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COW Blogs : Editing
The Creative Hub Atlanta is now Open. A Co-Op Workspace for Creatives from Biscardi Creative Media
By: walter biscardi on Aug 4, 2015 at 6:09:24 pm

‘The Creative Hub’ from Biscardi Creative Media Launches in Atlanta A Co-Op Creative Space Designed for Indie and Home Based Filmmakers August 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA; – The Creative Hub is now open in the Atlanta area bringing the co-op workspace to the digital creative industry. Targeted to the indie filmmakers and home based video producers, The Creative Hub lives inside the film and television production facility of Biscardi Creative Media (BCM). “I’ve had this concept for a while to bring the co-op workspace to the creative industry,” notes BCM Founder, Walter Biscardi, Jr. “My company started in a spare...


And then I moved to Los Angeles...
By: Kylee Peña on May 1, 2015 at 10:38:53 pm

So, uh, I moved to LA, you guys. Let’s back up a couple decades. When I was a kid, I read a lot of books that dealt with shy homebodies that took adventures out of their comfort zones for heroic or accidental reasons, or sometimes both. It’s a pretty standard trope a lot of people enjoy. The first such story I read was called “Jenny Goes to Sea”, an old hardback book for new readers my library was throwing away when I was six. I rescued it, enjoyed its old-book-smell, and read it cover to cover many times over the...


Editing for Social Impact: How I Saved the San Gabriel Mountains
By: Kylee Peña on Jan 11, 2015 at 1:36:12 pm

(Okay, maybe the headline is a LITTLE strong, but I HELPED.) In the world of corporate video, the opportunity to make a positive impact on the world didn’t come around often for me. I know that’s not true for many people in the “corporate video” world, which is a general term I could use to mean anything from industrial how-toe or non-profit event highlight reels. But in my little piece of that land, my videos were generally not going to make a change that would last for future generations. At least, not a positive one. When I started working on...


Editing a Web Series: Arson Dogs
By: Kylee Peña on Nov 24, 2014 at 1:28:34 pm

If a thing happens and nobody blogs about it, did it really happen? Of course the answer is no, which is why I'm writing a post about a project I finished editing in September. But there is some freshness to it: it's actually airing nationally(ish) this week. You could have seen it online this whole time, but there's something about a thing airing nationally(ish) that brings a new layer of legitimacy to it. Editing a show filled with shots like this was okay. One of my most complicated projects to date at Biscardi Creative Media (or anywhere, really) was started...


Remixing Cinema with Soderbergh, Spielberg, and Me
By: Kylee Peña on Sep 22, 2014 at 8:32:18 pm

Today, one of my favorite directors, Steven Soderbergh, posted a really great blog about “staging” in film, which is meant to mean how all the elements of a scene work together to tell a visual story. To illustrate his point, he took ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and remixed it a little: converted to black and white, all music, sound and dialogue removed with a different soundtrack alongside it to help you focus on the staging — the direction, the length of each shot, how the cuts work. It’s pretty much as awesome as you might think, so you should...


How Kevin Spacey Helped Me Get Started In Editing
By: Kylee Peña on Jul 23, 2014 at 7:31:14 pm

Last weekend I was bingeing on House of Cards (as you do) and after one particularly riveting episode where blank and blank blank-out and they all blank (spoilers/adult situations) I finally noticed a familiar logo: Trigger Street Productions, Kevin Spacey's production company. Not that it's terribly widely known I guess, but the logo is burned into my brain (a folder within a folder within a folder from years ago, but it was there.) In 2002, Kevin Spacey started a website called Trigger Street Productions (now called Trigger Street Labs ) for unrepresented writers and filmmakers. It was pretty phenomenal at...


Indie Essentials - VFX for Filmmakers& Editors Made Easy
By: Brian Mulligan on Apr 30, 2014 at 1:19:41 pm

In April, That Studio partnered up with Rampart Design Tools, to bring easy to use, practical visual effects and video design elements to independent filmmakers. Who doesn't need a good dust, light leaks overlay, lens flare, fire or smoke visual effect to enhance their video project? I know I do. I use visual design elements like speed lights, grunge overlays, and snow falling elements every day when I edit on-air promos at WTHR-TV . And often times you need that effect now. This is where Indie Essentials saves the day. Indie Essentials is a Quicktime based video clip overlay...


What’s missing from today’s tech based editing
By: ron sussman on Apr 11, 2014 at 5:26:17 am

(this is a re-publish of a blog article I wrote for my personal web page) When I was starting out in post there was a clearly defined road one took to becoming an editor. These were the last few years of cutting film on a 35mm flatbed and my experience was limited to the commercial world verses the TV or feature world, but there were basic similarities to the path one took. To begin, lets jump forward to today. What does an assistant editor do in today’s computer based, digital editorial world? They have been relegated to the machine room...


An Odd Delight: A Corporate Editor's Leap Into Broadcast
By: Kylee Peña on Nov 29, 2013 at 5:18:10 pm

Seeing a stack of tapes labeled and ready to gather dust on a shelf is a feeling of accomplishment I've never had before last week. A full season of This American Land, in glorious HDCAM Not because I've never really had physical copies of any of my work (although outside of a DVD or two, that's definitely true), but because this was my first time cutting for broadcast and I'm pleased to announce I didn't screw any of it up. Before this show, I only occasionally had to worry about title safe lower thirds or broadcast safe colors -- when...


Music for editing events
By: Jennifer Silorey on Jul 22, 2013 at 11:23:09 am

I may spend hours or days finding the perfect song for my event. Currently I am working on a Bar Mitzvah and an in the same dilemma again. Wanting to maximize my edit time, but cannot move on or decide once I'm in the edit I need to get a different song. So I thought I would start a blog on this process and hope to build a database with others where we can go and get songs for that perfect video editing moment!!! Bar Mitzvah song idea for pre-practice pictures with family and Torah. Seal ~ Dreaming in Metaphors....


May 8, 2013
By: Bill Megalos on Jun 6, 2013 at 1:22:31 am

I probably have less to write about today than any day so far. We spent the day editing and editing is one of those things that’s more interesting in the doing than it is in the describing. The worst thing was continued power outages, plus people coming and going, in preparation for the trip we’re to take tomorrow. There were plenty of other distractions, with class members being pulled away to work on pickups for Mohamed’s film or to prepare for tomorrow: the entire class and center will be traveling two hours out of Baghdad to take part in the...


An affordable editing workstation
By: Kevin Duffey on Apr 27, 2013 at 10:35:56 am

Hi all, Wanted to share my custom built editing workstation specs. I like probably most people are after affordable hardware, be it cameras, lens, rigs, and a powerful yet affordable editing computer. Being a tech nut, I've been building computers for a very long time, including various music and video editing machines. I've never had the money to build a very expensive multi-cpu fancy workstation that no doubt movie studios have in abundance. So last year I started buying some parts for what I would hope would turn out to be a powerful editing machine for Adobe CS. My original...


Workflow Update: iMac, Adobe and the "X" Factor
By: walter biscardi on Dec 10, 2012 at 3:17:57 pm

Apple iMacs As I noted in my previous blog, the iMacs are fast becoming my machine of choice and the newest models are even more impressive than the two we have running. At this time, barring any major announcement from Apple that changes my mind, my plan is to replace the remaining 3 Mac Pros in Edits 1, 3 and 4 with 27" iMacs and AJA T-Taps. Once our original series hits, well I'll need 8 of them for that series alone. I'm looking at the 3.4 Ghz model though I'm not totally sold on the Fusion drive since it's...


Films Take Forever - My First Feature (The Impersonators)
By: Kylee Peña on Nov 24, 2012 at 8:23:52 pm

This is an on-going post-production diary I’m keeping while I cut my first feature film, The Impersonators , an indie comedy. I just realized it's been two months since I last updated about The Impersonators . The reason is because there hasn't been much to say. Or so I thought. You see, everything has been going really smoothly. Avid has been mostly cooperating. The scenes have been coming together well. Everything is organized, in place, and running well. I delivered the first rough cut of the whole film a few weeks ago. Some decisions have been made for pickup shoots...


The Impersonators - My First Feature
By: Kylee Peña on Aug 18, 2012 at 9:56:33 pm

Here's one for the baby book: I'll be cutting my first feature film this fall. The Impersonators , directed by Joshua Hull, started shooting today in the central Indiana area. I attended the last full table read and production meeting last night, and this is definitely going to be an interesting film to edit. The Impersonators is about a team of superhero impersonators who normally find themselves rented out for birthday parties or other recreational activities. Their whole team is booked to spend time in a small town bringing up the morale with their presence. Soon enough, they find themselves...


Your Edit on the Big Screen: The Traumatic Experience of Baring it All
By: Kylee Peña on Jun 25, 2012 at 7:39:56 pm

When a dire situation is at hand, an cuddly little animal called the hairy frog (or even more affectionately, the horror frog) intentionally breaks its bones to form claws. Another creature called a horned lizard creates pressure in its nasal cavity so great, the blood vessels in its eyes burst, spraying attackers with blood. A possum will, uh, play possum, which includes foaming at the mouth and emitting a green anal fluid. Potato beetle larvae cover themselves in their own poop. And the poop is poisonous. An malaysian ants? They just self-destruct[1]. As editors, we become very intimate with footage...


101 Burning Questions Answered about Smoke 2013
By: Brian Mulligan on Jun 18, 2012 at 6:05:24 pm

Autodesk Smoke is now available in its first Pre-Release Trial. I am sure you have many questions, so here are a few answers. I have been a beta tester for Smoke 2013, and have been a long time user. So beyond that, I have no inside knowledge of the development decisions. Since this is PreRelease1 and Smoke 2013 is still in development many of these answers might change. There are plans to update the trial versions throughout the next few months as more and more features are developed for the final release. Now, on to the questions… 101 Questions Answered...


Demo Reel Debate: What's the Best Practice? MY not-a-reel strategy.
By: Kylee Peña on Jun 4, 2012 at 7:14:42 pm

A topic that always seems to create a big debate: the demo reel. Specifically, an editor demo reel. On one hand, it needs to be short right? So people will watch it? So string together some cool sequences and set it to a wicked techno track. But wait, no. You need to showcase your editing skills. Ok, so it'll be long. Grab some 2 minute sequences and slap them together. But wait, it's like 8 minutes long. Who will watch any of that? I'm doomed, DOOMED ! The funny thing about this topic is that there doesn't really seem to...

demo reels

Using YouTube Retention Data to Edit for the Web
By: Kylee Peña on May 10, 2012 at 9:22:24 am

Today, I was checking on some video analytics for a client's YouTube account. I manage the postings for the account, and use the data to develop stronger videos as time goes on. YouTube recently redesigned their analytics dashboard (again), and one of the changes was the addition of "Audience Retention." This feature kind of existed before as "Hot Spots." Hot Spots compared your video to other videos across YouTube of similar length, and showed you a relative graph of how much of your audience you were retaining relative to the other videos. The graph would show you peaks and valleys...


NAB 2012. The Mayans had it right. It's the year of the shift.
By: Jerry Hofmann on Apr 22, 2012 at 1:05:21 pm

This year I witnessed an honest world shaking shift. Yep, 2012 became the year of the world changing from the way we know it, and I could see it happening right before my eyes at NAB 2012 in AJA's booth. I worked in AJA's booth for the entire show, and heard from the whole post and production community there. The carpet was torn to pieces on the first day. I'm not kidding, by the end of the show on the first day, it was so balled up it looked as if it had suffered the hit of a tsunami. That...


FCP X and it's launch: Blunder or Genius?
By: Bret Williams on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:28:35 pm

In light of all the NAB announcements regarding editing, I have to ask - "WHY is it going to take time for FCPX to mature?" Apple is the biggest richest company in the world. I have to figure they've been at this piece of software for 2-3 years. They had 10 years of making FCP 1-7, Motion, etc. They own the code base for shake. They have logic. They can hire anyone they need. Why is it in the same 2 years Avid and Premiere can reinvent themselves? Adobe seems to be able crank out a limitless amount of software...

Final cut pro x

Premiere Pro - increase/decrease video and audio tracks using the keyboard
By: Michael Hancock on Apr 4, 2012 at 4:13:29 pm

In Avid, I’d often save timeline views with audio tracks massively expanded for rough audio mixing, or the audio small and the video larger for cutting and applying effects. If I wanted to adjust the track size even more I could just hit Ctrl+L to enlarge any activated tracks, and Ctrl+K to make them smaller (PC – I imagine the Mac is Cmd+L and Cmd+K). You can do it with a mouse, too, but I prefer to do as much as possible with the keyboard. I find it faster, gives me more finite control, and saves my wrist in the...


Premiere Pro - open clips from the Project Panel in the Source Monitor using keyboard shortcuts
By: Michael Hancock on Apr 3, 2012 at 9:18:44 pm

Figured this one out the other day - selecting a file in the Project Panel and opening it in the Source Monitor, using only the keyboard. Pretty basic, right? Well, not with the default layout in Premiere. First, let's see what happens without mapping the keyboard. Open a Premiere project and activate the Project Panel (Shift+1 is the default shortcut). Use the Up/Down arrows to cycle the clips - select one and hit Return. You'd expect it to load into the Source Monitor, right? Nope. It activates the name so you can rename the clip. Hit Return again. It shifts...


Scene Breakdown: Drive
By: Glen Montgomery on Apr 2, 2012 at 9:37:48 am

I feel like I was the last person on earth to see this movie. Positive reviews were flowing all over twitter while it was in theaters and I could never seem to drag myself to the theaters, even though it seemed right up my alley. Crime drama, slow burn story, awesome actors, intense violence, fast cars, 80′s vibe. Whatever the case, I didn’t get to see this until it finally came out on blu ray, and it completely decimated me. The artistry of it is kind of hard to believe in this day and age, where the people with money...


Scene Breakdown: Mad Men “Maidenform”
By: Glen Montgomery on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:19:18 am

So I diverted from my plan a little with this post. In the last entry, I proposed that I would continue with the feature film breakdowns for a while before going to other mediums; but I lied. This week I was deep into a marathon of the second season of the exquisite AMC show, Mad Men, when one of the episodes jumped out as an excellent candidate for a breakdown. This breakdown is quite different as well, in that it looks at the opening and closing scenes of the episode. The beginning is a great little montage that really sets...


Scene Breakdown: The Dark Knight
By: Glen Montgomery on Dec 11, 2011 at 12:44:13 pm

In the second installment of my series of breakdowns, I chose something a little more modern and with a little bit more action. There were two other films that crossed my mind but I decided to hold off on them till later and went with a flick that has been sitting out on our desk for while. I knew that I wanted to look at a scene with a little bit more action motivated cutting, but at the same time didn't think I was ready for a complete action scene. I feel this scene from The Dark Knight has the...


For now, editing is a commodity and less a craft
By: walter biscardi on Dec 1, 2011 at 5:40:13 am

As has been reported recently, CNN laid off 50 staffers, primarily videographers and editors. Why? Essentially after a three year internal review, CNN has determined that professional editors are not necessary to craft news stories any longer. Instead they are expanding their iReport section allowing for more user generated content to be provided to the network, at absolutely zero cost to the network. Yep, zero cost to the network since these folks won’t be paid. I could go on about that part of the story, but Stephen Colbert explains it so well in this clip from “This Colbert Report” on...


Interview with Director Jeanne Kopeck
By: Glen Montgomery on Nov 22, 2011 at 9:28:47 am

The Human in the Machine is a continuing series of interviews with industry professionals focused on the relational aspects of the editorial process. Blog pages and bookshelves everywhere are flooded with technical information on the craft of editing, but there seems to be little out there on the human side of it all. Even though much of our work is technical based, what is at the heart of it all is spending 10-15 hours a day locked in a room, usually with other people, creating stuff. What makes those other people come back to your edit suite instead of walking...


Thanksgiving Meat With Steam
By: Mark A. Stuart on Nov 14, 2011 at 1:18:03 pm

Made a neat-o spot in AE today with write on graphics and steam over a photo of a hot turkey. Got some spots from another station off our clip mail and converted them to .wmv's for a rep. Made a DVD of one of our past shows for the LSM to show a client. Made a logo for our Christmas ad campaign. That's what I'm up to today! Hope you have a happy and creative one, Mark...


Interview with Editor Eric Brodeur
By: Glen Montgomery on Oct 12, 2011 at 9:39:50 am

The Human in the Machine is a continuing series of interviews with industry professionals focused on the relational aspects of the editorial process. Blog pages and bookshelves everywhere are flooded with technical information on the craft of editing, but there seems to be little out there on the human side of it all. Even though much of our work is technical based, what is at the heart of it all is spending 10-15 hours a day locked in a room, usually with other people, creating stuff. What makes those other people come back to your edit suite instead of walking...


Interview with Editor Agustin Rexach
By: Glen Montgomery on Aug 8, 2011 at 8:51:03 am

The Human in the Machine is a continuing series of interviews with industry professionals focused on the relational aspects of the editorial process. Blog pages and bookshelves everywhere are flooded with technical information on the craft of editing, but there seems to be little out there on the human side of it all. Even though much of our work is technical based, what is at the heart of it all is spending 10-15 hours a day locked in a room, usually with other people, creating stuff. What makes those other people come back to your edit suite instead of walking...


FSI launching new affordable 21" and 23" HD Broadcast Monitors
By: walter biscardi on Aug 3, 2011 at 7:17:33 pm

EXCLUSIVE! (always wanted to say that!) When I get an email from Dan Desmet at Flanders Scientific asking “do you have any time available? I’d like to show you something” I always MAKE the time. One of the awesome benefits of being literally 15 minutes away from FSI is we get to see a lot from these guys. It’s also a great chance to get together for lunch, or dinner in this case. Well, what he had to show were three truly incredible monitors, one of which you already know about,the LM0950W (WOW!) and the other two they are letting...


Spot Breakdown: “West Bank” for Sky TV
By: Glen Montgomery on Aug 2, 2011 at 9:17:17 am

This is a slight deviation from the ongoing series of Feature Scene Breakdowns that I have neglected for the last six month or so. Being apart of the advertising industry now, I am finding myself much more attentive to the ad work that seems to assault me from every screen I own these days and I thought I should include it in this personal study. One huge upside of being within agency walls is a glorious room full of demo reels from over the years for Directors, Creative Editors, DP’s, FX Houses and even Catering companies (jokes). I have been...


Why I Love Adobe Premiere Pro
By: Mike Cohen on Jun 28, 2011 at 6:39:34 am

With all of the FCPX bashing going on, I thought I'd take a few minutes to talk about my long relationship with Adobe Premiere. Back in the late 1990's, as our two 1" based edit bays were beginning their death throes, we started evaluating our move to NLE. We looked at the IMIX, Adobe Premiere running on the Radius Telecaster hardware, and InSync: Speed Razor running on the Targa 2000 hardware. Premiere was young (version 4 perhaps?) and even with the hardware for video capture (this was pre-firewire (I think DV existed, but we were shooting BetaSP)) things were not...

adobe premiere

FILM PROS - Talk to musicians, designers and typesetters...
By: David Battistella on Jun 26, 2011 at 5:59:00 am

I thought I would turn this recent post into a BLOG post because I think it is worth exploring. With all of the discussion surrounding the FCPX app and the RABID response by users emotionally and financially tied to apple hardware and software I would ask film and video professionals to just consider one important thing. We are just last in a line of creative sectors Apple has had a major global influence on. Perhaps looking at things in the perspective of other industries is worthwhile and informative. If you talk to your friends who are musicians, creatives, illustrators, animators....


Thanks Apple...Sincerely
By: David Battistella on Jun 21, 2011 at 3:15:16 pm

Look, I have not done a full evaluation of the software but I have to say one thing. EDITING WITH FCP X is VERY VERY FAST! I have prided myself on being able to break down footage quickly but FCP X takes editing to a whole new level. I am talking about EDITING. I actually do not care much about the import export stuff at this moment. WHat I have been dreaming about is a rethink on how we breakdown shots and put images together and FCP X is very fast and very intuitive. I am really excited about this...


By: David Battistella on Jun 21, 2011 at 6:10:08 am

I am downloading FCP X as we speek and adding compressor and Motion as well. I will report back here as soon as I have had a look under the hood! 160 effects built in. It looks like they have created thier own plugin set. BIG NEWS NO native R3D support. WOW! David...


Anatomy of an Edit Suite
By: walter biscardi on Jun 19, 2011 at 4:13:02 pm

Because so many folks have asked me "What's in your Edit Suite?" followed up by "Why do you have that?" I created a new blog entry to answer the hows and whys of what we install in our suites. I was originally going to re-create the blog here on the Cow site, but it would be so time consuming, forgive me for just linking to the original blog on my website. But feel free to post comments here. Anatomy of an Edit Suite...


By: David Battistella on Jun 13, 2011 at 2:00:13 am

OK. Apple is about to revolutionize editing and release an app that will be much talked about in the coming months. I hope I do not have to eat these words but there have been a few things nagging at me. Why do people believe that a new interface means they will reduce the feature set? FCP changed editing when it was released. It was the David to the Goliath that was AVID and they put editing in the hands of professionals who could create amazing work where ever they could plop down a computer. FCP literally MOVED editing AWAY...

Final Cut

Post Production is NOT an afterthought. So why do so many clients treat it that way?
By: walter biscardi on May 5, 2011 at 4:32:16 am

Why is it that Producers treat Post Production as an afterthought? As in, “I need to spend all my money on Production so it looks great, but the editing we can do on the cheap.” The editor is the LAST person to touch your film. As in the person who will make or break your film by their skills to properly cut the film together making the right decisions on scenes to keep / remove, timing and a whole host of other decisions. So you hire the absolute cheapest person to do the one of the most important jobs? A...


A Brief Discussion of Video Formats for the Non-Video Professional (with a Medical spin)
By: Mike Cohen on May 4, 2011 at 1:49:29 pm

The following is a summary that I have sent to a few clients lately (those who have been perplexed about video submission specifications, for example, or those struggling to edit their own videos) and thought I could make a useful blog post about it. The result may be continued perplexion, but the information is at least all in one place. Some of our video projects include a printed companion, so there is a discussion about how video translates into the printed image. It is also handy reading for the young video pro who has not experienced the evolution of video...

high definition

Recent Project
By: Ken Harper on Feb 19, 2011 at 11:25:13 am

I recently finished a music video for the song Out of Many. It has been very well received and is currently on it's way to the White House. Please read the letter to President Obama below, and check out the video. February 17, 2011 President Barack Obama The White House Washington, D.C. Dear President Obama, This is our moment, this is our time… is a phrase you spoke at your victory speech in Chicago. This phrase inspired a collaborative project here in Connecticut that includes some amazingly talented musicians from the Nutmeg State. I have co-written a song with...


Recent Challenge
By: Ken Harper on Feb 11, 2011 at 10:49:14 am

Recently, I was asked to put together a demo which showed the many different interview styles we have used over the years. Traditionally you have two ways to do that, the first being a music video. Pick a track and cut together a series of examples of different shooting styles. The second choice is to string together segments from a variety of projects again showing the different shooting and lighting styles. Been there done that. So I decided to take a less travelled road. We have been marketing ourselves as storytellers for the last 18 years so why not demo...


The Art of Editing: Sometimes we worry too much about technical things.
By: Jerry Hofmann on Jul 13, 2010 at 10:48:32 am

I rarely if ever see posts about aesthetic considerations, when they are the most important things our time and effort as storytellers should be filled with. Technically correct isn't nearly as important as aesthetically relatable to the human experience, and thus correct. Not even close. I think we all get a little too crazy about picture quality, when it is totally secondary to storytelling. There is story in every project out there whether it's a narrative, commercial, motivational or instructional . The story of most every toothpaste commercial is usually about sex... buy this toothpaste and get, well, you know......

Art of Editing

Avid Media Composer in a DSLR World
By: Dylan Reeve on May 6, 2010 at 4:03:57 am

Don't know if anyone's noticed, but Canon made a little digital SLR camera called the Canon 5D Mark II and, apparently, it shoots HD video... It seems that some people are quite excited about the whole thing. Well if you had noticed that, you'd probably have also noticed that almost every mention of editing 5D footage is around Apple's Final Cut Pro. It's certainly not because other products can't cut it, it's probably just because of a massive commonality between those who've embraced the 5D and those who long ago embraced FCP. So how do the current crop of HD...


100th Blogiversary
By: Mike Cohen on Jan 27, 2010 at 3:58:10 pm

I know I tell a lot of stories about the old days, but this doesn't mean I'm 100 years old. Just wanted to get that cleared up for those of you keeping a tally of how many times I mention 1" tape and CMX edit controllers. Now back to our regularly scheduled program, already in progress... For those of you just joining us, welcome to the Mike Cohen Creative COW 100th Blogiversary . "100 blog posts? So what," you might be saying. Well I try to put a little bit of my personality and philosophy into every post. For me...


One Head Many Hats
By: Ken Harper on Sep 29, 2009 at 8:38:14 am

Recently, I attended an excellent HD Workshop & Mini-Expo presented by Digital CONNtent Creators at Tripeg Studios in Hamden, CT. This event was very informative and I am still amazed by how rapidly the technology in our industry evolves and grows. There is no question that in order to survive these changes you must understand and embrace them, so thanks to Keith Larsen and the rest of the crew that put this show together. This November marks my 25th anniversary in this industry and throughout my career I’ve witnessed the many changes in the tools we use to do...

video production

Apple Color and FCP deliver true Broadcast Safe for "the big boys"
By: walter biscardi on Jul 11, 2009 at 6:32:02 am

Recently a thread in the Apple Color forum had somebody remark that if you're delivering to the "Big Boys" such as Discovery and PBS you really should have external scopes in your shop. It's also been suggested that external legalizer boxes really should be used as well when delivering to the high end networks. The true fact of the matter is, the scopes in Color are very accurate, to the point that I don't see any differences on an external scope when we do have one. The Broadcast Safe in Color is good enough for "the big boys." We have...

apple color

New features for FSI monitors including EBU Gamma
By: walter biscardi on Jul 9, 2009 at 12:46:31 pm

As usual, the guys at FSI keep adding in more and more features based on user input and the latest round of updates have a couple of especially neat updates. And of course, these are free to all current owners of FSI monitors, just download the update from the website. EBU Gamma. True 2.35 EBU standard gamma setting for the monitor for anyone delivering material to european broadcasters. Yes, 2.4 is mighty darn close, but because of a request from a European user, they decided to make the monitors go exactly to the European gamma spec. Timecode Display. The monitors...


Editor for hire, $50,000/year, Clothing Optional
By: walter biscardi on Jul 3, 2009 at 11:54:57 am

Well I don't know about the clothing optional part, but it's definitely a good gig for the right person with good Final Cut Pro skills.....

final cut pro

18% Grey Paint for less money
By: walter biscardi on Jun 12, 2009 at 5:19:07 am

Ok so the "official 18% grey paint" is something like $80 per quart and up. Thanks to this tip from Dan Desmet at Flanders Scientific, here's a really REALLY close knock off of that color for a lot less. You want Sherwin Williams SW 7071 color. The one to get is Duration Home, Extra White Matte Base, 6403-63925. The BAC code should be BAC Colorant 02 32 64 128 B1-Black - 20 1 - Y3-Deep Gold - 5 – 1 Why do you need 18% grey? Well it helps to keep your eyes neutral while you edit and color grade...


Editing Tug-of-War: PC vs MAC
By: Tim Robinson on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:34:50 am

Tim Robinson is the Corporate Video Editor for Pride Mobility Products Corp. Makers of the Jazzy Powerchair, Scooters, Lift Chairs and other mobility products! At our company we’ve been strictly a PC world. When the new head of IT asked us, “Why don’t you guys run macs? My daughter’s graphic design school runs nothing but macs!” We had to explain his predecessor strictly prohibited using macs because his IT staff could not “support” them. Before he even finished the sentence “What if we bought you guys…” we excitedly shouted ‘YES!’ The transition was not easy for both IT and later...


True Stories
By: Mike Cohen on May 19, 2009 at 6:06:45 pm

If I am waiting for a plane or waiting for the distance between Connecticut and California to shrink, I sometimes recall past experiences. This was supposed to be the goal of this blog, but the present seems a lot more interesting. So we'll take a break from the hustle and bustle and recall a few unique experiences. One can always learn from the past. I am somewhat methodical in my, er, methods, so I'll go sequentially... 1994 My first solo shoot. Having accompanied several shooters on about a dozen trips both in the OR and other settings, it was time...


Totally Rad sneak peek of P2 metadata editor. Yes, I said it. Rad!
By: Jeremy Garchow on May 7, 2009 at 12:41:24 pm

Andreas Kiel of Spherico Film Tools and Björn Adamski of MXF4mac have been cooking up a totally awesome P2 metadata editor called P2 Flow that will now send all kinds of useful information to FCP. I have been fortunate enough to see a sneak peek of it in action and I got permission to show you all as well. I hope you are as excited about it as I am. Some caveats, this is a work in progress, some features you see may or may not make it in to the final version, this is meant as a proof of...

panasonic p2

Elements of Good Media
By: Ken Harper on May 5, 2009 at 8:31:13 am

There are three elements to a good media project. 1. A Good Story 2. Good Images 3. The Right Music A good story should tell itself. Don't allow yourself to force parts together that don't fit if the dialog isn't there. Use narration to bridge caps and make connections between thoughts, but only if needed. Good images are well lit and composed. They tell a story all their own. The right music is probably the most important of the 3. You can set moods and generate emotions with the right music. You can set the pace of the story with...


EDIUS? Pronounce like this: EDIt for US ;-)
By: Regis Andre on Apr 27, 2009 at 7:55:09 pm

Here we go, first entry in my cow blog.... let's make this one about a product that is gaining a lot of momentum in a lot of different places, different workflows... I am going to talk about GV's EDIUS which is now shipping version 5.1. EDIUS is not the most powerful editor in terms of editing feature set, although you will find the Multicamera, trimming, effects, color correction and so on like on a lot of good editors out there. it's a little bit like comparing MS's Excel with Apple's Numbers... Numbers is not as powerful as Excel but the...


An Edit Bay with a View
By: Mike Cohen on Apr 20, 2009 at 7:10:47 pm

The usual edit bay (we used to call them edit bays back when an online editing suite resembled the bridge of the Enterprise. Today an edit bay resembles a computer desk - results may vary - consult your pharmacist)…The usual edit bay may or may not have a window. Very often the only light is dimmable track lighting, perhaps a lava lamp and the soothing red glow of the mouse. My particular office is just that - an office - in which we happen to do editing. Office Half of my Office Edit Bay Half of my Edit Bay Lately...


By: Ken Harper on Apr 19, 2009 at 4:39:43 pm

A long time collegue, Tom Clifford, , taught me years ago the power of the transcript. It is the single most important step in producing an unscripted, interview based video. Anyone who has had to shutlle back and forth through hours of raw footage, trying to cobble together some kind of a message, will certainly appreciate the advantage of a timecoded transcript. The most obvious benefit is having the client highlight the important points and strike the irrelavent and erroneous ones. Now you have a timecoded list of all the pertinent statements to digitize and work with, saving you...


FSI Monitors feature loaded.
By: walter biscardi on Mar 31, 2009 at 6:04:06 am

I spent the day at the FSI offices last week getting a chance to really chat with Dan, Bram and Johan about the monitors and learning about all the features. Their offices are also in the Atlanta area so I took the opportunity to get some instruction on these monitors at their offices. I knew these things were full of features but I didn't realize just HOW many features and how much end user control they have. I really don't expect the feature set at the price point, but these guys are doing it and it's great for all of...


HD Dual Link to 3G Converter
By: walter biscardi on Mar 31, 2009 at 4:30:12 am

If anyone out there needs / wants a Dual Link to 3G Converter, AJA Video Systems has a nice little mini-converter out there. What's 3G you say? The replacement for Dual Link HD. Instead of two cables, you get the full 3G HD signal down one cable. I honestly had never heard of it until we ordered our new Flanders Scientific monitors and they were talking about how their monitors offer only 3G and not Dual Link because Dual Link will be replaced in the near future....


Biscardi Creative to help launch new Science Series
By: walter biscardi on Mar 31, 2009 at 4:23:17 am

Biscardi Creative Media has been selected to provide all Post Production services for a new series revolving around Science. The first run will be 15 weeks with an additional 35 weeks possible for 2009 and further expansion in 2010. More details soon....


Low cost color accurate LCD's becoming reality!
By: walter biscardi on Mar 6, 2009 at 5:22:05 am

I posted this originally in the Apple Color Forum but through I would share here as well.... Just had an all-day demo of four Flanders Scientific (FSI) monitors here in the shop. Overall extremely impressed and yes, you CAN have an accurate monitor for $2,495. I'm not going to go into full details as Nick Griffin will be publishing an article shortly on everything we saw here today but basically.... LM-2450W (24") and LM-1760W (17") look as accurate as my Sony CRT Multi-format monitor. Excellent blacks, excellent whites and good solid color throughout. The 24" has an option for the...


It's About the Story
By: Ken Harper on Feb 19, 2009 at 11:30:08 am

What we need to remember is that at the end of the day what we do as editors is tell stories. It is our responsibility to connect the client and the target viewer with a clear and focused message, because every story has the power to bring about change. Change to the audience and the world around us. We need to make sure that our clients message is understood, and that the viewer is moved to action....

video production

High Speed SAN via Ethernet. It's True!
By: walter biscardi on Feb 16, 2009 at 8:38:33 pm

To paraphrase a famous author, "I have seen the future of shared storage and his name is Ethernet." Last month we invested in the new Final Share system from MaxxDigital and after some tweaking, we now have 16TB of shared storage supported a high definition workflow with 6 workstations all running Apple's ProRes HQ in high definition, both 720p and 1080i. And actually it's not "workstations" in the traditional sense of the word, since we're running ethernet, we can connect any Mac computer to the array. So in our case, we have three Final Cut Pro desktop workstations and three...


Cash in the Attic
By: Mike Cohen on Jan 17, 2009 at 1:16:07 pm

While this is the title of a popular show on BBC, I borrow the name for this post because I have come across some treasures of my own in my soon to be former office/loft/former attic. It is time to relocate my office temporarily. In cleaning up my mess, I have come across boxes of old papers - mostly junk destined for the bin. Here is the first gem, directions for setting up your edit suite. Honestly I neither remember writing this nor doing most of it. How quickly we get used to newer technology! Enjoy: The Finer Points of...


How do I Spell Relief? J-K-L-;
By: Mike Cohen on Jan 5, 2009 at 5:41:57 pm

If you grew up in the late 70's or early 80's like I did, you could not go five minutes without seeing one of the now famous spelling commercials on tv. First came the Oscar Meyer jingle: Oscar Meyer has a way of B-O-L-O-G-N-A. Next came Tommy Lasorda spelling relief R-O-L-A-I-D-S. No wonder I can spell so well! The subject of this post, thus, is about the letters (and symbols) that mean a lot to me: Relief from endless mouse clicks and eye movement in Premiere is spelled J-K-L-; Let me explain. Back in the day I was edited a...


River Blindness Introduction delivered on BluRay disc
By: walter biscardi on Nov 28, 2008 at 4:13:58 am

Biscardi Creative Media recently delivered an introductory project for an upcoming feature-length documentary about River Blindness disease. Produced by Gary Strieker and Cielo Productions, the project was a 10 minute overview of what the disease is and a brief look into some of the preventative measures being implemented by The Carter Center. The presentation, "The Crab and the Fly" was shot in 720p HD in multiple locations in Africa and Latin America over a two year period. Editorial was performed by Aaron R. Stewart and the final presentation was delivered on 1080i BluRay disc using BCM in-house BluRay authoring &...


Walter Biscardi, Jr. Directing new Television Pilot
By: walter biscardi on Oct 15, 2008 at 4:26:03 am

Biscardi Creative Media principal, Walter Biscardi, Jr., will be Directing the Pilot episode of a new business television series. Being developed jointly by BCM, ideaWercs and Arriving with BB Webb, the series will feature success stories and inspiration from women in the business world. I m honored to be launching this new series as the Director and have always believed that editors make great directors, notes Biscardi. As an editor you know what you want to see and what you wish you had when cutting the show together. Knowing what will make the show better in Post helps me in...


Biscardi Creative Media creating original television programming
By: walter biscardi on Oct 15, 2008 at 4:24:32 am

Biscardi Creative Media is creating an original lifestyle television series. Developed by BCM principal, Walter Biscardi, Jr. the series will be presented to major U.S. networks by a production partner. The series re-unites Biscardi with actress Cynthia Evans who played the lead role in BCM s The Rough Cut short film, and Producer Sharon Collins who worked with Walter in the Environment Unit at CNN. The Pilot is scheduled for production in mid October 2008 with editorial slated for completion by late November 2008....


BCM completes Preeclampsia Fund Raiser
By: walter biscardi on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:50:12 am

BCM is proud to have recently completed a fund-raiser for the Preeclampsia Foundation. When we started this project, we honestly had no idea what Preeclampsia is or what it can do to pregnant women and/or their babies.   From the Preeclampsia Foundation website: Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, it is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Ultimately the condition can lead to death of the...


The PCIe Based Storage Revolution in Creative Content Creation
By: Andrew De Lara on Sep 19, 2008 at 3:02:38 pm

The PCIe (PCI Express) standard will have a disruptive impact on the business and workflow processes in video/production/post production/etc. Leading storage vendors are catching on to the idea as we speak. The industry currently faces technology challenges in dealing with the continual purchasing of storage equipment to keep up with the rising needs of performance and archiving...

mac os

Large Project Editing Workflow
By: Mike Cohen on Aug 5, 2008 at 6:03:08 pm

I'd like to say I have been so busy catching up on work that I have not had a chance to write new posts. This is partially true. Partially, I took a week to visit my folks in insanely sunny Florida, helped my wife through some medical troubles (no, for the last time, I did not film it) and have in fact been pretty busy at work. Oh, and I discovered I know a lot of people on Facebook. But back to the important topic of workflow. As described in excrutiating detail in previous posts, I make the most of...


BluRay launches 3 documentaries for 2009
By: walter biscardi on Jul 24, 2008 at 8:23:43 am

I'm really happy to report publicly for the first time that we'll be providing all post production for 3 feature length documentaries that are currently destined for major film festivals and network HD broadcast in 2009 and 2010.   We can trace at least part of this announcement to our investment in BluRay and in-house self-publishing of the high definition discs. Yesterday a sample 9 minute version of the first of the three proposed documentaries was presented to the Carter Center here in Atlanta.   Among the people present were both hollywood executives and an executive of an international television...


Royalty Free Footage - Do your research, get the samples
By: walter biscardi on Jul 17, 2008 at 4:35:58 pm

We re working on a corporate documentary type of project that involves teenagers who lived through Hurricane Katrina. The project is all shot in high definition and of course, the producer was in the market for some news footage of the hurricane and its aftermath to help craft the story. Looking around the web we found with the most reasonably priced footage, about $450 for 19 minutes of the aftermath rescues and such. The description of the reel describes pretty much exactly what we were looking for with military personnel helping people, flooded streets, the mayor walking around, etc.......


The Most Fun you Can Have Standing Up
By: Mike Cohen on Jun 8, 2008 at 9:17:53 pm

So, day two of the shooting extravaganza went great. We started in the OR with about a dozen people and 4 cameras, then broke into two crews for the rest of the day. I hired two actors to role play about 15 different training scenarios. While we had about 25 pages of scripts, we improvised some new scenes and modified or deleted existing scenes. Overall it was loads of fun, single-camera film style setups. I even did a little acting. As the day progressed from 7:30am call time to 4:30 wrap, people were getting a bit punchy and goofy, and...


By: Shane Ross on Jun 1, 2008 at 1:26:27 pm

Before I get to the crux of my post, I would like to explain a few terms that a few people might not know about. Here is the progression of a cut as I do it...when dealing with a documentary project that has a script:RADIO EDIT - Laying out of narration and sound bytes. Just getting things in script order on the timeline.ROUGH CUT - Filling in the cut with footage. This is also the time that I start to ad pacing to the cut. Adding slates (title cards) where footage is missing and needed.FINE CUT - Fleshing out the...


Biscardi Creative gets "unplugged" for Red Warrior Records
By: walter biscardi on May 30, 2008 at 10:54:04 am

5/30/2008 SUGAR HILL, GA Biscardi Creative Media is proud to announce the completion of Jayne s Café featuring Jayne Olderman, owner of Red Warrior Records. Looking for a unique way to present her songs to a wide audience, Jayne created the concept of an unplugged café. Jayne and I have been working together for a long time and when she mentioned this project, I immediately jumped in and said we d like to produce it at BCM, notes Walter Biscardi, Jr., Principal Biscardi Creative Media. Our challenge was to be able to shoot it well in a very small studio...


OpenCut- RED Editing Contest
By: Noah Kadner on May 16, 2008 at 5:28:18 pm

Now here's something interesting, the folks over at Silverado Systems have partnered up with Vuze to create a different kind of contest. OpenCut is a completely open-source film competition designed to encourage people to take professionally shot material and edit it in their own way. As there is no "one way" to tell a story, so too can stories benefit from being re-edited and re-told from many different vantage points and perspectives. They have a short film shot on the RED camera with dailies they'll copy over to your hard drive. Then you cut it altogether any way you want...


By: Shane Ross on May 12, 2008 at 6:30:13 pm

As you output your project to tape, or to DVD...whatever. Or before you encode it for the web or it all the way through. Even if you have seen it three dozen times, it would be very wise to watch your project before you do your final output, or an output that is going out to the network.Why? of the other editors here came to me with a big that I have never seen nor heard of before.Last Friday he finished cutting his show...strung all the segments together, checked everything before the final render, then rendered. He did...


By: Shane Ross on May 7, 2008 at 11:25:40 pm

My producer from The Mexican American War and Andrew Jackson is teaching a 4 week workshop. Time permitting I might see if I can pitch in when it comes to the editing phase. Anyway, here is the press release for this event: HISTORY/DISCOVERY Channel Producer to conduct summer HVX-200/Final Cut Pro workshop at LA s Citrus College LA’s Citrus College of the Performing Arts is conducting a 4-week summer INTRO TO PRO HD workshop with Emmy-winning HISTORY/DISCOVERY Channel writer/producer/director Jim Lindsay. One of LA’s best-kept secrets for arts education, Citrus has been the home of the Grammy Foundation’s summer “Grammy...


Breaking the Speed Limit -- Editing Phantom High-Speed Footage in Final Cut Pro 2 of 2
By: Noah Kadner on Apr 28, 2008 at 8:57:38 am

Once we have the actual shot, we can then control the downloading of footage from the camera using Vision Research’s software. Thus far they’ve only released a version that runs on Windows. In order to preserve the Mac-loving image of Simplemente, we decided to run it on a MacBook Pro with Boot Camp. We can then select the ins and outs of any particular shot. Typically the exact moment you want to save is a tiny fraction of that 6 minute take and the rest is a lot of frames with no activity you can delete. The selected portions are...


By: Martin Landry on Apr 23, 2008 at 9:44:31 am

Hello everyone ! I've been doing editing since the last 3 years, I've heard and read a lot about the subject and even though I still consider myself a newbie, I believe that the editing software we use has NOTHING TO DO with the quality of a movie. Editing is the art of puting video sequences at the right place at the right time. In my mind, even with Windows Movie Maker, people like Terry Rawlings or Pietro Scalia for example would still create a masterpiece ! If there's something that bugs me is when I see people arguing about...


Video Grab Bag
By: Mike Cohen on Apr 13, 2008 at 7:55:44 am

Recently I was asked to make a video loop to play on the hotel television system during this week's convention. No problem, I had already begun receiving videos. The format requirements were simple: DV tape, DVCAM tape or authored DVD.   In reality, I received videos in the following formats: DV tape, Authored DVD, Windows Media, MPEG-1, MPEG-4, H.264, DIVX - all the usual suspects. In most cases this is not a problem, Premiere Pro 2.0 will import just about every format. A few files had to be converted to another format due to the wrong audio frequency (32 vs...


Go Fast Productions
By: Mike Cohen on Mar 29, 2008 at 7:10:14 am

No, that's not the name of a new company - but it sounds good actually. I actually was thinking of the term "go fast boats" as used in the Miami Vice movie(it has been on HBO in a loop). Basically fast racing boats used for smuggling. This week was a go fast production week. Monday - Pack my gear, print Google maps of two hospitals and a client's offices in Massachusetts. Fuel up the Wagon Queen Family Truckster (Saturn ION) for a mere $30, and hit the road. I also hit the library to stock up on books for my...


Your Own Business, Part 3; Running & Building Your Business
By: walter biscardi on Mar 24, 2008 at 8:29:18 pm

In Part 2 of this series, I gave you some thoughts on setting up your shop. If you missed that part or Part 1, links are at the bottom of this article. Now that the doors are open, the furniture and equipment is in, we need to get the word out so you can really get your company running and building. Just because you’re open, doesn’t mean people are just going to find you. Congratulations! Hopefully by now you’ve finished off that bottle of champagne, grape juice, coffee, or whatever it was you used to toast your new company. The...


Your Own Business, Part 1: Are You Ready?
By: walter biscardi on Mar 20, 2008 at 4:43:38 am

This is Part 1 of a 4 Part series on Starting and Running your own business in the creative industry. We start out this week by asking, Are You Ready? Are you really ready to step out on your own and become your own boss? Before you say yes, consider these thoughts. Recently I posted a blog entry detailing the wonderful experience we had upgrading our facility with fellow Creative COW leader Bob Zelin. An unexpected response to that entry was someone who found the setup of our facility somewhat overwhelming. He was questioning what would he need to start...


By: Shane Ross on Mar 19, 2008 at 12:31:06 am

Last week, on Thursday (March 13th for those who really want to know) we needed to output the rough cut of the first show and send it to the network. In actuality it was the SECOND show, but episode one was still being edited...but that s besides the point. So on Thursday I was pulled off my editing of a segment for show one (EP 101) and assigned to cut the tease for show two (102). Cut the tease ....sorry, that always makes me giggle a little.Anyway...this was the beginning of a series of missteps that caused a couple complications...


TIME MACHINE...and other things.
By: Shane Ross on Mar 11, 2008 at 11:21:25 pm

Here is the Kona KBox mounted on the back of my IKEA rack. I had to add an extra piece of wood to the side, but the 2U rack brackets fit nicely.Now...onto TIME MACHINE. In my MacPro I have 5 drives. The system drive is in Bay 1, I have three Seagate 500GB drives in the other 3 bays. One stands alone as a work drive, where I store show exports, imported footage and other odd and ends that I transfer to the server. The final two are RAIDED as RAID 0 and I use them to capture media too...


By: Shane Ross on Mar 11, 2008 at 10:50:07 pm

The official title of the History Channel Series I am working on is STRANGE HISTORY. The stories will mainly deal with taboos, cultural and sexual, and strange cultural practices from around the world. There, now you know.The first week there I was working on one of the rental systems. Because my computer hadn t come in yet and because they didn t play on renting my system for a few weeks yet. Now, this rental system was a bit lacking. Sure, it had the Octo Mac 3.0Ghz and a LARGE Mackie Mixer (that you would find on an Avid system)...


By: Shane Ross on Mar 6, 2008 at 11:22:20 pm

Last December I was asked to edit a trailer for a documentary.  This trailer would be used to solicit finishing funds.  And while they couldn t pay much, they could pay.  Since I wasn t doing anything in January and halfway thru Febuary, I took the job.  The client asked how they should deal with the payment  I said that I would like half up front, and half when I deliver the final.  That sounded fine to them, so I received half the payment and the tapes to begin editing.I worked on the project for about 3 weeks, and delivered...


NEW SYSTEM Part 5: Arrival!
By: Shane Ross on Feb 29, 2008 at 8:55:08 am

IT S HERE! It was supposed to be delivered tomorrow, but it got here a day early. I was tracking it on FedEx and it seemed to be sitting idle in Fort Worth was there for a while. But then I looked up the tracking number just after lunch yesterday and suddenly it was in Sun Valley CA (here in the Valley, close to Burbank Airport) and on the truck to be delivered! I called my wife...she was going to be out of the house from 11:45 to 3:00...and sure enough, that was when the delivery occurred. But then...


NEW SYSTEM Part 4: Shipping
By: Shane Ross on Feb 29, 2008 at 8:49:21 am

Quick update. My MacPro is finally shipping. And it turns out that I will be getting the original machine I ordered. Even though my dealer bent over backwards to get me the older version of the MacPro, I will be getting the new machine. Why? Well, the XSAN we will be getting will be running Leopard, so the fact that my machine will be running Leopard as well can only be good. And this saves me a few hundred bucks too...which is also a good thing. I am still tracking the progress of the shipment at Apple ...building the excitement....


My broken heart
By: Aaron zander on Feb 20, 2008 at 4:42:44 am

This is something i wrote in another forum about Phenomenon apple s new compositor. it s sad. i trouble shoot fcp daily...actually..a lot more than that. they do such a sh*t job of making apps. really they do. I have NO faith in any major app they release with the spotty work they have done since i got into their proapps fcp 4.5 was THE most stable fcp ever, 5.0 went down the hole, 5.1 showed a resemblance of coming back to ok, and to say that i ve been happy with fcs2 and all that has happened around that...

mac os

NEW SYSTEM Part 3: The Pickle
By: Shane Ross on Feb 16, 2008 at 4:39:45 pm

Ongoing discussion at the Apple FCP forum.I am in a pickle. And goes to show that even people who are FCP Gurus and forum leaders aren t infallible.OK...the situation thus far. I needed a MacPro 3.0Ghz that was to be included in a Tiger SAN network running XSAN. The new MacPros...the one I ordered, do not come with Tiger installed, they come with Leopard. In fact, they are designed to work with Leopard and Apple highly recommends AGAINST installing previous OS versions on the newer machines as they might not function properly. They are designed to work with the new...


NEW SYSTEM: The Apple Thread
By: Shane Ross on Feb 15, 2008 at 10:23:42 pm

Well, I am still awaiting my MacPro. Everything else has arrived: Kona 3 with K-BOX, HD10AVA, RAM, X1900XT Graphics card...heck, I even bought the pieces to the desk I intend to build today. I am discussing the arrival of my machine on this thread on the Apple forums. Trying to build tension, and have fun discussions that aren t meant to solve issues.I ll post desk pics when I get the thing together. I bought various pieces at Ikea, but the design will be unique....


By: Shane Ross on Feb 14, 2008 at 9:32:15 am

With the most recent Mac OS Update, OSX 10.5.2, the Matrox MXO is now compatible with all Mac models, INCLUDING the new MacBook Pros. Finally.To get this to work, the following is REQUIRED:Update to Leopard 10.5.2Then Update to Leopard Graphic Update 1.0Then install the Matrox MXO 2.1.1 drivers.This has been tested by Matrox and according to them, it works. This has always been a thorn in my side, as I try to recommend this great box, only to have to tell people, sorry, it doesn t work with the new MacBook Pro models. Well now it does. Wheeee! EDIT: Well,...


By: Shane Ross on Feb 11, 2008 at 12:34:36 pm

(Freemont Street light show - I was in Vegas this weekend)I am on the verge of buying a new edit system for my next project, so I thought that I d take this opportunity to talk about setting up a good working system. Unfortunately I won t get into exact details on OS versions and QT versions, because that is information that I and others keep closely guarded as this is information we use for consulting. But I would like to explain the general steps and reasons for those steps.First off, lemme get into the specs of the system. This...


Always on the move...
By: Mike Cohen on Feb 9, 2008 at 4:25:57 pm

    While I have never traveled as much as I did in 2000, my job continues to send me on a few different kinds of trips. Recently I received a new laptop, with the hope that time spent locked in a metal tube 5 miles up could be a bit more productive than reading the latest Harry Potter book. Oh yeah, we are out of new Harry Potter books, which is a good thing because those things are heavy. We selected the Dell Vostro. For the price it is a good value. Core 2 Duo, 2gigs ram, 160gig 7200rpm...


Progress on the documentary trailer
By: Shane Ross on Jan 30, 2008 at 9:37:49 pm

While I am on a plane to New Jersey (business purposes), I thought I d take a little time to make a quick post. I am taking a little break from editing the documentary trailer.Things are slow going and the deadline was extended, because of a couple reasons. First off, I have a LOT of interviews to sort through for quote. And second, because a script is being written while I do this, and it isn t done yet. But the script will really be just a guide, one that I can add to, subtract from...change. Typical stuff, but not...


DiscMakers Medley a so-so DVD Replicator / printer
By: walter biscardi on Jan 29, 2008 at 5:21:25 am

For those of you who followed my blog about the issues with the Primera Bravo II DVD Replicator printer, you know that I purchased a DiscMakers Medley unit to replace it. Well, while DiscMakers claimed the print quality of this unit would be equal to the Bravo II, in reality it isn't. This is disappointing because they both feature the same printing unit from Lexmark. The difference appears to be in the Bravo II drivers as there are many more options available to the user to achieve incredibly sharp text and good solid colors. What was printed as a...


Shane's MacWorld 2008 Wrap Up.
By: Shane Ross on Jan 28, 2008 at 7:29:25 am

When Steve Jobs was giving his keynote speech for MacWorld 2008, my buddy Jared and I were standing in the CalDigit booth, both of us staring at our iPhones...parked on the MacRumors site and reading the announcements as they came. That s right...we BOTH had our iPhones out. Wy didn t we just look at one and conserve the other s battery? We were excited. WE ARE MAC ADDICTS! And last year the keynote was exciting. But, with each announcement, our excitement faded. iPhone update? Now I can make my icons dance. Now what? Oh, I can find where...


Media Managing to Smaller Sizes
By: Shane Ross on Jan 28, 2008 at 7:26:13 am

Until this weekend I have avoided the Media Manager, which has been dubbed the media mangler for good reason. In the past, when you used the Media Manager to do anything, it would produce varying results....none of them the correct ones. It still has issues with SPEED CHANGES, but that is because actual media isn t made. But other than that, its reputation has improved.So, here I am working on a project, that documentary trailer that was shot HDV and that I captured as ProRes and DVCPRO HD. I settled on editing it using the DVCPRO HD captures, because I...


Still Image export of DVCPro HD broken in FCP 6.0.2
By: walter biscardi on Jan 24, 2008 at 9:49:37 am

I have just noticed that exporting a still image from a DVCPro HD 720/60 timeline in FCP 6.0.2 yield a choppy, pixelated mess. Definitely wasn t the case with FCP 6.0 and I don t think it was a problem in 6.0.1 either. I also noticed that the images are not being exported in the true DVCPro HD aspect ratio either. Generally when you export an image, it will show up in another application at the same 960x720 frame size as the original, but upon opening the image in Photoshop or Preview, the image is now 1280x720. I would expect...


Shane's Stock Answers, Part 1
By: Shane Ross on Jan 21, 2008 at 3:55:51 pm

One of the things I am known for are my SHANE S STOCK ANSWERS to commonly asked questions. Getting a little tired of typing the same answer over and over, I decided to build a sort of FAQ (frequently asked questions) database and call them Shane s Stock Answers. So when the question came up, I d simply copy and paste my answer. People have often asked if I had a place I stored all of my stock answers...a site they could quickly search through to find what they want.Well yes, as a matter of fact, now I do: Shane...


Biscardi Creative delivers "Green Evangelicals" for The Weather Channel
By: walter biscardi on Jan 19, 2008 at 4:27:57 pm

1/19/2008 SUGAR HILL, GEORGIA Biscardi Creative Media provided primary post production for the feature story, Green Evangelicals airing on The Weather Channel s Forecast Earth tonight. Artist Walter Biscardi, Jr. worked closely with Producer Bruce Burkhardt and The Weather Channel production team to bring the story together. Using Final Cut Pro 6 with the AJA Kona 3 capture card, Biscardi integrated BetaSP, DVCAM and DVD material into an uncompressed, widescreen standard definition timeline. He also created original graphics and motion graphics in Photoshop After Effects.  The Weather Channel added all final lower thirds to the show. This was our first...


The MacBook Air as a Final Cut Pro video editing machine
By: Paul Escandon on Jan 18, 2008 at 8:18:03 am

Everyone is talking about the new MacBook Air that was announced by His Jobsness yesterday at Macworld 2008 in San Francisco. I think you ll find that the majority of people s initial reactions are not glowing and positive as is the buzz with most newly announced Apple products. Yesterday was a far cry from the fan fare surrounding the iPhone announcement last year at Macworld or even all-but-forgotten Mac Mini in 05. I m a professional video editor so I m going to be looking at the product from this specific professional point of view and trying to see...


The iPod as a timecode slate
By: Scott Simmons on Jan 16, 2008 at 10:48:28 am

Originally posted on The Editblog . I recently got suckered into a low budget music video. How low budget? The decision was made not to hire an audio person for playback. Without that audio person it meant there would be no audio master made for the song and no timecode slate for syncing later in post. What was the solution? Use an iPod with video and make our own timecode slate! We dropped the audio into a timeline and then applied a timecode generator to a slug for one version of the song and color bars to another. This was...


HEY APPLE! I love Media Manager
By: David Battistella on Jan 16, 2008 at 10:47:07 am

OK. I am going out on a limb, but I am going to say it out loud and on the World Wide Web. I love MEDIA MANGER IN FCP. I am sure that you are all hearing the sounds of people hitting the floor, but it is true: I think that the Media Manager in FCP rocks. I am a bit sick of people bitching about the MM in FCP but I have to say that I have become a student of it and I have been using it to my advantage. I think that the biggest problem with MM...


Clockwork: Bass Ackwards Workflow?
By: Sterling Glass on Jan 16, 2008 at 10:41:55 am

This portion of my three-part catch-up blogs focuses on the audio portion of my music video project. I have read many tutorials and seen just about every podcast on how to lip-sync animation to audio in After Effects. Alas, after much trial and error, none of those methods worked. It wasn t until I got a response on Adobe s Audition forums , that I was given a somewhat workable solution. What I wanted to do is have the main beat to the song be the rhythm to the video. And to be over-literal, have a clock ticking to the...

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Video tutorial - Final Cut Pro bleach bypass film look
By: Paul Escandon on Jan 16, 2008 at 10:39:49 am

Hey everyone - I just finished my first tutorial here with a new site I am starting Please check it out and feel free to comment. (not sure if I can do embeds here so if not, I ll post the direct links. Also, these and future video posts can be seen on my other blog site, The tutorial is how to achieve a quick and dirty bleach bypass look using nothing but the Final Cut Pro color correction filters....


Mac Pro (8 core) RAM available on 3rd party sites
By: walter biscardi on Jan 15, 2008 at 5:50:25 am

While spec ing a new Mac Pro (8 core) system today, I found that RAM is now available at 3rd party sites. At it s almost 50% less than Apple s pricing. 4GB RAM at Crucial - $269 4GB RAM through Apple Store with Mac Pro - $500 has the same RAM for $229, though they only list the 3.0ghz as the top of the line machine, not the 3.2Ghz so I would check with them before purchase. Other World Computing ( has their own RAM for $249.99 Nice to see the 3rd party sites have caught up...


Capturing HDV as ProRes...via Firewire
By: Shane Ross on Jan 12, 2008 at 9:41:37 am

Before I go into this, if you haven t read Chris Poisson s article here at the Cow on how to capture HDV as ProRes 422 via firewire please do so now. I ll wait. ght, let s talk about what I am doing now.I have been hired to edit a 5-10 min Teaser for a documentary...a teaser that will be used as a fund raising tool to solicit more money to finish shooting and editing this documentary. This documentary was shot on HDV at 1080i 29.97 using the Sony VU1 HDV camera...with another one as b-camera, and at one...


Internet Killed the Video Star
By: Aharon Rabinowitz on Jan 10, 2008 at 7:41:48 am

Hi everyone - I ve been pretty silent for the last few months because I ve been hard at work on a new Creative Cow Master Series DVD - Internet Killed the Video Star: A guide to Creating Video for the Web. The 4.5 hour DVD will be available very shortly. Feel free to spread the word. Here s the basic description of the DVD: Whether you’re posting video for a client, putting your demo reel on-line, creating a video podcast, or building video training for the web, the Internet is conspiring to keep your work from looking its best....

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[he-loh]: an introductory term
By: Aaron zander on Jan 9, 2008 at 5:38:22 pm

Ok, so I supose I should start one of these with an introduction to my self, and though I will be talking about me whenever i'm talking here and my experiences, we all had to start some where, and the start is where we are at. So lets begin shall we? First off, if you have issues with bad grammar and possibly bad spelling, than I recommend you leave asap, as I am good at neither. Secondly, I want to thank you for reading the following, and any subsequent entries. If it wasn't for the COW, and the readers at...


By: Shane Ross on Jan 7, 2008 at 10:07:00 pm

A.C.E. editor Harry B. Miller III ( over at the American Cinema Editors Blog ( talks about his experience in editing a feature film with FCP. A nice frank post about the strengths and weaknesses of the application in a tapeless feature film workflow.(thanks to Scott at the EditBlog for the link)...


Working with HDV...finally
By: Shane Ross on Jan 7, 2008 at 10:05:10 pm

Well, it was inevitable. Sooner or later I d have to work on a project that was shot with an HDV camera. And now here it comes. It will be a trailer for a documentary on Shamanism. I say trailer with quotes because it isn t like a movie trailer...2 min tease of what the movie is about. No, it is a partially shot documentary in need of finishing funds. So I will be cutting a 10 min mini-doc (do I love those quotation marks or what?) about the subject.And it was shot on HDV. With the VU1. And not...


Multiple Track Example from FCP
By: walter biscardi on Jan 3, 2008 at 6:28:17 am

In response to a query in the Final Cut Pro Basics forum, here s an example of why we would use more than one video track in FCP. This is an older project from 2003 hence all the video is offline, but it shows 17 track of video in use. Why? Because there is a lot of compositing and overlays going on to create an urban / gritty look requested by the Producer. When I get a chance, I ll pull a screen grab of this scene, but for the moment, as best as I can remember, here s what...


By: Shane Ross on Dec 14, 2007 at 12:54:35 pm

This comes from the Scott Simmons over at the Editblog. n-the-timeline/I have heard people ask for this all the time, and I didn t know how to do it either.  All these things that FCP can do...some people know how to do this, some how to do that.  Great thing is that we can share those tips with other.Thanks Scott....


Just finished: video tutorial
By: Paul Escandon on Dec 5, 2007 at 10:29:57 pm

A few weeks ago we drove up to Burbank and shot Outdoor Channel show host Michael Waddell on a green screen for Outdoor Channel Broadband ( ) and site tutorials. I shot on Sony HDCAM and composited the pieces together in After Effects. Big ups to Rich Sinatra for virtually creating a copy of our entire site from within After Effects - he did all the dirty work and I just had to tweak some of the changes that have been made to our site in the last few months. Also, John Beattie recorded sound and produced the...

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By: Shane Ross on Nov 28, 2007 at 3:46:04 pm

My FULL review of the Matrox MXO and the new 2.0 drivers (which actually came out in April) is up here at the Creative Cow.


By: Shane Ross on Nov 7, 2007 at 1:07:42 pm

Here I sit in the online of my latest show, watching someone else do all the work.  This show, SURGERY SAVED MY LIFE ( Battleground Miami is the episode title...on Discovery Health) was done the old fashioned way, an offline/online workflow.  We offlined on Avid Meridian v11s on G4 s running OS9....all the media on a Unity.  Sure, it s old, but it still works and works well.  I had very few issues, and really enjoyed being back on an Avid.  Well, I cursed at it a few times when I had to do something that in FCP would be...


By: Shane Ross on Oct 29, 2007 at 10:44:45 pm

To edit your version of her latest music video, BOUNCING IN THE CLOUDS. website has posted FULL RES quicktime files of each camera angle (five of them) in the DV codec. And from the look of it there is a LOT of green screen work for this. So this isn t only an exercise in creative editing of a music video, but also compositing work with green screen. Now, green screening DV, which is a bit of a task, but some good practice nuntheless.Now, I find this to be a BRILLIANT idea. Release the footage to a the aspiring...


Apple Color - What it can do.
By: walter biscardi on Oct 27, 2007 at 7:00:08 am

So there's been a lot of talk on the forums lately about Magic Bullet Looks now being available for use in editing systems and I'm even going to try it out shortly myself. But for those of you with Final Cut Studio 2, keep in mind you have probably the most powerful color grading software available for desktop computers in Color just sitting there . Yeah it's not perfect, there are some issues to work around, but I have to admit, even with the issues, the end results are nothing short of stunning. I thought I would share some before...


Pressure easing off...ahhh...
By: Shane Ross on Oct 1, 2007 at 6:42:29 pm

Whew...what a hectic two weeks. The two weeks I talked about two posts ago. But now, that pressure is off. Well, not off, but lessened by QUITE a bit.Met with the director, the lead actor (also a producer) and the main producer on Saturday to look at a rough cut of the first half of the show and talk things over. Overall they liked it. Wondered why a few things were missing, and it was due to it not being in the script and me not knowing where it went. So I took notes and we talked things over and...well...the...


By: Shane Ross on Sep 29, 2007 at 1:57:25 am

OK...I haven t posted anything in a while (although I have a LOT to say) because I am busy.  And I mean...BUSY.  I am working on three projects at once:  1) Discovery Channel show (day job that pays the bills), 2) Short film that I am color correcting and prepping the audio for a mix, and 3) A short film by the same director that I am editing.On the Discovery show, I am entering editing territory I am not too familiar with.  CHARACTER driven show...they want to focus on the doctors and their life in the trauma center affects...


The CAN-DO Sri Lankan tsunami documentary trailer
By: Paul Escandon on Sep 17, 2007 at 9:46:08 am

Most of you who know me are very familiar with this project that I am working on, but for those of you who don’t, here is a link.. I invested A LOT of my time into this project. I traveled to Sri Lanka with Eric Klein and James Sicignano in early 2005 to document the tsunami that happened in December 2004 - and spent countless hours, with the help of Eric Klein and Matt Bieler, cutting this trailer for a movie that we are still in the process of making. Here is the direct page link:


Shooting an NPPL Live paintball event next weekend
By: Paul Escandon on Sep 13, 2007 at 12:45:52 pm

Next weekend I’m going to be travelling to Kansas City, MO to shoot an NPPL paintball event that is going to be broadcast live over the Internet on .  This is going to be the first time that I’m going to be working an event like this and I’m looking forward to the run-and-gun shoot, edit, and deliver process that we’re going to have going. Basically, the event is streamed live over the Internet with a production switcher that I imagine handles 3 or 4 camera angles. Since there is down time during the day that would normally translate...


Thrilled for Thelma's third! Oh yeah, and Marty's first.
By: Tim Wilson on Sep 13, 2007 at 2:07:27 am

As glad as I was to see Mr. Scorcese finally earn a well-deserved Oscar for directing, I was even gladder to see Thelma Schoonmaker earn her third one for Best Achievement in Editing, for her work on The Departed. She also won in 1981 for Raging Bull and 2005 for The Aviator. She was nominated for Gangs of New York, Goodfellas, and in 1971, Woodstock. (I remember that Scorcese was an editor on that as well, credited as Marty Scorcese. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I remember that, in addition to Asst. Director, he was listed...


Jonathan Demme's "Man from Plains" Premieres, BCM provides assist
By: walter biscardi on Sep 8, 2007 at 4:11:30 am

SUGAR HILL, GA9/8/2007 Jonathan Demme s new documentary, Man From Plains , about former President Jimmy Carter had its World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 7th, 2007. The film received a two minute standing ovation and will next be presented at the Toronto Film Festival with the Carters in attendance on Monday, September 10th. The film is an intimate two-hour portrayal of the 39th President set against the backdrop of Carter s Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid book tour. Biscardi Creative Media, located just outside Atlanta, Georgia provided extensive production support for this project working with Producer Gary...


By: Mike Cohen on Aug 29, 2007 at 7:00:22 pm

Remember your Mentors. I had a few great ones during college, and I believe everyone starting out should have one. Prior to going to college, that is high school, I was not really interested in learning, or reading, aside from the required readings. However a few key instructors in college, even before actual production classes, activated some dormant gene in my brain. Thus a love of reading and learning was born. Prof. Markham - I could be mistaken about his name, it was 17 years ago, but my first semester Freshman year history professor was hated by most of his...


By: Shane Ross on Aug 25, 2007 at 10:11:26 pm

I have become the type of editor that I used to make fun of as an assistant. In fact, I am sure the two assistants we have on this show are making fun of ME as I write this.What is that kind of editor? The one who doesn t pay attention to what drive they are rendering to, or capturing to. The one who when something bad technical happens, is pretty much useless in terms of figuring anything out.How did this happen? I was the assistant who figured all of this stuff out. I knew all the tricks to get...


By: Shane Ross on Aug 25, 2007 at 10:06:05 pm

I was chatting with an editor friend of mine the other day about this and that...installing updates that won t break FCP, our various experiences with shows that we were/are working on, network nonsense...when the conversation turned to transitions. We were just talking about editing and concentrating on a good story were key, and how many productions/networks try to make shows better by adding fancy transitions. Complaining more like it. We are always asked to make it better or more exciting with cool transitions But, does it really? No...well, they may LOOK cool...I suppose...but does it make the show better?...


Biscardi Facility overhaul with Bob Zelin
By: walter biscardi on Aug 18, 2007 at 2:46:45 am

So I just have to pass along this wonderful experience we ve had and it really underscores the tremendous community we have here at Creative COW. For about a year I ve been contemplating an upgrade to our facility to make it more efficient. When I started in 2001 I had one edit suite and hoped to add a 2nd one at a later date. In 2003 we expanded to that 2nd suite and I was eventually able to get a full sized rack unit to hold all my tape decks, my computer and some storage. It worked pretty well...


Cool down your Mac Pro
By: walter biscardi on Aug 17, 2007 at 7:08:01 pm

A technology company I regularly talk to told me about this cool little tool that can really help keep your Mac Pro cooler by increasing the Fan RPM s inside the box. What s really nice is that the change in RPM is completely silent. It s freeware called SMS FanControl and it s up to version 2.1.2. After installation you simply set the RPM you want for the various regions of the machine. In the case of the Mac Pro there are four regions and the default for these regions are 500 - 600 RPM. The folks suggested I...

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Video Memories Episode I: The Phantom Edit
By: Mike Cohen on Aug 1, 2007 at 11:46:44 am

Having run out of present day things to talk about, allow me to get back into the groove or recalling past experiences. Summer 1994 We got a project doing a promotional video for a local hospital. The on-camera hosts were Skitch Henderson, former leader of the Tonight Show band, and his wife Ruth. Day one included the on-camera intro, using the trusty TRS-80 powered teleprompter. Being entertainers, they nailed the intros, and we were off to shoot other b-roll around the hospital. At one point we needed a "patient" in bed, so I began my tradition of appearing in videos....


Timecode Hell - Old-school Editing
By: Mike Cohen on Jul 30, 2007 at 11:02:45 am

For about 2 months I kept putting off the project I completed today. As with most things for which one procrastinates, the actual work turns out to be not so bad. This project should be a straight forward edit. Client reviewed the TC VHS dubs, wrote accurate times, and sent me the tapes. Only problem is, I did not shoot the video. Nor did I make the time code dubs. 1. The person who made the TC dubs read time-code off the VHS tape - or they set a tape counter and let it run as a superimposed time-code-like readout....


I Love Flying
By: Mike Cohen on Jul 10, 2007 at 10:09:31 am

I am sitting on a plane, heading to Florida for a much needed vacation. My parents are excited to show me their canasta skills! This got me thinking about my travel experiences related to video production of course. Let me begin by saying that as many hundreds of airplanes I have been on, it still amazes me that you can strap yourself into a metal tube with wing-shaped gas tanks, and travel at 300-500mph, then land and come to a stop without an explosion. It is a miracle. Now on with the show... Upon taking my job duping tapes, my...


Video VS Still Images
By: Jacki Schklar on Jul 4, 2007 at 8:33:53 am

I have been thinking about this for a couple of years. My background is over ten years of still photography experience and only a couple in video/multimedia. After seeing all the assorted multimedia applications with so many bells and whistles, this kid with the camera , who had never put it down, did just that.  I moved from Tennessee to Maine and enrolled in a video/multimedia production Associates program because I felt behind and limited in technologies, which I was. Began an internship with a CBS affiliate two weeks into it. Was hired after my first semester. Hardly touched a still camera in Maine. Very...


In Camera Editing
By: Mike Cohen on Jun 25, 2007 at 1:22:09 pm

The first video I ever made was American Money a 3 minute video for 8th grade history class. I did almost no research or preparation, to the point where I was drawing each frame before shooting. Oddly enough I have met producers with the same preparation skills! Seriously, it was one of several school projects using video. Note to reader, this was in 1986 using a video camera attached to a boom box sized portable VHS recorder. The secret to these early videos was in-camera editing. Shoot what you want in the sequence it needs to be and don t...


Apple Color Testing Part 1 - DVCPro HD 1080i/50
By: walter biscardi on Jun 22, 2007 at 6:33:00 am

I ve started my in-depth testing with Apple s Color and my first tests show that DVCPro HD 1080i/50 material is a major problem in Color. Test One: I opened Color and brought in a 1080i/50 DVCPro HD clip to a timeline.1 - The clip shows as 1920x1080 DVCPro HD and not 1440x1080 like it should.2 - I cannot select DVCPro HD for the codec anywhere.3 - I cannot set the Frame Rate to 25. It is greyed out in 23.98. UPDATE - This was operator error, frame rate needs to be set before adding a clip. 4 - What...


Apple Color Testing Part 2 - 1080i/60 DVCPro HD
By: walter biscardi on Jun 22, 2007 at 6:32:28 am

My tests on DVCPro HD 1080i/60 Material Test One: I opened Color and brought in a 1080i/60 DVCPro HD clip to a timeline.1 - The clip shows as 1920x1080 DVCPro HD and not 1280x1080 like it should.2 - I cannot select DVCPro HD for the codec anywhere.3 - I cannot set the Frame Rate to 29.97. It is greyed out in 23.98. UPDATE - This was operator error, frame rate needs to be set before adding a clip. 4 - I could not render out a DVCPro HD File, the option to render out in “Original Format” is greyed out.Now...


Apple Color Testing Part 3 - 720p/60 DVCPro HD
By: walter biscardi on Jun 22, 2007 at 6:31:53 am

My tests on DVCPro HD 720p/60 Material Test One: I opened Color and brought in a 720p/60 DVCPro HD clip to a timeline.1 - The clip shows as 1280x720 DVCPro HD and not 960x720 like it should.2 - I cannot select DVCPro HD for the codec anywhere.3 - I cannot set the Frame Rate to 59.94. It is greyed out in 23.98. UPDATE - This was operator error, frame rate needs to be set before adding a clip. 4 - I could not render out a DVCPro HD File, the option to render out in “Original Format” is greyed out.Now...


Final Cut 6 False "Shift Fields" error
By: walter biscardi on Jun 18, 2007 at 5:41:04 am

When opening high definition projects created and finished in Final Cut Pro 5.1.4, FCP 6 is giving me what I consider a false Shift Fields error. Now the problem with this error is that I know for a fact that the Shift Fields filters was not applied anywhere in any of the HD projects I m opening. So I have been answering No to this message each time and have had no issues with playback of anything in the timeline. We are not getting this warning when opening a standard definition project. I have seen some posts in the forums...


My fault AJA Io HD might be delayed
By: walter biscardi on Jun 15, 2007 at 6:25:36 pm

Me and my big mouth! I innocently asked if the folks at AJA could make a few tweaks to the unit so it could REALLY be useful in the edit suite. I think they took my prototype to heart so it s probably my fault if the unit ships late. I think it ll be worth the wait though, I may never leave the edit suite again!...


All Things Apple - Audio Production Links
By: walter biscardi on Jun 5, 2007 at 5:46:50 am

Hi all! Here are some links referenced by our All Things Apple - Audio Production episode. Jayne Olderman - Patrick Belden - Apple Logic - DigiDesign ProTools - langid=100 itemid=22700 For collecting royalties: registering copyrights: And here s a couple of shots of Jayne, Patrick and I at Jayne s Studio during the podcast recording....


Control Surface for Pro Editing / Graphics / Compositing
By: walter biscardi on May 14, 2007 at 3:57:02 am

In response to a post on the Creative Cow Final Cut Pro Forum, my choice for a control surface to run all Pro Apps on a Mac is a Wacom tablet. I run a 9x12 Intuos 3 in my suite and I just can t see working without one. For one thing, carpel tunnel syndrome just doesn t happen with a tablet, so you can work your 14 - 20 hour days and have no wrist pain. Second you get your entire workspace right on your tablet so there s no pick up the mouse and drag a second time...

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Nifty FCP 6 Feature overlooked by many
By: walter biscardi on May 6, 2007 at 5:42:58 am

You know it's been a few weeks since NAB and surprisingly nobody has talked about a nifty little feature of the new Final Cut Studio and how it interacts with the new iPhone . You can actually install a "lite" version of Final Cut Express by putting the install discs in your machine and then connecting the iPhone via USB. Go into the Customize settings of the Installation screen and you'll see a "Lite" option appear. This only shows up when the iPhone is correctly attached via USB so be sure to connect the phone first before launching the installer.What...


Ask a Filmmaker
By: Julia Camenisch on May 3, 2007 at 11:16:05 am

I always thought IMDB was nothing more than a huge listing of people and movies, cross-referenced ad infinitum. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon +Ask a Filmmaker+ . Very cool feature....


ArtBollocks - Are we all guilty?
By: adam taylor on May 2, 2007 at 6:00:12 am

I have toyed with the notion of having a blog for a while now, but only yesterday did i actually find something worth discussing online...namely Artbollocks, and how it pertains to the video industry. If its a term you are not famiiar with let me explain....It refers to the way "artists" justify what they do by means of pretentious, overly complex and fanciful descriptions validating whatever creative decision they have finally chosen to take. I was reminded of this just yesterday, when visiting a major exhibition of works by an internationally renowned (and for the sake of this blog -...

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Quicktime Player now reads Timecode
By: walter biscardi on May 1, 2007 at 3:57:15 pm

As Chi-Ho Lee noted on the Final Cut Pro forum today, Quicktime 7.1.6 has been released in anticipation of Final Cut Studio 2 and you can now read timecode in the Quicktime Player. Wow! Finally! Not sure why it took so long, but here s the proof. If you click on the running time you now get a drop down box which gives you three choices of the Standard Running Time, Timecode and Frame Number. Here s the clip now showing the original timecode off the camera tape. VERY cool and now anyone with Quicktime Player can accurately see timecodes...

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Storytelling with Real Life
By: Julia Camenisch on May 1, 2007 at 12:29:26 pm

Life is stranger than fiction, or so they say. And even though my day to day existence doesn't contain much fodder for prize winning television, there are many true stories out there that make for riveting viewing. If the term "documentary" makes you yawn, you might need to shed your preconceived notions of picture slideshows. This genre is full of creativity and artistic expression. In fact, I'd say that watching documentaries is one of the best ways to learn the elusive art of storytelling. So before you go to Blockbuster for yet another Hollywood crafted fable, take a few minutes...


There is such a thing as free quality music...
By: Julia Camenisch on May 1, 2007 at 12:22:26 pm

Wow. I just got done listening to music at , and was quite impressed with the quality/price ratio. Only seven bucks for these songs? I don t know how this company makes a profit, but if you need some music, get it from here before they raise their prices! In fact, if you use this address: , you get one free song for opening an account. Hey, don t be slow in clicking that link. Do it now! You can always come back and finish reading this blog later......


Who's up for Premiere Pro Training?
By: Jacki Schklar on Apr 29, 2007 at 8:20:50 am

Jeff Schell s Premiere Pro workshop, June 9th and 10th (a weekend) looks good. If the class makes enrollment and I can get the time off from work I ll be there. I ve wanted to visit the Pacific NW anyway...

premiere pro

Demo Reel Design, Part 2
By: Julia Camenisch on Apr 26, 2007 at 11:12:14 am

Like I said earlier, your demo reel has a very short period of time in which to grab a prospective client s attention and convince them that you have what it takes to deliver the goods. So how can you maximize on that short span? 1) Put your best foot forward...ASAP! Make the first 15-30 seconds of your demo reel electric. Your best footage, the best spot you ve ever done, the best scenes from your short film - whatever you re putting in, make it, you guessed it, the best. 2) Customize your reel to match your strengths to...


Rough Cut Lady song
By: Julia Camenisch on Apr 24, 2007 at 12:38:21 pm

I m sure you ve seen this, but if not, it s a gem. Rough Cut Lady song...


Post-NAB thoughts and musings - PART 1
By: Paul Escandon on Apr 20, 2007 at 10:46:06 pm

I returned back home from Las Vegas and NAB on Tuesday night after spending 2 1/2 days in the City of Sin, my last few hours being spent at the wonderful Hofbräuhaus next to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino where I, along with coworkers and friends, downed their great tasting German lager out of ridiculously massive 1 liter glass steins while enjoying what I have to imagine is "classic" Bavarian folk music. After having a few days back home to digest what I saw and learned (not to mention playing catch up on the current show I'm editing for...


By: David Battistella on Apr 20, 2007 at 8:18:50 pm

Well. I might have bought Logic for no reason (thank god I make music too), But i was relieved to see that they finally got the OMF imtegrated in this version of soundtrack.  How many times have I wanted to export an OMF from my FCP timeline into another app (other than Protools) on my mac to do the final mix on some of my projects.   I can tell you that there was a huge sign of relief when I saw that the new version of the software was going to make it really easy to import OMF.  For those...

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NAB_From a Distance
By: David Battistella on Apr 19, 2007 at 2:15:23 pm

It s a relief because the speculation has ended and we can focus on how we are going to use these creative tools in our everyday lives.  In my case it s as a film maker and I have to say that I am thrilled.  I like to think of myself as a complete film maker.  My background is as an editor and everytime I see a release like this, I can t help but think about how much I wish it was all coming sooner.  I mean, I m not getting any younger and these are all of the...


How's Yours? Demo Reel Design, Part 1
By: Julia Camenisch on Apr 19, 2007 at 12:34:54 pm

As the old saying goes, you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk...and that applies to video production skills. Even though you know your level of expertise and are convinced of your suitability for a particular job, how does the client or employer determine whether what you say matches what you do? Even quoting past experience and credits might not be enough to sway a skeptical opinion. No, the true key to recognition is in your demo reel. A demo reel allows a potential employer an opportunity to see your work in action and to judge for...


Clockwork: Procrastination (ironically) pays off ...
By: Sterling Glass on Apr 18, 2007 at 5:11:20 pm

... at least for this project. While tweaking the markers I had set up in Audition of the demo version of the song, Audition crashed. Like a first-time user, I just glanced at the screen and thought that my changes before the crash were still there and saved the file instead of Save As... . I was using the Spectral Display in Audition to see where the kick drum hit in the audio since I want to make my animation sync with the music. When I looked at the Spectral Display of the audio, nothing was there. So, I reinstalled...

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Apple's Color, my thoughts
By: walter biscardi on Apr 17, 2007 at 6:40:52 am

On Sunday, April 15 at the NAB Apple Event, I fully expected to see the application formerly known as Final Touch re-released under the Apple name. What I did NOT expect was for the product to re-christened Color and for the application to simply be given away as part of the new Studio 2 package. A little history here. Final Touch was the brainchild of Silicon Color and was positioned to compete against the likes of daVinci, a very high end color correction tool used for broadcast and feature films for years. Generally a daVinci session goes for anywhere from...


Cheap cam phone images of NAB Exhibit Day 1
By: Paul Escandon on Apr 17, 2007 at 2:41:09 am

Well here are some images for those of you who aren t able to be here. I ll give my full verbal breakdown a little bit later... I m too tired to get into it right now......

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Biscardi NAB 2007 Diary - 4/13/07 4:30pm
By: walter biscardi on Apr 13, 2007 at 5:48:19 pm

We ve arrived in Sunny Las Vegas! Checked in to the fabulous Flamingo hotel which we really used to enjoy for the penquins in the outdoor habitat, but they checked out last year so it s not quite the same. Still gotta love staying in the original strip hotel that started it all. As you can see from the photo we re staying in the top of the line penthouse suite with a classic Strip view, only the best for Cow members! Tonight will be a little rest and relaxation as we ll be taking in the Jay Leno show...

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Walter Biscardi's NAB 2007 Schedule
By: walter biscardi on Apr 13, 2007 at 5:25:41 pm

Well folks, NAB 2007 is upon us and I hope to be able to meet some of you. So if you re going to Las Vegas, here is where you ll definitely find me! Sunday April 15 - Apple Event AM, Panasonic Event PM Monday April 16 - AJA Booth all day, Booth SL6113 directly across from Apple. Tuesday April 17 - AJA Booth AM, Booth SL6113. Creative Cow booth PM, Booth SL2626. Between Adobe and Grass Valley (on your right as you walk to the Apple booth.) Wednesday, April 18 - Presenting HD Finishing in Final Cut Pro as...

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"First Post!"
By: Paul Escandon on Apr 6, 2007 at 9:15:49 am

Well here it goes, my first post on yet another new blog... Thank you, thank you. Please stop your applause. No, seriously. Okay.. While I ve started many blogs in the last 5 years with only a couple remaining (pretty much just personal/family type blogs) I m always a little hesitant to go all out with a new one - but having a blog on Creative Cow was really appealing to me since I have never had a blog primarily devoted to the industry I currently work in and my professional interests - and those are editing, motion graphics, directing, production,...


The Curse of the Yellow Hammer
By: Christian Glawe on Mar 25, 2007 at 2:58:24 pm

We all know how techno-centric our industry is. And how quickly that technology changes. Simply keeping up with all the new capabilities, gear, workflows, software, platforms, etc. can be a full-time job. And gear is critical. We can t do our jobs without it, and we can t do our jobs *well* if we don t know how to best *use* that gear. But.... we re supposed to be creative artists, too. In fact, I d argue that those who find long-term success in this business aren t necessarily those with the most gear, but instead, those who can find...

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Even Network QC gets it wrong sometimes.
By: walter biscardi on Mar 23, 2007 at 7:42:01 pm

So I ve been dealing with several issues with an international network that has a primarily European distribution area. We seemed to have everything worked out this morning and suddenly I get a notice from QC that our audio was suddenly rejected as being 8db too hot. 8db too hot! I m completely dumbfounded. How can audio on this show, which was professionally mixed, be 8db too hot? We ve already delivered three episodes and each passed QC with flying colors and suddenly we screwed up this big? Of course I check the timeline first and foremost. Tone is -20db,...


Edit to tape.
By: David Battistella on Mar 14, 2007 at 6:46:55 am

EDIT TO TAPE- A STEP BY STEP GUIDE First off command 0 opens the sequence settings. Type in 00;58;40;00 as your sequence start time for the final sequence you want to output to tape. Click OK.   The next step is to layback one minute of color bars at the head of your sequence. You then want to place a program slate after the bars for ten seconds. then put in a two pop at 00:59:58:00 Next you want to set your program start to 01:00;00;00.   Type the value 01:00;00;00 in the tap left corner of the timeline to...


Internal vs. External RAID
By: walter biscardi on Mar 13, 2007 at 8:24:22 pm

So a recent thread in the Creative Cow Final Cut Pro forum about Internal vs. External RAID's got me thinking more about the subject. I'm a firm believer in external RAID's and really don't have any desire to install 3 or 4 drives inside my Mac Pro tower. Let's think about this. Companies like LaCie, Ciprico, Medéa, CalDigit, Facilis and others spend a lot of time in research and development to produce storage solutions that are not only fast, but reliable. Every board, every drive, every switch, everything about that storage solution has been drawn up, assembled and tested by...


Keyboard Covers
By: Charlie King on Mar 9, 2007 at 11:34:09 am

I went to another blog that explained the value of rubber keyboard covers for different programs. I thought that is a very novel idea, protection plus all the shortcut key labels. WRONG!!!! As I did a search I find they are only made for Apple products. Why hasn t someone done this for PC s. It seems more and more editing programs are being built for PC s many of which don t even have an Apple counterpart. No one has thought about creating keyboard covers for PC s? That seems really strange. Charlie...


Firewire issue with Panasonic AJ-HD1400
By: walter biscardi on Mar 7, 2007 at 5:23:11 am

We've discovered an audio issue when using the Panasonic AJ-HD1400. A high end "crackle" is being added that sounds somewhat like sizzling bacon or crackling cellophane when laying back to tape via Firewire. I honestly can't hear it as I have a hearing loss in both ears, but the fine folks at CineFilm in Atlanta who convert our DVCPro HD masters to HDCAM heard it and alerted us. We tested a second 1400 unit and the problem occurred there too so it appears to be an issue with the model line. Panasonic is aware and are currently working on the...


From the Edit Suite
By: walter biscardi on Feb 28, 2007 at 6:46:45 pm

I have a blog now, so I thought I would take you guys and gals into the Edit Suite and let y'all know what we're working on at Biscardi Creative Media. 2/28/2007 , Cutting Episode 4 of the environment series, "Assignment Earth" and this episode focuses on the Mekong River in Thailand. Footage is stunning HD shot by Roger Herr of Atlanta who traveled to Thailand with Producer / Host Gary Strieker. Roger and Gary took a Sony Z1 HDV camera with them because a lot of travel was via very small boat on the Mekong and if they were...

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