac, you have more tools and power at your disposal than an entire "big iron" edit suite ever had at a fraction of the cost of those suites. Instead of whining about what you DON'T have, starting using what you DO have creatively. For crying out loud LEARN SOMETHING NEW for a change.
If nothing else, it puts you at a competitive advantage over all the other whiners who can't be bothered.