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Old March 26th, 2003, 11:19 PM   #1
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Format for Distribution?

I have this crazy idea to try to license a couple of projects to smaller independent television stations. They're shot (hopefully well-shot) and mastered on miniDV (from which I've been turning out DVDs).

I know little to nothing about professional formats. Do the smaller stations want DVCAM? BetaSP? Something else?

I know about bars and tone and a countdown. I just have no idea what physical format to use assuming anyone is actually crazier than me and wants to license and air these things.

Thanks.
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Old March 27th, 2003, 08:58 AM   #2
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You need to ask the station what they'll accept because ya never really know.
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Old March 27th, 2003, 09:29 AM   #3
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I'm going to try to "mass market" this, i.e. prepare some marketing slicks and send them out with either a DVD or a VHS review copy of the project(s). These are the kinds of things which I've seen aired before, and I'm hoping that a very low license fee will make them attractive to stations that are looking for the odd hour (or half hour) to fill at very low cost.

This makes it a little impractical to call each station that might be interested.

Would it make sense to simply put in the marketing slicks, "available in the format of your choice" or something similar? As I live in southern California, I assume it would be an easy enough (and inexpensive enough) matter to get conversions done if anyone wants to buy them.
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Old March 27th, 2003, 09:43 AM   #4
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I think the "available in the format of your choice" is a great idea. That way when someone does say yes (notice i said when and not if) you can get exactly what format they need as well as any other requirements (bars/tone, timecode, whatever...)

Where in SoCal are you?
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Old March 29th, 2003, 09:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Where in SoCal are you?
Orange County (for the moment)
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Old March 29th, 2003, 06:21 PM   #6
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Stations are accustomed to getting review copies on VHS; just let them know that they can have the real thing on Betacam SP or whatever format they want. I doubt there is a TV station in the country without a Betacam SP deck, though I did have to get a 3/4 dub made a couple of years ago for a cable station at a small town out in western Kansas. That didn't mean they didn't have a Betacam deck, just that their cart machine was still 3/4.
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Old March 29th, 2003, 09:09 PM   #7
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Thanks.

Should the review copies have bars and tone and a countdown?

And, at the risk of proving my total ignorance of this field, I'm planning on two versions -- one for PBS stations with no commercial breaks, and another for commercial stations with breaks edited in. For the commerical version, is there a new countdown for each lead-in back from break?
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Old March 29th, 2003, 10:29 PM   #8
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Paul,
Re: This link may be helpful with respect to planning submissions for PBS. It provides funding info, production guidelines, etc.

Good luck.
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