“We Eat Our Own Dog Food:” planet5D Exclusive Interview with

by Hugh Brownstone1 Comment

As founder of New York City post-production house Katabatic Digital, Emery Wells and his team first built to handle content sharing and collaboration for his own company – but quickly realized there was a market of 10 million other creatives out there who needed the same thing. We chatted with him to learn more as their public beta begins.

He was just 19 when Emery moved from Miami to New York City to embark upon his filmmaking career. But things really began to heat up when he became one of the first people in New York to acquire a RED ONE (his was serial number 40 at a time when there were only four of them in the city).

“The phone was ringing off the hook,” Emery says. He owned the RED, learned it and “I was on every major RED shoot in NYC.”

And that, in turn, begat other opportunities.

“None of the post companies knew how to work with it. There wasn’t even REDCINE then, that came much later,” he continues. He started offering daily services as a DIT, and transcoded dailies overnight back at his apartment in Bushwick. From there, it was a short hop to color grading and more.

Fast forward through wearing just about every hat there is in filmmaking to focusing on VFX and post.

Emery first rented a single desk in the small office of a friend of his overlooking Union Square (definitely better than making multiple trips up and down to haul gear from his sixth floor walk-up in Bushwick). Within months, he took over the entire office and rented that desk back to his friend (his friend was rarely there anyway). He eventually moved to larger digs in Chelsea where Katabatic remains to this day.

Katabatic has now done “hundreds” of digital shorts for Saturday Night Live — and Super Bowl commercials (color grading). They know the challenges of creating and sharing content: “Ours is not a tangential relationship to filmmaking,” Emery says.

With the rise of the Internet, clients no longer want to come in to the office: they want to work remotely. Like so many other creatives, Emery and the team struggled at first with this new reality not only with the half dozen different services they used to share files, share commentary and stay organized – but with the fact that their vendors and clients didn’t necessarily use the same tools. “Dropbox, private Vimeo links and email for communications; time code for comments that never had the correct time code; clients using other tools like HighTail, YouSendIt, and private FTP — it just became a mess.”

Katabatic explored tailored, professional solutions. “They all looked pretty crummy and were expensive.”

That’s when they began in earnest – about three years ago.

But three years is a long time in Internet years.

“We’ve seen a bunch of [cloud-based, collaborative] services pop up since we started development. Some of them are cool, but they’re only solving one slice of the problem,” Emery asserts. “They only focus on photos, or audio or video; work in process; file sharing; maybe file acceleration service…we’re the first service that really brings it all together.”

Well, yes and no: as Emery and I continue our interview, it becomes clear that “all” is a pretty big word.

It might be more precise to write that is designed to address the totality of the post-production collaborative process, as befits Emery’s background – and he agrees.

“We don’t do much project management [pre-production and production]. We’re more about media sharing and collaboration. We do have tasks — comments in a video can be crossed off, but that’s not the same thing.”

Still, within that narrower focus, Emery says, “we have a great deal of empathy for our users because we experience the same challenges day in and day out.”

Including how expensive collaborative tools can be, especially to freelancers and small teams.

“Over 50% of the content creation market is 3-5 people – or less,” Emery shares. “Hundreds of dollars a month is not accessible for them.”’s pricing plan reflects his view, with five different offerings:

· Free: 1 project, up to 2G of storage
· Starter: $15/month up to 3 projects, up to 10G of storage
· Professional: $25/month, unlimited projects, up to 50G of storage
· Team: $50/month, unlimited projects, up to 100G of storage and 5 team members
· Business: $150/month, unlimited projects, up to 400G of storage and 15 team members

“The origin of product development is experiencing your own problems,” Emery concludes. “We eat our own dog food – when you do that, you understand everything in such a deeper way.”

We wish Emery and the team success: we’re looking forward to trying ourselves.

You can sign up for a free public beta over at [bctt tweet=” is next generation, cloud-based post-production collaboration platform”] UI Tutorial Launches Their Cloud-Based Platform for Video Review, Collaboration and Sharing

Via Press Release:

New York, NY (March 31, 2015) – ( announced today that they have launched their highly anticipated video review, collaboration and sharing platform for creative media teams. Now widely available, is designed to replace the hodgepodge of Dropbox for file sharing, Vimeo for video review, and e-mail for communication. The announcement comes on the heels of an extremely successful beta program which included feedback from over 680 users representing 150 companies.

“We’ve been using the beta of as part of Nice Shoes Creative Studio's workflow for nearly 6 months”, said director Harry Dorrington of Nice Shoes, an end-to-end production and post-production facility in New York City. “It has completely changed the way we work. We were constantly frustrated by the need to utilize multiple programs to achieve what can achieve as a single solution. Our clients value efficiency, and makes it really easy to organize all our different versions, add collaborators from inside or outside the company, while keeping all our feedback structured and efficient.”

Creative teams can begin using immediately via an always-free version, and can easily scale to any number of projects or collaborators with affordably priced monthly packages starting at just $15 per month. – Clean, Elegant, Simple enables media teams to manage multiple projects and clients from wherever they may be. Tools for managing the video production process, include:

● Accelerated uploading in the browser for fast and efficient media file loading;
● Cloud transcoding of video assets for guaranteed playback on any device; with support for professional formats;
● Hover scrubbing for instant preview of clips;
● Seamless drag and drop interface for simple manipulation of files, content and communications;
● Private workspace for managing separate projects;
● Time-based, frame-specific comments and annotations for clearer communication;
● Side by side version comparison for clear, simple view of changes between versions; is social too. Every action performed is tied to an individual user and tracked so project participants receive notifications about what’s going on. It’s built for teams, offering the ability to create a private workspace for each project on the docket and decide who has access to what.

“We’ve been thrilled by the response to our private beta program, and we've really learned a lot about how teams want to work together to produce video”, said Emery Wells, CEO and co-founder of “We've worked with a cross-section of freelance editors, VFX artists and corporate content marketing teams from a diverse portfolio of companies such as Facebook, Nice Shoes, Birchbox and Refinery 29. The feedback we've received has been tremendous and it’s really driven the development and refinement of the product. really is designed by video pros, for video pros. We’re proud and excited to release and we can’t wait to see where our customers will take us from here.”

Pricing and availability is available immediately at Subscription pricing is fully scalable based on usage. For more information please visit

About was developed by people who love creating content, but not the process for creating it. We are filmmakers, VFX artists and post production pros who realized there must be a better way. is all about what happens before distribution. Before you reach the finish line. We want to make getting there faster, smoother, and more efficient. For more information, please visit

(cover photo credit: snap from


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