Atlanta Cutters Blackmagic Design - ATL Cutters Platinum Sponser

Blackmagic Design new Platinum Sponsor!

Sep-1-2014 By Walter_Biscardi

We welcome a new Platinum Sponsor to the Atlanta Cutters.  For the next 12 months, Blackmagic Design will carry the Platinum Banner.   They’ve been a HUGE supporter of the group since our founding and we’re so thrilled to have them on board for 2014 / 2015.   Be sure to check out their site for all sorts of cool toys and gadgets for Production to Post.

Why you don’t want to miss the August Meeting

Aug-17-2011 By Walter_Biscardi

Ok, so Digital Asset Management is the topic.  Some of you might be thinking “well that’s not nearly as sexy as having the ‘four A’s’ on stage at the same time like you did last month.”   No, quite honestly it’s not but if anything, this month is even MORE important to the stability and longevity of your work.   Whether you shoot / edit tape or digital cards, we are in a digital world and how you protect those digital assets for the long haul will literally make or break you.

As many of you know, I’ve been a forum host on the communities since 2001.   If I had to pick ONE topic that comes up more than any other, year in, year out, it’s storage.   In fact I believe I’ve tested and reviewed more storage products than anything else in the 10 years I’ve been writing for the Cow.

Post always starts off with, “I’m about to start a new project / build a new system / open a new facility and I’m just not sure what storage to buy.”   There are literally hundreds of storage combinations out there these days, it’s a veritable alphabet soup of FW, eSATA, USB, SAS, iSCSI, FibreChannel, Ethernet, Thunderbolt and so on.  1TB, 2TB, 3TB spinning platter drives plus Solid State Drives with no moving parts.  RAIDS that go from 2TB to 100TB and more.   RAID 0, 1, 3, 5, 6, 10 hut one, hut two, hike!   It always amazes me just how many people really don’t understand what any of this means, but they just go along with what someone else tells them is the best option.

You are going to have a very rare opportunity to meet the guy who in my opinion is simply the most knowledgeable person in the industry who not only understands the inner workings of that entire alphabet soup above, but also understands how to explain it to all of us.  Steve Modica from Small Tree Communications is one of those guys who is a rarity in that he understands the inner workings of many of the computer models we all use and how best to pair up the right storage solution to give that particular system / facility the best performance.   He just gets it and I’m so thrilled he’s going to be there.

He’s going to give a presentation that should help all of you better understand all of the various elements of the alphabet soup.  From there you should be able to make very informed decisions moving forward as to what will be your best option for storage for your systems, from video editing to sound design to graphics and animation.   This is not a sales pitch for Small Tree, this is going to be your opportunity to get that basic knowledge that you never get from a sales rep or an online forum or that latest email blast.    In the long run, having the right knowledge before you purchase any storage system will end up giving you the best bang for your buck.

Now if you’ve been in the industry for even a little while, you’ve heard the name Quantum.  They’ve been doing long term archiving since before it was cool.  Everyone I’ve ever asked about fail safe, long term storage always points to Quantum and LTO.    Now I know LTO is a tape based archive format, but that’s about the extent of my personal knowledge and quite honestly I really don’t know of any other options.  Once again, this is going to be a GREAT opportunity to learn about long term archiving and what options are out there these days.  Where is the archive industry headed moving forward?

Do you shoot with digital media these days?  Are you absolutely, 100% certain that you will able to access your material 2, 5, 10, 20 years from now if you needed a shot for a project or needed to bring an entire project back?   Remember, if you’re archiving camera originals, that’s it.  Your shots are entrusted to the digital ether, either you protect correctly or it’s gone.

How many of you have have had a hard drive fail?   Raise your hands, I’ve got mine up.  It’s a fact of life, hard drive DIE.  Often without warning and ALWAYS at the wrong time.  This 2nd meeting will go a long ways towards giving you some great strategies and options to not only give you peace of mind for your main working environment, but also for the long term health of all those digital assets you’ve accumulated and will continue to accumulate moving forward.  I’m actually really excited to have Quantum presenting because I really need to get up to speed on what the latest options are for archiving.

Beyond all of this we have two great presentations from Founding Members of the Atlanta Cutters.

Kris Merkel will do a DSLR Best Practices Workflow.  Who doesn’t like playing around with the DSLR cameras these days, but how you handle the data can be the difference between losing information and safely protecting it for future use.   This demo cuts across all NLE workflows.

Clay Asbury will kick off the 2nd half of the meeting with some Adobe Tips and Tricks from the Production Premium suite.  He’s a certified Adobe Trainer and this will be the first in our series of quick tips and tricks for each meeting.

So sign up today as this is one of those rare opportunities to gain a wealth of knowledge in one of the most important aspects of all of our businesses.   Protect yours and your client’s assets, you keep happy clients and grow your business.    Oh and don’t forget, we have awesome food from Endive Catering so if nothing else, you’re gonna have a great dinner!

See you next week!

Register here today!  Seating is limited.


Thank you Atlanta for your enthusiasm!

Jul-23-2011 By Walter_Biscardi

When we got together to put this little group together, the four of us knew there was a desire and a need for a group like this.  What didn’t realize was HOW BIG that need was.   We have managed to “sell out” 220 seats for the inaugural Atlanta Cutters meeting coming up this Wednesday, July 27th.

50 to 100 people would have been exciting for us, but 220?!?   We are truly humbled.   Moving forward we plan to make this one of the best and most enjoyable User Groups in the country and for that, we’re gonna need your help.  While the four of us have some good ideas for the upcoming meetings, we need to hear from you.   What types of topics, workflows and tools would you like to see?   Are there folks here in town that we should feature at a meeting and why?

Sign up to be a Member of Atlanta Cutters and as part of that, you can tell us some of the topics you’d like to see.   Getting input from everyone will help us to make this the most enjoyable and informational group we can create.

Thanks so much for your help and THANK YOU for all your enthusiasm.

Walter, Kris, Clay & Dan

Proud Founding Members of Atlanta Cutters

Atlanta, July 20, 2011 – Walter Biscardi, Jr.,  founder of Biscardi Creative Media and one of the founding members of the Atlanta Cutters, today announced that Small Tree, a leading designer and manufacturer of Ethernet network shared storage, would serve as the initial platinum sponsor for the newly formed post-production group.

The primary objective of Atlanta Cutters, which is open to video editors, animators, sound designers and other local creative professionals, is to foster collaboration across the city’s growing production community by focusing on the critical tools and workflows used within their craft.

“A lot of us in the creative industry are trying to do too much by ourselves – the one man band kind of thing – while there might be a really great animator or sound designer right in town who would be an invaluable resource for a project,” Biscardi said. “Uniting professionals from different disciplines within the Atlanta community to improve the creative process is why Atlanta Cutters was formed.”

The group’s first meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday, July 27 at Turner Studios, will revolve around the highly discussed release of Final Cut Pro X and feature presentations from Apple, Adobe, Avid and Autodesk.

“Atlanta is a major hub in the production community and a key market for Small Tree’s continued growth,” said Corky Seeber, president of Small Tree. “With an impressive line-up featuring industry leaders like Walter Biscardi, Jr, Dan Daube, Kris Merkel and Clay Asbury, Atlanta Cutters is sure to be a major influencer in what applications and products professionals should be using and how. For that reason, aligning ourselves with this group seemed not only logical, but also crucial.”

Given the universal need for storage across the entire user group, Small Tree was an ideal candidate to serve as Atlanta Cutters’ first platinum sponsor, according to Biscardi.

“No matter what application is being used, we all need reliable storage to work effectively and efficiently,” Biscardi said. “Having recently installed Small Tree’s GraniteSTOR ST-RAID II in my facility, I can say confidently to other user group members that the technology works with all of the tools used by creative professionals, whether it’s Adobe, Avid or Apple.”

Response to Atlanta Cutters has been phenomenal thus far. Since the recent announcement of its formation, registration for the initial meeting has been fast and furious, with limited space still available. The next meeting, focusing on storage and data archiving, has already been scheduled for August 24th and will be held at Turner Studios. Subsequent meeting dates and locations have not been set. To register, visit

Welcome one, Welcome all!

Jul-11-2011 By Walter_Biscardi

Hi All!

Very proud to kick off the new Post Production User Group for Atlanta and of course all of the surrounding areas.    Too many times these User Groups are application centric and that seems to leave too many folks out.   After all in today’s world, an Editor is not just an Editor.   Heck a Graphic Artist, a Sound Designer, a Web Designer is just that any longer.   Because the tools have gotten so much more accessible all of us are multi-tasking to do whatever it takes to get the job done for the client.   So now it’s a rarity to find any Post Production artist who just wears one hat.

In that spirit, we present Atlanta Cutters.  Sure we’re gonna spend a lot of time talking about the tools we all use, but moreso, we want to discuss the craft of what we do and how we all interact.   So of course you’re going to see a lot of product demonstrations because that’s one way you get to see what’s new and out there.  But we will cover a huge range of topics from acquisition to post to storage to archive to sound to graphics to animation and more.  But you’re also going to hear from folks on the hows and whys of what they do to hopefully both inspire and motivate all of us to do what we do better.   We hope the group will inspire more collaboration by introducing new tools, workflows and even artists to each other.

Most of all, we hope this group is something you look forward to once a month as a fun place to go.   Twitter, Facebook and web forums are great for all of us to connect and help each other, but let’s put the voice and face together with the avatar.

So to one and all in the Post Production Community, we say welcome to Atlanta Cutters!

Walter, Kris, Clay and Dan