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Why Live Training Still Matters in the Internet Age

Never has so much information been so easily available to so many than today. Right here on this very site are literally MILLIONS of tidbits of information, nuggets of knowledge and full blown training products ready at a moment's notice. For the bulk of what we need to know in this industry, this information is invaluable. Especially when we're getting started with a new tool, knowing how and which buttons to push is the information we need to get us past "launch this tool."

But when it comes to the creative side of the industry, well that's better served in a communal setting. Sure there's things like Google Hangout, but there's nothing like being in the same room, the same space with other like minded individuals to bounce ideas back and forth. It's more organic and yields better results when you're actually face to face looking at the same screen, the same document, listening to the same audio.

I know when I work alone in an edit suite for too long, I lose a sense of "just how good is this thing." I love the collaboration of bringing in another editor or 2 or 3 or more and saying "look at this" and just hit play on the keyboard. No introduction, no anything, just "look at this." As soon as playback is over it turns into a natural discussion that covers everything from the sound to picture to text to graphics and whatever else was, or was not, on the screen. We always need that extra set of eyes and I find it most collaborative when all those eyes are in the same room bouncing ideas and looking at the same thing.

It's the same when it comes to creative training. Put 20 people in a room discussing green screen lighting for a while and you're going to end up with one heck of a discussion. Not just 20 avatars sharing text, but physically in a room where you can actually get up, move the lights around, move the cameras around, try techniques, share knowledge and so on. Now put 400 creatives in one location going all manner of workshops covering a wide range of topics and suddenly you have a HUGE knowledge bank all sharing and bouncing ideas in person, in realtime. Beyond the workshops there are the early morning coffee and breakfasts, the lunches, the evening dinners all which will lead to knowledge sharing. I see this every single year at NAB and it's one of the things I really love about that event. We just basically talk shop non-stop for four days and it's incredible how much knowledge you walk away with in that short of time.

This love of personal collaboration is one of the reasons I helped start the Atlanta Cutters User Group two years ago and why I was so excited when we came up with the idea for the Southeast Creative Summit. Yeah it's fun to converse via Twitter, Forums and Google+ but it's so much better to actually shake hands and swap stories. Of course when we started this concept, I never dreamed we have an Academy Award winner, Emmy winners, Peabody winners and more leading the workshops at the Summit, but it has happened. So not only do we get to hang out with each other at the workshops, the coffee shop, at dinner, but we get face to face time with some absolutely amazing industry icons.

Sure it's convenient to just be an avatar and hang out virtually with folks, but man it's so much better to hang with real people. So get off the couch, come out from behind your computer and get out there. Network with REAL people. Shake some REAL hands. Get to know the people in your neighborhood and around the block. If you own a company, in many states, like here in Georgia, you can get tax write-offs for sending your folks to seminars and workshops.

May I humbly suggest you start at the Southeast Creative Summit? October 25-27 here in Atlanta and only $495 for all three days with the code creativecow2013. Well actually it's only $449 with that code through Saturday night, Sept. 28th.

May I also humbly suggest the Atlanta Creative Ball on October 26th with a raffle over $26,000 and counting. You can meet the Founders of, Ron and Kathlyn Lindeboom and meet our Keynote Presenters Josh and Jason Diamond.

Posted by: walter biscardi on Sep 26, 2013 at 2:44:20 pm Southeast Creative Summit, Training

"Certificates of Completion" will be available for the Southeast Creative Summit

We received an inquiry today from a corporate client asking if Certificates of Completion for the Southeast Creative Summit would be available for Attendees so that employees would receive re-imbursement for their expenses at the event. While some companies will pay outright for their employees to attend a workshop event, others have the employees pay out of pocket and then re-imburse the employee upon receipt of a completion document or certificate.

The answers is absolutely we will have a Southeast Creative Summit Certificate of Completion available for those who require them for re-imbursement and anyone else who would like to have one for their files.

Great question and if you have any more, please contact us at info at

Posted by: walter biscardi on Sep 9, 2013 at 2:48:20 pm Southeast Creative Summit, Training

Aerial Photography Workshops announced for Southeast Creative Summit

As previously announced, Yonder Blue Films will be leading two workshops at the Southeast Creative Summit and these are a MUST attend for anyone who is considering adding aerial photography to their arsenal. There is a LOT you need to know, both legally and creatively, before you take the plunge into this emerging field of production.

An Introduction to Aerial Photography
This workshop is a MUST for anyone considering aerial photography. Ben and Will have been flying for over a year and they will introduce you first and foremost to the the rules & laws of flying which is one of the most confusing aspects of aerial photography. From there they will get into the gear & variations in flying machines. In other words, you’ll know what you need to know BEFORE you get into aerial photography.

Aerial Photography 101
Yonder Blue Films has been all over the country shooting with their quad rotor unit. Will & Ben will offer tips and tricks for flying and shooting. What you should and should not do. If it can be arranged in the hotel, we’ll do a demo flight at the end of the workshop.

You can view Yonder Blue Films incredible work on their website:

The Southeast Creative Summit runs October 25-27 in Atlanta, GA with 56 workshop sessions covering all aspects of Production and Post. Early Bird Tickets are only $495 with the code creativecow2013 but those sales will end on Sept. 25th.

The Atlanta Creative Ball will happen Saturday, October 26th with a raffle that is already over $26,000.

Posted by: walter biscardi on Sep 9, 2013 at 8:34:05 am Southeast Creative Summit, Training

Beyond the Southeast Creative Summit, What to do in Atlanta

Atlanta's not just southern fried food anymore y’all!

The Southeast Creative Summit is happening Oct 25-27 in Atlanta, GA

One of the coolest things about Atlanta is that it’s such an interesting town for all ages and all interests. It’s not just “Tara” and “Gone With the Wind” anymore. From incredible cuisine to amazing theaters to all manner of attractions, there’s something for everyone here.

Ok, first of all, the Sheraton Hotel (our host for the Summit) has a gorgeous New Orleans themed indoor pool area with a retractable roof. Lots of space to lounge about and with the roof, rain won’t interrupt your “pool time.” There’s two full service restaurants and a 24 hour coffee / snack service with a beautiful bar overlooking the pool. For those of you who live in the Atlanta area, the Sheraton is a great “stay-cation” destination too!

Most folks think barbeque, fried chicken and all manner of southern cooking when you say Atlanta. But how about Ethiopian, Indian, Pakistani and all sorts of fusion cuisine? I’m a huge foodie and have experienced some of the best meals of my life in and around Atlanta. Queen of Sheba Ethiopian is a personal favorite. The Vortex (pictured above) in Little Five Points is both a gastronomic and visual delight. “Better Burger Joints” are popping up all over town with their own spins on the classic American fare. Rosebud is a classic from chef Ron Eyester and features my favorite High Road Craft ice cream. Tuk Tuk is a cool Asian Fusion restaurant with the best snow cone dessert I’ve ever had. If you’re a foodie, there is so much to eat and see beyond “southern food.”

For attractions, you start with the largest aquarium in the world right off Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium. It’s not just a big building, it’s unbelievably stunning. Definitely save the underwater tunnel and the “Big Tank” for last. It will take your breath away both from the sheer size and when the whale sharks first swim by. They are amazing. Come out of there, walk about a block and you’re in the World of Coca Cola. Taste flavors from around the world, check out the memorabilia and my favorite part, see the commercials from everywhere. Some very creative stuff being produced in all parts of the globe. For serious thrills, Six Flags over Georgia will be open on the weekend with plenty of roller coasters to get your adrenaline flowing including Goliath. A hidden treasure for you Jim Henson and Muppet fans is the Center for Puppetry Arts which houses some incredible works from both Henson and Children’s Workshop. I could go on but we have more links in the Area Attractions page for you to check out.

If you like live theater and concerts, there’s something going on every weekend in Atlanta. The Fox on Peachtree Street is a classic Baroque theater that hosts both live shows and movies and sometimes has tours on the weekends, well worth it. Dinner theater, comedy standup, traveling Broadway shows, live concerts are available all over the city. Just check out the online ticket sites to see what’s playing that weekend.

So beyond just coming for the Summit and the Atlanta Creative Ball, bring your other half, bring the family and enjoy the City of Atlanta as a mini vacation with something for everyone. We’ll see you there!

Walter Biscardi, Jr., Co-Founder, Atlanta Cutters

Posted by: walter biscardi on Sep 9, 2013 at 8:27:21 am Southeast Creative Summit, Training

What you'll learn at the Southeast Creative Summit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apple's new One-on-One training policy. Nice way to treat long-time customers

So I was at an Apple Business Networking event last week here in Atlanta and I asked my business rep about signing up for some One-on-One training for iWeb. It's a simple enough program but there are some aspects of it and re-working my website that would be better if I worked with a trainer one-on-one at the store. He told me I can't sign up for one-on-one unless I purchase a computer. It's Apple's new policy that people cannot simply sign up for one-on-one training anymore unless you purchase a product.

Ok, so I have 4 Mac desktops, 4 iMacs, 1 MacBook Pro, 1 Mini an iPhone, 2 iPods and 3 full copies of Final Cut Studio, iWorks and iLife. And that's just what I currently have. All told we've been through about 20 or 30 Macs since 1998 with my two companies. But I'm not permitted to purchase one-on-one training because my last purchase was about 3 months ago?

You would think that in this economy we'd be looking for ways to add revenue stream, not remove it. Nice way to treat a long term customer.

Posted by: walter biscardi on Jul 4, 2009 at 12:05:48 pmComments (1) apple, final cut studio, training

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

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

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

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

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



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