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A Great Read About Star Wars/Disney Deal
By: Richard Harrington on Mar 17, 2013 at 6:18:28 am

For a great article about the business behind the Star Wars/Disney deal take a look at the video and article from Bloomberg. An inspired read for those working in the creative fields and interested in the value of intellectual property. At first Lucas wouldn t even turn over his rough sketches of the next three Star Wars films. When Disney executives asked to see them, he assured them they would be great and said they should just trust him. Ultimately you have to say, Look, I know what I m doing. Buying my stories is part of what the deal...


Cloud Computing Confusion
By: Richard Harrington on Sep 1, 2012 at 8:57:00 pm

A new survey by Citrix find that most folks have little to no understanding of cloud computing . For those reading, the cloud in this case refers to a network that allows for data to be accessed from a variety of devices. Here are some highlights of the survey. 95% of those who think they re not using the cloud, actually are 3 in 5 (59%) believe the workplace of the future will exist entirely in the cloud 40% believe accessing work information at home in their birthday suit would be an advantage More than 1/3 agree that the cloud...


Getting the InBox Under Control
By: Richard Harrington on Aug 22, 2012 at 5:16:09 pm

Missed messages, slow responses, lack of courtesy. All of these lead to a loss of business and a hit on our professionalism. But the deluge of email is overwhelming and keeping up on it (plus all the social media messages) seems like a full-time job. Here s a few tricks I use to keep things manageable. Make Rules Your email application should have a function called rules. You can now have messages flagged, colored, bolded etc. Add your best clients and existing business to a rule and make sure you see it. While you re at it make a rule...


Progress Billing for Creative Projects
By: Richard Harrington on Feb 22, 2012 at 8:15:18 pm

Image by iStockphoto Save 10% Billing is one of those subjects that can often be an uncomfortable conversation. While you may not be comfortable talking about money, your client will be a lot happier if there are clear expectations that define the business terms. Every video or photo project should be split into progress payments. The benefits of progress payments are many. First, it gives your client confidence that you have motivation to complete the work and show progress. Second, by splitting the financial payments across progress you ensure protection for your financial security. Typically, I recommend the use up...


Know Your Oponent
By: Richard Harrington on Dec 5, 2011 at 9:15:00 pm

There are several reasons you might not be paid by a client (and most have little to do with a dissatisfied client, aggressive behavior, or conspiracy). Here are a few practical strategies I employ at my office. Use s systems of deposits . We will bill incrementally for work. An initial deposit, another if substantial pre-production is required. A bill upon initiation of shooting. Another after post-production. By spreading out your payments, you aren t serving as a bank to your client. You can also catch a flaky client before you ve handed over assets and lost power. Take credit...


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...


This American Land Interview with Co-Host Caroline Raville
By: walter biscardi on Jun 4, 2011 at 5:02:13 am

A new behind the scene interview has been posted on the website for the new PBS series, This American Land, being cut at Biscardi Creative Media. This time with Co-Host Caroline Raville. An 8th grade teacher for Gwinnett County Georgia Schools, she's making her national television ...

Final Cut Pro

This American Land Interview with Exec. Producer Gary Strieker
By: walter biscardi on Jun 4, 2011 at 5:00:26 am

A new behind the scene interview has been posted on the website for the new PBS series, This American Land , being cut at Biscardi Creative Media. This time with Executive Producer, Gary Strieker, a longtime CNN correspondent / bureau chief. Gary and Walter Biscardi, Jr. have been working together for many years now on environmental and global health projects. ...

Final Cut Pro

Comfort Zones and Other Musings
By: Mike Cohen on May 3, 2011 at 5:43:23 pm

Make a list of what you do well, what you could do better and what you need to learn how to do from scratch. ...


Scope Creep
By: Mike Cohen on Apr 15, 2011 at 9:30:02 am

I am not referring to the weird neighbor who stands in his front yard on starry nights looking at constellations, but scope creep can be just as much trouble! ...


Completing and Beginning
By: Mike Cohen on Mar 25, 2011 at 4:22:22 pm

This week just finished is the week before a big medical convention. In fact, we built and launched a web-based meeting guide, complete with mobile versions: ...


The Importance of Making a Budget
By: Mike Cohen on Feb 10, 2011 at 8:10:52 pm

Budgets are important not only when bidding on a project but also for creating your own self-funded work. In fact, more so. ...


Essential Questions to Ask at the Beginning of a Project
By: Richard Harrington on Jan 31, 2011 at 11:05:00 pm

Through the years, we ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way. While every project is unique, it often seems that the problems remain the same. Here are a few questions we always encourage asking at the start of any video project: Who is our customer? Projects often have many parties involved. Be sure that you know who you re responsible to keep happy. What is the purpose? You need to know what the video is trying to accomplish. How will we measure success? Determine which factors will be used to judge the success of the project. What do...


Don't Miss the ASMP Strictly Business Conference
By: Richard Harrington on Jan 26, 2011 at 10:52:00 pm

I'm speaking at ASMP's Strictly Business Conference. There are two stops left for this great show on business for photographers. REGISTER HERE FOR PHILADELPHIA or CHICAGO The American Society of Media Photographers invites you to the Strictly Business 3 Conferences, the newest generation of this highly acclaimed series. FULL CONFERENCE DETAILS Your registration includes 4 meals, 2 receptions, 2 keynote presentations, 6 workshops and bonus evening sessions. This packed schedule will inspire you and direct your career! When and Where February 25-27 in Philadelphia...


Progress Payments – Get Paid for Creative Work
By: Richard Harrington on Jan 14, 2011 at 3:40:00 pm

I wanted to just share a thought with those of you who are doing creative work for hire. Make sure you are getting progress payments along the way. The last time we hit an economic rough patch (back in 2001) I remember getting stiffed by a client who went bankrupt. This client of course had paid their bills consistently for 2 years... but then the doors closed and I was out nearly $5,000. Let's just say... lesson learned. The basic tenet is progressive billing. Make sure you are invoicing the client throughout the life of a project. This way you...


Writing Proposals
By: Mike Cohen on Nov 1, 2010 at 6:19:03 pm

There have been numerous threads on the Business and Marketing Forum about how to write a good proposal. Do you do a treatment, a storyboard, use a cover sheet, a spiral binding, or simply make it a one-pager? ...


Multi-cam Shooting - Bad Choices
By: David Roth Weiss on Oct 14, 2010 at 9:15:45 pm

I've often advised producers on both the FCP Forum and the Indie Film and Documentary Forum that shooting mismatched cameras in multi-cam situations, just because you have access to one or more cameras for free, does not save money at all. Post typically eats up 60% of a budget as compared to production's 40%, so fixing things in post typically costs considerably more, and it usually leads to something else getting chopped from the project. ...


Sales, Marketing, Networking and Audiovisual Support - A Winning Combination - Now with Video!
By: Mike Cohen on Oct 4, 2010 at 7:31:30 pm

A lot of what goes on around this website has to do with media production. However, to do media production you need one of two things - work coming in to fund the media production, or back end funds coming in in exchange for the produced media. ...


Creative COW Magazine: It'll be five years, come December 19th
By: Ronald Lindeboom on Sep 30, 2010 at 8:00:29 am

It seems like only yesterday but on December 19th it will be five years since we first officially and publicly announced our plans to launch Creative COW Magazine. Five years already? Time flies. At the time, it was an insane gamble but the last five years have proven it to be a risk worth taking. ...


Trade Shows Revisited
By: Mike Cohen on Sep 27, 2010 at 3:19:26 pm

Most talk of trade shows on the COW is related to NAB, CineExpo, IBC and the like - trade shows for our trade - media production tools and techniques. Attending these shows helps media professionals do their jobs better and offer their clients excellent services. ...

trade show

Meeting Invitations via Apple Mail
By: Richard Harrington on Sep 27, 2010 at 6:46:00 am

If you re using Apple iCal, you can easily invite people to attend an event. Your Mac can tie together iCal, Mac OS X Mail, and your Address Book for a cohesive event invitation system. Guests can receive invitations via email or right inside of iCal. Set up a card for yourself in Address Book (in your Applications folder). Launch Address Book and click the Add (+) button. Enter your business contact information (including email address), and then choose Card > Make This My Card. 2 Switch back to iCal and create a new event or double-click an existing event....


Playing Fair in the Video Business in the Video Industry
By: Richard Harrington on Sep 20, 2010 at 8:26:00 pm

The world of video is going through a revolution when it comes to pricing. When I started my career, tape decks were more expensive than cars and a complete editing system cost more than my townhouse. Oh how the world has changed. The video industry is experiencing a race to the bottom. Gear keeps getting cheaper, which is a good thing in many ways. The problem lies in the cost barrier. Just as you ve been frustrated by every schmo who buys a DSLR thinking he or she is a pro photographer, so have video professionals felt about photographers thinking...


It's 1AM - do you know where your clients are?
By: Mike Cohen on Sep 8, 2010 at 7:00:20 pm

It's 1AM - do you know where your clients are? ...


Doing What's Right for Clients - A Business Lesson
By: walter biscardi on Sep 2, 2010 at 5:46:51 am

If you have followed my career at all and especially my business articles and postings on the Creative Cow Business and Marketing Forum you know that I preach that you always have to do what's right for the client. In today's economy, this is more important than ever, even if it hurts the bottom line for a job or two. ...


Biscardi Creative Media new facility announced
By: walter biscardi on Jul 19, 2010 at 6:37:57 am

Thanks to our friends from the Gwinnett Chamber for this press release. ...

Biscardi creative media

Musical Cameras
By: Mike Cohen on Jun 16, 2010 at 8:51:43 pm

No Steve Jobs, this is not some new gadget you can sell us, just a play on words. Sometimes we have almost had to keep a separate calendar to keep track of who has which gear and when. For example, we recently had 6 shoots in about 10 days. A shoot that is out of state, which many are, means that a camera and associated kit will leave the office at 5pm and not return until approximately 10am 2-3 days later(a person goes too). Multiply this scenario by two kits and three people and you had better make sure you have...


Making Spam Work For You
By: David Braswell on Mar 4, 2010 at 8:31:03 pm

It's not that I don't appreciate flatbed hauling professionals or the transportation industry in general. But a recent unsolicited email offering these services came from a company five states away! Isn't the "impulse buy" one of spam's bigger selling points? I suppose this strategy was part of their company's market diversity efforts. I don't blame businesses for reaching out to potential new customers. This economy has adversely affected many of us. With the end goal of turning potential clients into profitable clients, I've rolled out a new initiative. Dubbed SpamBack(TM), implementation is elementary. With select spam messages (the "medical" stuff and...


What a year it's been...another record breaker for Creative COW
By: Ronald Lindeboom on Dec 15, 2009 at 10:07:29 am

Last year, around this time, we posted that in late November of 2008, the COW passed the Google Analytics ONE MILLION unique visitors a month marker. This year, as we wind down to year's end, we have passed the Google Analytics 2.2 MILLION unique visitors a month threshold. In fact, Q3 of 2009 sustained growth that saw the COW growing by adding another 100,000 visitors every 10 days or so. Against this backdrop, the other day I read a quote by Mahatma Gandhi that said: " First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you...


The greatest book you will read all year -- or next
By: Ronald Lindeboom on Nov 16, 2009 at 8:21:31 am

Those of you who read some of my posts may have bumped into my enthusiasm for Philip Kotler's " Chaotics: The Business of Managing and Marketing in the Age of Turbulence ." If I had to pick the single most important business book that I read during all of 2008 (when I started it) or 2009 (when I finished it), it would be Chaotics. To be honest, people that read this book don't really finish it, they keep referring back to ideas and bits of it -- flashing through its pages so as to rekindle points raised within the book....


A lesson in Poor Customer Service (aka Charter Communications)
By: walter biscardi on Nov 10, 2009 at 5:11:11 am

So here in this section of the Atlanta area, our cable provider is Charter Communications. About 4 months ago we dropped their TV service that we’ve had since about 1998 because their HD picture left a lot to be desired. Specifically, we had about 12 HD channels and of those, only 2 were sharp on any given day. The others were a mess of very obvious compression artifacts. And at one point we had Charter install what was supposedly an HD DVR but it was obviously some really REALLY bad analog DVR that did some horrible upscaling of SD material...


By popular demand: Creative COW Magazine print edition available worldwide
By: Ronald Lindeboom on Oct 31, 2009 at 10:40:10 am

Since the introduction of Creative COW Magazine back in early 2006, we have been asked repeatedly to make the print edition available to our friends and members around the world. Unfortunately, we were not set-up to accommodate international mailings and we had no way to bill them and maintain the record keeping -- well, unless our small team wanted to work around the clock! ;o) But recently we have added the means to allow our friends worldwide to receive the print edition and we are delighted that the response has been beyond our expectations, with orders arriving quite regularly. It...

creative cow magazine

Back in the Saddle
By: Mike Cohen on Oct 19, 2009 at 6:00:18 pm

After a week of travel, which was more like 3 weeks due to the preparation and focus on nothing but the end goal, it is like returning from a long journey. Amazingly, the voicemail was empty and there were no packages piled on my chair. Why? Because nearly everyone I work with on a regular basis was in the same place as I was, many of them at the same hotel. So it was like I was at a high school reunion, assuming that I was part of a class that took 20 years to graduate. So here I am back...


Do What you Do Best
By: Mike Cohen on Oct 13, 2009 at 5:19:27 am

In other words, don't try to be something you're not. We all want to grow, and we creative professionals should always be learning new things: skills and practices. It is the practices that I will focus on in this entry. First skills. There is an abundance on the web and in the real world of opportunities to get new skills. Training classes for Final Cut, graphic design, using the RED camera or whatever. I get the Maine Workshops catalog every year listing everything from an intro to lighting week course to a 6 month live in sabbatical where you write produce and...


The Other Mike Cohen
By: Mike Cohen on Sep 14, 2009 at 1:53:31 pm

In other words, this is a blog where I talk about nothing to do with Media Production or Project Management. But maybe there are still some business and/or creative lessons to be inferred from what I do to unwind... You see, a few weeks ago, my wife reminded me that I had not taken a vacation yet in 2009. So I did what all husbands should do..I listened to my wife and took the week off. Business lesson 1: Listen to those you care about, as they likely care about you too. I set out an ambitious agenda for myself. I...


MBA? We don't need no stinkin' MBA.
By: Mike Cohen on Sep 5, 2009 at 3:57:12 pm

As soon as I get a GANTT chart as an e-mail attachment, that is a sure sign there is an MBA degree holder on the other end. Now don't get me wrong, an MBA is a great accomplishment, and those who use their knowledge to start successful businesses are to be commended. But for those of us in business, who got here in a roundabout way, such as by starting in a creative job...well we learn as we go. What are some examples of learning business knowledge from creative efforts? Example 1 - Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth (ok, that's...


Maintaining astronomical growth in stagnant market conditions
By: Ronald Lindeboom on Sep 4, 2009 at 12:33:03 pm

In December of 2008, we hit the venerable Google Analytics 1,000,000 totally unique users a month threshold. In January 2009, we crossed over the 1.1 million marker. February found us hitting the 1.2 million level. Then, in March, the 1.3 million level was passed. And so on and so forth until, today, in September of 2009, we have reached the 1.7 million totally unique users a month marker. (Being that we serve a professional audience, we always drop during the Summer months but bounce back fast in mid-August or so, as vacation season ends and people get back to work.)...


Rock 'n' Roll
By: Mike Cohen on Aug 6, 2009 at 7:02:49 pm

Do you like to Rock and Roll? In other words, do you thrive on one big event after another, or more likely, one success after another. Anyone who creates media for a living has to make every effort to do the very best job they can every time. We take pride in our work. We enjoy doing even the most mundane tasks. Duping a tape is like selling a song. Authoring a DVD is like selling an album. Producing a live event is like doing a concert. See the parallels? Social media is all the rage these days. Whether you are getting...


How to Go Green without Spending All of Yours.
By: Hawke Taylore on Apr 3, 2009 at 11:28:26 am

Today everyone is either doing the earth-friendly program or is looking to see if you are doing your part. Sometimes, going green can be costly. Here at Taylore Studios we have made some of those changes and we have actually saved some money doing it. Here are a few tips on how we did it. Maybe you can benefit from it as well. 1. Those crazy swirly bulbs. At some point I noticed that we were using a lot of incandescent light bulbs. 100, 60 & 40 watt varieties were all over the studio for just the general lighting....


Creative COW Magazine: The Games Issue.
By: Tim Wilson on Mar 23, 2009 at 7:52:13 pm

Bigger than The Beatles. Big opportunity. (This is an expanded version of my column at the beginning of The Games Issue.) Normally, Creative COW Magazine is heavily production-oriented. We typically talk about high-end cameras and other cutting-edge hardware. So why a games issue, and why now? Because while other parts of our business may be cooling down, games are hot. If you've ever tried to pry your kid (or your boss) away from video games long enough to eat supper (or sign your paycheck), then you know how compelling video games are. Re: hot, here are some numbers. Best opening day for...

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Customer Service
By: Mike Cohen on Jan 10, 2009 at 1:43:09 pm

This is a well-used phrase, but in my experience, an underused skill. Any business or website should have a level of customer service - that is, showing signs that the customer's needs are most important. A happy customer is a repeat customer. In my daily life, I am a stickler for expecting good, or at least adequate customer service. I have learned not to expect much from the youth dominated retail industry. Aside from the odd store manager who is of legal drinking age, most of the retail clerks and sales people you encounter are very young and clearly not trained...


The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
By: Ronald Lindeboom on Sep 19, 2008 at 5:20:08 pm

Well, it s been an incredible ride so far this year: the COW has grown remarkably, with many wonderful new additions to the site, both in the infrstructure of the site itself and the people who now make this site a part of their online home — sadly, there have also been some horrible tragedies on the personal front that have brought solemnity along with the great joy that we find in building the COW. THE GOOD... According to Google Analytics , we will soon exceed 900,000 totally unique users a month — a staggering number when we remember that...

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PowerPoint Video Backgrounds: 7 Tips for Using Eye Catching Video Backgrounds in PowerPoint
By: David Matthews on Sep 18, 2008 at 1:45:56 pm

As more and more PowerPoint users incorporate video and video backgrounds into presentations, it’s more important than ever that it’s done in a way that produces eye-catching and effective results. Adding video and video backgrounds to PowerPoint can be a bit tricky for the uninitiated, so this article gives seven quick and simple tips for using video backgrounds successfully in a PowerPoint presentation. ...


10 Tips for Picking a Great Stock Footage Clip
By: David Matthews on Sep 17, 2008 at 4:47:45 pm

There are more stock footage video clips than ever before but that doesn't mean there is consistent quality with each stock footage clip you search for. There is a vast array of options and choices when hunting for the perfect stock footage clip to use in a video, advertising or PowerPoint presentation project. Searching for a stock footage clip that fits the bill in terms of subject matter and quality of execution can often times be tedious and frustrating. Below is a list of ten tips for picking a great stock footage clip for your next project. ...


Justification for Video Productions
By: Cesar Vera on Aug 25, 2008 at 3:51:48 pm

Hello, ...

business, dumb ad of the week
By: walter biscardi on Jul 11, 2008 at 6:53:08 pm

Ok, my dumb advertisement of the week.  I m seeing an ad for show up again and again on cable channels.  They promise to get your computer running fast again by removing spyware and all those nasty little things that can slow down a computer on the internet. A disclaimer on screen points out this only works on PC Computers.  (this is funny too, but more on that in a moment).  So why is this ad so dumb?  They prominently feature an iMac an an iBook.  Yes, an iBook.   In fact, the computer shown more than any other...


Festival Laurels for your award-winning movie
By: Noah Kadner on Jun 27, 2008 at 2:08:39 pm

Ok so first you have to win some festival awards or at least be an official selection. Then you have to be on Windows. That said here's a very cool application that will make the creation of festival laurels for your movie's poster, DVD box, etc very simple. ...


How to Label DVD-Rs 2008 Edition
By: Noah Kadner on Jun 9, 2008 at 9:18:42 am

This question comes up a lot- how does one label a DVD-R? I would never use a print on inkjet disc- because they smear with just a droplet of moisture nor stick on labels because they peel and jam. Instead- I'd go for one of three technologies- depending on budget and how professional the labels need to look: 1. Sharpie. This is cheap as dirt and works like a charm for sending to replication houses and for internal backups. But not so much given to clients- looks decidely ghetto for that... 2. LightScribe - this is a type of DVD...

mac os Gives New Home for Funny on the Internet
By: Jacki Schklar on Jun 2, 2008 at 8:58:42 pm

 Press release for my new site. It s going quite well. Be warned, the comedy on this site has some adult content. If you are offended by Southpark, you won t want to go there... Gives New Home for Funny on the Internet   Southern Jewish Princess Media Launches Alternative Comedy Site for the Fairer Sex   Atlanta, GA, May 19, 2008 - Finding increased exposure for her comedy web series, The Retributioners , is a mountainous battle for Stephanie Scott. The producer is always hunting for sites beyond the youth-drenched YouTube and male-dominated comedy sites for an outlet...


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...


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