A presentation at the Atlanta Cutters user group opened up new possibilities for veteran producer and editor Walter Biscardi.
“I had heard mixed reviews about a lot of other higher-end shared storage systems, and until I saw EVO there was nothing on the market that I trusted for a Mac and Windows workflow,” says Biscardi, who has been an early adopter of many video editing technologies. “As soon as I see something that’s going to work, I look at it from every angle, and then I go with it.”
Biscardi has served as a filmmaking and video production consultant to the likes of Apple, Adobe, and Dell, and as a frequent industry speaker and founder of WalterBiscardi.com (an education and training community for aspiring creative professionals) his knowledge of production technology runs deep.
He is a renowned editor and producer with multiple Emmy, Peabody, and CableACE awards to his name. He’s also the founder and chief storyteller of Biscardi Creative Media (BCM), an independent production house in Atlanta, where he and his team apply their storytelling skills to a wide variety of projects.
Today, any production that happens at Biscardi Creative Media is edited on SNS EVO.
Designed for Maximum Flexibility
Because of the volume and variety of projects that the studio works on, BCM houses a mix of Mac and Windows workstations that allow it to be flexible and technology neutral. This allows them to reduce costs by not being limited to OS X and still support a wide variety of projects to satisfy client preferences.
“In other network storage environments designed for video, a lot of editors run into compatibility issues when connecting to Mac and Windows machines simultaneously. Now our team can easily work in a mixed OS environment and move from workstation to workstation with no problems.” This functionality was incredibly valuable because his older storage system would often act up because it didn’t like working on Mac and Windows at the same time.
“When I saw that EVO could do that seamlessly, I was hooked.”
The BCM studio is setup to enable any workstation to work on any application, and every room in the facility allows for 4K & HD output. All of the workstations are connected via 10Gb Ethernet and GbE to the EVO server array, which is housed in the studio’s equipment room. Many of their projects are edited on Adobe Premiere Pro.
BCM opted to switch to Adobe Premiere Pro after working primarily with Final Cut Pro for years. When asked why they made the switch, Biscardi commented “It gives us tremendous flexibility. Its ability to work natively with just about any camera file format allows our editors to get started with the storytelling much more efficiently than if we had to convert everything to a single format. The way the entire Adobe Suite works seamlessly together allows us to do a lot more creatively than if we had to keep hopping from one software suite to another. And on top of all that, Adobe has listened to editors and continuously made updates to the software based on real user feedback.”
Easy File Management gives BCM Peace of Mind
Cut back to SNS’s presentation to the Atlanta Cutters, the user group Biscardi leads and moderates. One of the other things that caught his attention was ShareBrowser, EVO’s built-in media asset management tools, and its ability to dynamically lock Adobe Premiere Pro project files.
“We use ShareBrowser every day,” says Biscardi. “It’s given us a tighter workflow. It’s how we mount everything and move content around. Even for freelancers, it’s a piece of cake to use.”
For Biscardi, ShareBrowser solved a big problem: Previously, having five editors working simultaneously on a project shared on the network was impossible without editors accidentally overwriting each other’s work. ShareBrowser automatically locks specified file extensions and enables multiple editors to open the same Premiere project file without interfering with or deleting each other’s work.
“Being able to protect our projects is big,” says Biscardi. “More than anything it’s huge peace of mind. The project locking is taking care of the kinds of things you don’t want to think about while you’re working.”
Biscardi says that his team also relies extensively on ShareBrowser’s search functionality, assigning the necessary metadata and tags so that finding and organizing files is quick and painless.
Transforming the Existing Storage
Biscardi says that he has been consistently impressed with the support from SNS, and he praises the SNS team for its adaptability in developing a network configuration that offers maximum benefit. This configuration transformed BCM’s previous media storage system into a near-line archive. Instead of ripping and replacing the old storage solution, SNS integrated it into the new one, shifting it into a backup role and effectively doubling BCM’s storage capacity. BCM now uses the old system to house completed projects.
He adds, “We got to repurpose our old RAID system. The SNS guys were willing to help with that. They didn’t look at the old system and say, ‘These are the bad guys.’ Instead, they viewed it as more storage to round out our solution. Their approach was ‘We’ll help you do what you need to do.'”
Room to Grow
Biscardi is at work on the creation of a new lifestyle network that will serve up a broad array of content. With the ability to have his entire team accessing shared media and projects across multiple editing suites, BCM has positioned itself to grow, and EVO will continue to grow with them.
“We needed a shared storage solution that can handle UHD Post and we really needed a simple MAM to help us manage the wealth of data that we’ll be generating over the next few years. SNS has us covered on all bases.”
About Studio Network Solutions (SNS)
SNS shared storage solutions are at the core of optimized video workflow for professional content creation workgroups worldwide. The SNS EVO shared media storage server combines high-performance with extensive connectivity, including 10Gb/s Ethernet and Fibre Channel. With EVO’s included ShareBrowser asset management software, you can search, index, preview, tag, and verify video and project assets with no additional software required. NAS, SAN, or both at the same time, EVO is designed for online real-time video editing with leading video/audio applications including Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro/CC, Final Cut Pro (FCP), Final Cut Pro X (FCPX), DaVinci Resolve, Pro Tools, and others.