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Atlanta Creative Ball Keynote Presenters: Josh and Jason Diamond

Atlanta Creative Ball announces the Keynote Presenters: Filmmakers Josh and Jason Diamond, presented by Blackmagic Design. They'll be chatting about their latest Sesame Street project shot with the BMCC and they'll be joined by Sesame Street editor, Jesse Averna.

October 26th, Atlanta. Raffle already over $20,000 and includes a Blackmagic Cinema Camera among MANY other prizes. Going to be an epic and awesome night!

Posted by: walter biscardi on Aug 20, 2013 at 6:28:14 pm Southeast Creative Summit, Post Production

Meet the Southeast Creative Summit Presenters: Scott Simmons

A continuing series to get to know your Southeast Creative Summit Presenters. In this episode: Scott Simmons!

How did you get started as a freelance editor?

I was an assistant editor after film school back in the early 2000s. The advent of Final Cut Pro and affordable Avid software (as well as DV!) gave me the confidence to try freelancing. I freelanced for 7 or 8 years before going on staff at a Nashville post-production house. I stayed as a staff editor for 6 years before returning to freelancing in April of 2013. The ability to assist for several years meant I was able to meet a lot of people and make a lot of mistakes. I was also fortunate to work with a lot of good editors who were happy to teach. Now days I try to do the same.

Can you tell us about a creative challenge you’ve had in an edit recently? How did you overcome it?

Last year I had a series of 30 second spots that supplied nearly 14 hours of footage. Massive amounts of footage isn’t unusual today but this was an unusually large amount of footage for a short edit. Luckily I had an intern available at the time who was able to do some of the initial logging of the footage but for me a large part of the job was logging. I was diligent in logging the footage and using a combination of subclips, notes and comment in the bin, a star rating system and clip colors to to get through it. The properly logged footage meant it was easy to sort and find footage but as I was cutting alone but, more importantly, when the director and agency was in the edit with me.

As a freelancer, you work on all types of projects. How do stay organized when the needs of each project are so different?

I tend to approach all my jobs the same way: First talk with the director and get an idea of the project and what their vision is as well as what they experienced on the shoot. Next it’s watching the footage, organizing the footage and making notes on the footage; all before starting to cut. At that point it doesn’t matter what type of job it is as you’re approaching them all the same. Of course once you start to really build a cut your mindset will probably be different from a music video to a corporate piece to a documentary. But if the editor is organized within the NLE (and maybe on a notepad as well) and familiar with their footage they can easily move between different type of projects. We’re working outside of Hollywood here so it’s often necessary to be able to cut different types of things.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given during your career?

It’s hard to pin down one specific piece as being the best advice I was given but I think one of the most important was the advice to pick something in the film / video / tv profession and focus on doing it to the absolute best of my ability … and that was editing. In today’s world of multi-hyphenates where you have a single person doing everything from pre-production all the way through post-production the dedicated editor seems quite rare. Even with ultra-cheap gear for both production and post I still believe in the collaborative nature of filmmaking and that extra set of eyes and talents that a dedicated editor can bring to a project is of vital importance.

What can people expect from you at the Southeast Creative Summit?

I hope to stuff a lot of good information into my sessions. I tend to talk fast and jump through a lot of topics so I love for people to ask questions if there’s something they miss or if they would like me clarify or expand upon a topic. I love for attendees to ask questions at any time during a session as questions can often lead into something that I might had not thought about or planned on covering. So please … ask questions! While the Southeast Creative Summit sessions aren’t about learning a particular piece of software, I’m an editor who cuts on all the major NLEs so my sessions will touch on all three of the major NLEs.

Sign up for the Southeast Creative Summit and use the code creativecow2013 for $100 off admission. Early Bird runs through Sept 25th and is just $495 with the code!

Posted by: walter biscardi on Aug 20, 2013 at 4:46:23 pm Southeast Creative Summit, Post Production

Southeast Creative Summit #PostChat, Wed. Aug 21. 9-10pm EST

I'll be the featured guest on Wednesday night's #PostChat Twitter discussion and we'll be making some special announcements about the Southeast Creative Summit. If you've been thinking about attending the 3 day event Oct. 25-27 in Atlanta, tune in Wednesday night and save!

Posted by: walter biscardi on Aug 19, 2013 at 7:13:20 pm Southeast Creative Summit, Post Production

What you'll learn at the Southeast Creative Summit

The chill is already in the air in Georgia today so that can only mean one thing, we're getting closer to the first ever Southeast Creative Summit here in Atlanta. October 25-27 at the fabulous Sheraton Atlanta hotel. As one of the Co-Founders of the Atlanta Cutters Post Production User Group, I'm one of the organizers of this event. We've got a LOT of workshops happening over the three days covering a wide range of production tasks. Basically we designed a workshop event that we would all love to attend and then priced it reasonably so as many of you as possible could come and enjoy.

Pre-Production & Business:
Budgeting Basics. Former "Good Eats" Producer Dana Popoff and Robbie Carman will cover budgeting and client management
Location Planning. Dana Popoff will cover what you need to know to properly plan for location shoots near and far.
How Do I Build It? Panel discussion with myself and other industry leaders to talk facility and suite planning
Don't Screw Yourself. I will cover the basic questions you need to ask BEFORE you sign a contract for a long term project. (short term too!)
Don't be a D*#k Online. Social Media Maven, Kylee Wall will discuss the growing importance of social media management in your livelihood.

Color Enhancement:
Patrick Inhofer and Robbie Carman will lead a series of workshops including: Refining the Grade. Grade Management. Color Grading Cookbook. Grading RAW and LOG. Color Grading a Series.

Production & 4k:
START with Post So We Don't have to Fix It Later! I'll cover areas that can easily be fixed in Production before they become costly in Post.
Green Screen Basics for Cameras / Advanced Tips and Techniques. Former "Good Eats" DP Marion Laney covers many Green Screen techniques.
Gary Adcock will lead a series of 4k and Production workshops including: High Frame Rate Acquisition & Post. Understanding 4k. Thunderbolt, Changing the Face of Post Production. Capturing the Essential Moment in Time.

Aerial Photography:
Yonder Blue Films is one of the premiere low altitude aerial videographers in the county and they will be leading multiple workshops introducing you to this growing field and sharing some of their techniques to achieve the best results using quad rotor helicopters.

Scott Simmons will be leading multiple workshops on Editorial including: The Music Video workflow. HDSLR Post Production 101. Useful Tools for Editing. Anatomy of an Edit.
Oliver Peters will be leading multiple workshops on Editorial including: Offline-Online for large commercial projects. Indie Feature Film Workflows. Color Correction inside your NLE.
Jesse Averna (Sesame Street / PostChat) will be leading multiple workshops to be announced soon!
Additional workshops to be announced soon!

Sound Design & Music:
Field Sound Done Right. Led by Academy Award Winning sound mixer Ed Novick, this covers techniques to ensure you get the best field recordings.
Sound Designer Michael Cardillo will lead two workshops covering: Sound for Editors. After the Edit, Audio Post.
Composer Chris Rickwood will lead multiple workshops including: Music is Everywhere. Agile Sound Design. Breaking the Music Mold.

VFX & Graphics:
Mary Poplin will lead two workshops covering: Beauty Work Made Easy! Motion Tracking for Editors.
Designer Carey Dissmore will be announcing some additional workshops shortly.

The Tools:
Some of the tools that will be used during the workshops include: Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, Autodesk Smoke, Avid ProTools, Adobe After Effects, Apple Logic, Adobe Photoshop, Mocha Pro, Davinci Resolve, Adobe SpeedGrade, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Canon Cameras, DSLRs, Mac and Windows PCs, Remote Controlled Quad Rotor Helicopters, and most of all, your collective minds.

Yeah that's a lot of stuff in just three days, we know. There will be 7 workshop sessions with 8 workshops per session. So a total of 56 workshops sessions over the 3 days. Not to mention the networking / knowledge sharing between peers during the breaks and evening events. It's going to really open your creative mind and be a lot of fun at the same time. Sheraton Atlanta is offering special $139/night rates for Summit attendees too, so bring your significant other or your family and make a little vacation out of it. The hotel has an amazing indoor pool with retractable roof and there's so much to do in Atlanta for the rest of your family.

Early Bird Ticket are only $495 using the code creativecow2013. Yep, that one price for all three days of workshops and the ability to hang out with these presenters in the evening to pick their brains even more. After September 25th the price jumps $200. I've yet to find any workshop or event that comes close to the caliber of presenters for less than $800. Most run $1200+

On Saturday evening, October 26th we will be hosting the first ever Atlanta Creative Ball. Think Media Motion Ball, only in Atlanta. Raffle has already eclipsed $20,000 and includes a Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Our Special Guests for the evening will be Ron and Kathlyn Lindeboom, Founders of this very We'll even have Carey Dissmore helping with the MC duties! Tickets are $40 if you're attending the Summit and $85 if you just want to attend the ball. Raffle will run in the same "media motion ball" tradition where you will get to select your own prize if your name is called.

Yes, the Cow is one of our Media Partners helping us to spread the word and for that we say Moooooooooooooo. As a Non-Profit organization, the Atlanta Cutters appreciates all the help and support. Hope to see you all there!

Posted by: walter biscardi on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:53:20 pmComments (5) Southeast Creative Summit, Training

Meet the Southeast Creative Summit Presenters: Yonder Blue Films

A continuing series to get to know your Southeast Creative Summit Presenters. In this episode: Yonder Blue Films!

How did you get into aerial photography and cinematography?

We were both working as producers and editors on a show that aired on NBC sports. During its ninth and final season, we decided it was time to get out of the office more. We then launched a production company with low-altitude aerial cinematography as our specialty. That was about a year and a half ago. Recently we’ve shot for Nat Geo, USA Network, and Cartoon Network. It’s been a ton of work, but it is a fun way to film unique footage.

How do the principles of cinematography differ (or not) when you’re flying in the air?

There are a lot of similarities. Light and camera movement are the two most important principles. We’ll talk more about that at the summit. We mostly shoot with wide lenses, but with recent advances in technology, telephoto lenses will be an option.

Is aerial cinematography something a production company can add to their arsenal?

It is certainly possible, but it is far more difficult than it seems at first glance. It’s far more expensive too. It also requires a major time commitment, even if you have a background in RC aircraft. There are companies that are producing rigs that allow you to fly a GoPro a bit easier, but these rigs can make things deceptively easy. All that being said, if you’re interested in adding this to your production arsenal, we say, “Go for it!” We’ve helped many production companies get started.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given during your career?

There are old pilots and bold pilots, but there are no old and bold pilots.

What can people expect from you at the Southeast Creative Summit?

We’ll discuss the basics of RC technology for aerial video. Since this is a less common way to film, we will educate attendees on how best to incorporate this camera platform into their productions. We’ll share a few tricks of the trade too. Hopefully we will have enough room to do a short flight demo as well. We’re looking forward to it!

Aerial Demo 1:
Aerial Demo 2:

Learn more about the Southeast Creative Summit, October 25-27 in Atlanta, and save $100 off admission with the discount code: creativecow2013

Posted by: walter biscardi on Aug 14, 2013 at 4:51:48 pm Southeast Creative Summit, Aerial Photography

Meet the Southeast Creative Summit Presenters: Gary Adcock

A continuing series to get to know your Southeast Creative Summit Presenters. In this episode: Gary Adcock!

How did you get into video production?

I was a still shooter and a new neighbor moved in across the hall, one day I heard him digging around in his van looking for some tape. I grabbed a role of gaffer tape and walked over to introduce myself. He looked at the tape, looked at me, looked back down at the tape and said “video or film” and I replied “Still”. He stuck out his hand and we became friends. About 2 weeks later, he pounded on my door at 7am saying he was in a jam and needed a body, if I could assist. Later than morning I was pushing a cameras dolly around and brushing the lint of the coat of the legendary Bill Kurtis on the first stand-up shoot for the A&E cable show “American Justice”. Yeah, I was hooked.

Tell us about an interesting 4K project you worked on recently.

I have done a couple, but I had a great deal of fun on a test shoot to deliver 4K 60p demonstration footage for IBC 2012. I got the job to go shoot pretty pictures, I chose the Green City Market in Chicago, considered one of the finest Organic Farmers Markets in the US and my personal favorite. I talked to the farmers I know and everyone was really friendly an helpful. It was me, a camera assistant and my wife as PA. so it was definitely A Run& Gun scenario. We shot Sony F65 with Cooke Panchro lenses, gearhead, sticks and a VCLX battery. The location kit was over 100Lb’s, but the best shot of the day was a little girl buying bread, I just grabbed it at the end of our shoot as she walked up and paid for this muffin. I got that shot and said we were done.

What’s one basic principle of video production that’s often forgotten in the face of new technologies in higher resolution and frame rates?

Composition, I am so tired of filmmakers saying “I’ll crop it later”. Shoot it right the first time and there is no need to crop it later.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given during your career?

Never burn a bridge, no matter how much you want to.

What can people expect from you at the Southeast Creative Summit?

One of the best learning experiences of your life, it’s the best of the best.

Learn more about the Southeast Creative Summit, October 25-27 in Atlanta, and save $100 off admission with the discount code: creativecow2013

Posted by: walter biscardi on Aug 14, 2013 at 4:48:14 pm Southeast Creative Summit, 4k

Meet the Southeast Creative Summit Presenters: Mary Poplin

A continuing series to get to know your Southeast Creative Summit Presenters. In this episode: Mary Poplin!

Why did you choose visual effects and motion graphics as your career path?

When I was a little girl, I used to dream of working at Disney as a 2D animator. However, by the time I got to college, not only was that style of animation going away, but also I found out that I did not eat, breathe, and sleep onion skinning the way you really need to in order to be an animator. So that left me with still loving movies and having a strong foundation in the arts and painting. I earned my degree in Illustration with top honors from the Savannah College of Art & Design and came out to the West Coast to seek my fortune, and I found work immediately with Paramount’s “Barnyard: The Original Party Animals.” For a first gig, it was a pretty good one, and for nearly a decade I have been creating matte paintings and roto-paint work for all kinds of companies, including the late Cafe FX, Threshold, Go-For-Launch Productions, Stereo D, and all sorts of freelance work.

As an editor, why should I add visual effects or motion graphics to my arsenal?

In my personal opinion, you should add visual effects and motion graphics to your arsenal because you must evolve or go extinct. It is a luxury in this market to not have to learn. If you are not able to do the small paint and screen insert fixes your clients need, or the simple titles and mograph work that most new designers out of school are capable of, you run the risk of being replaced by younger, hungrier, faster models. I have always learned the newest programs quickly, and it has helped me stay ahead of the game. In the game of Post-Production, you adapt or you slowly watch your work dry up.

Tell us about a creative challenge you had and solved by using planar tracking?

The best solve I used mocha Pro’s planar tracker on was back when it was still called Mokey, Motor, Monet, and Mocha. I was using Mokey to remove Bruce Lee and the 6 guys he was fighting from a shot in Enter the Dragon, but the challenge was that the shot was in the basement, very grainy, and I had to keep the shadows and caustics reflected from a pool on the walls. Also, there were parts where most of the background was obscured by fighting at points and there was a lot of motion blur. Mokey’s paint work got me 80% there, and the rest of the shot I fixed with hand painting. I finished the shot in a day, which I think deserves some sort of VFX Medal of Honor. The planar tracker even helped me match some of the motion of the water caustics.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given during your career?

The best advice I have ever received is to stay hungry, but to learn how to balance your work and your life. Work is literally the least important thing in your life, it is a means to an end and a living. You can be passionate about it, but do not be so passionate that you forget or lose sight of what is really important, like family, love, self improvement, and helping others. I think that’s one of the reasons I like working for Imagineer Systems so much, I get to show artists how to get their work done faster so they can go home on time and have a life.

What can people expect from you at the Southeast Creative Summit?

People can expect a enthusiastic and hopefully fun workshop about how to work faster and cleaner, and they should expect to be able to ask me anything about my work and get a candid answer. I am very excited to meet all of you, and in some cases, to see some friends smiling faces again. I am a Georgia girl at heart, and it will be good to be home and help local artists kick some butt with their work.

Learn more about Mary at:

Learn more about the Southeast Creative Summit, October 25-27 in Atlanta, and save $100 off admission with the discount code: creativecow2013

Posted by: walter biscardi on Aug 14, 2013 at 4:43:55 pm Motion Graphics, Southeast Creative Summit

Meet the Southeast Creative Summit Presenters: Oliver Peters

A continuing series to get to know your Southeast Creative Summit Presenters. In this episode: Oliver Peters!

How did you get started with post-production?

I started in radio during my high school senior year and from there worked at the college radio station and local PBS affiliate. While at the PBS station, I transitioned from audio to videotape operations, which got me the first job after college. That was as an online videotape editor, working on retail commercials in the mid-70s. Except for a few stints in production and management, I’ve generally worked in post ever since. The birth of nonlinear (originally on Avid) allowed me the flexibility to first move into more creative editing, including commercials, TV shows and feature films.

Why is planning for post important?

Planning saves time, money and stress. Not all software, edit facilities and even editors have the same capabilities and/or skills. Doing your homework ahead of time and developing a plan to achieve your goals will not only avoid nasty surprises, but make the process much more enjoyable for everyone.

How do workflow strategies differ between projects of different sizes?

Workflows vary with the size and type of project. Some projects are simple. You can load in the camera media, start cutting and quickly be done. Smaller projects, where one editor does it all, can offer some shortcuts, because the workflow is adjusted for that person’s set-up. Others involve hours and hours of high-res media that really make an offline-online workflow better, because it is less taxing on the hardware. Many projects require collaboration between different resources, such as different editors, colorists and mixers. It helps to understand the workflow so that everyone is on the same page.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given during your career?

Be open to the ideas of others. Listen. Don’t automatically assume that you are the only one with the right answers.

What can people expect from you at the Southeast Creative Summit?

People will pick up tips and ideas that will let them use the software they own more productively and efficiently. They will also learn ways to plan for post, save money and avoid pitfalls – regardless of the type of productions that they work in.

Register for the Southeast Creative Summit before September 25th for just $495 using the discount code: creativecow2013

Posted by: walter biscardi on Aug 8, 2013 at 2:56:48 am Post Production, FCP

Meet the Southeast Creative Summit Presenters: Robbie Carman

A continuing series to get to know your Southeast Creative Summit Presenters, coming to Atlanta October 25-27.
In this episode: Colorist Robbie Carman!

How did you get started as a colorist?

My path to becoming a colorist started in music. I’ve played guitar since I was 6 or 7 years old and early on thought I wanted to be a rockstar!. After I realized that probably wasn’t going to happen, I got really interested in audio engineering and recording. During that time I was recording a lot bands and they were shooting music videos and needed some help – so I discovered video editing and dedicated my self to learning everything I could about video post. Flash forward – after college I found myself heavily involved in online editorial - that is uprezing shows, placing graphics and broadcast packaging at a post facility. In many of those session, clients were asking could I could do simple color corrections on shots. The more and more I was doing that, I discovered that I really liked color correction and grading. I dove in head first, learning all I could, shadowing a few fantastic colorists in my market and soon enough I was doing nothing but color. In 2005, my business partner and I left the facility we were working at and started our company Amigo Media which focuses entirely on grading for broadcast and film as well as postproduction education.

What’s one aspect of color you see people getting wrong all the time?

Trying to do too much! In my opinion, some of the best grades are often the simplest. Sure, you can add 40 secondaries to a shot to tweak every single aspect of the image but you should ask your self – am I really making it better or am I going to far? We have amazingly powerful tools for color correction and grading these days, but often the best looking grades are just simple adjustments to contrast and color. Its amazing what you can do with a deft touch on a primary grade.

Do I have to learn a program like Resolve to be able to grade my work?

Absolutely not! While dedicated tools like DaVinci Resolve or Adobe Speedgrade offer an amazing powerful tool set, your editorial application offers some great tools too. Nearly, every edit application will have tools like video scopes to analyze the signal, and a 3-Way color corrector to perform primary or overall corrections. Many also have secondary color correction tools to target corrections. There are also some really great color correction plug-ins for editorial applications.

What’s your personal philosophy as a regular trainer and author?

My personal philosophy is to try to make the the most complex subjects accessible, relating instruction to things that a student already knows about. I think when you’re able to make connections to existing knowledge it really clicks and you start to master a subject. I also try not to make things too serious, I always like to have fun and keep things light no matter if its a paragraph in a book, a session at a conference or an online training video.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given during your career?

A colorist I met right when I started out gave me some advice I try to live everyday – be nice and treat everyone with respect. There are plenty of folks in production and post who think the world revolves around them. They scream at people, make demands etc. These folks may have short term success, but in the long run, if you are fair, honest, and pleasant you’ll succeed. This same person also told me to try to help your friends as often as you can – if there is a work opportunity that they might be good for - recommend them.

What can people expect from you at the Southeast Creative Summit?

Most of my sessions will revolve around color grading, including taking a look at secondary color grading techniques, and some common recipes for achieving great looks. I will also share some hard won knowledge that I think will be useful to small companies and freelancers about scheduling and budgeting projects with clients. Other than that, I hope to attend some sessions from the fantastic line up instructors, chat with attendees and just have fun at what promises to be a fantastic conference.

Register for the Southeast Creative Summit before September 25th for just $495 using the discount code: creativecow2013

Posted by: walter biscardi on Aug 5, 2013 at 5:30:58 pm Color Grading, colorist

Professional Video Editor, Producer, Creative Director, Director since 1990.

Credits include multiple Emmys, Tellys, Aurora and CableAce Awards.

Creative Director for Georgia-Pacific and GP Studios, Atlanta. Former Owner / Operator of Biscardi Creative Media. The show you knew us best for was "Good Eats" on the Food Network. I developed the HD Post workflow and we also created all the animations for the series.

Favorite pastime is cooking with pizza on the grill one of my specialties. Each Christmas Eve we serve the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a traditional Italian seafood meal with approx. 30 items on the menu.

If I wasn't in video production I would either own a restaurant or a movie theater.



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