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Old August 5th, 2007, 02:03 PM   #1
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Gauging interest in training DVD ideas...

We have been receiving a ton of phone calls and emails lately asking us about how we do what we do, workflow questions, as well as very specific questions about certain shots.

As we don't have time to answer all the phone calls and emails individually, we are developing a Q&A section on our blog just for professionals. A natural extension of that page seems to be the idea of doing training DVDs.

So, I'm wondering how many people would be interested in some sort of training DVD if we were to do one, and if you would be interested, what sorts of things would you be interested in seeing?

DVD 1 idea: I like the idea of doing a same-day edit training DVD that would take you through the workflow on the day of the wedding, you could see footage of us creating it, the reactions of the crowd, as well as a ton of tips here and there that we have learned through experience.

DVD 2 idea: Another idea was to do one based on love stories. It would walk you through how we do our lighting, how we actually interview people, our list of questions, some out-takes of us actually interviewing them and responding to their comments, and then some ideas and footage of our love story footage portions and how we work those. This would also have a bunch of tips that we have learned through years of doing these, as well as several samples from start to finish. The love story DVD would be a perfect compliment to the SDE DVD, and especially as we sell those as a package and I think they work so well together, we could add in a little feature about marketing them together.

DVD 3 idea: An easier training DVD to make, and probably something with a wider appeal, would be one based on the special tools we use, the value they add to our productions, as well as shots of us using them and the footage we get from them. I would probably focus this one on our crane, steadicam, and 35mm adapters, while possibly going to the Canon A1 in specific and how certain cams (A1 vs H1 vs HV20) work with certain tools and the custom presets we use.

DVD 4 idea: Our last idea would be a much simpler one, and would basically be a behind-the-scenes look at how we shoot a wedding, how we intereact with couples, setup (or don't setup) shots, as well as the final product they received. This would include a full wedding video from start to finish as the couple received it as well as a bunch of footage and commentary of us actualy shooting that wedding.

For pricing, we were thinking in the $2-300 range depending on which DVD it is. That would be based on the amount of time we would need to put into these to make them as good and as helpful as I think they can be, as well as the info itself that we would be providing. If we were to do any of these, we would start shooting these soon and hope to release them in the early new year.

These would be geared more towards middle to advanced users, but I think they would benefit almost anybody. These would NOT discuss things like white balance, exposure, unless it was some sort of tip or trick in a certain situation.

We would really appreciate knowing how many people might be interested, any other comments and suggestions, as well as the certain areas ideas you would most be interested in seeing.

Thanks for your time if you made it all the way through this.

Patrick
www.still-motion.ca
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Old August 5th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #2
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Patrick:
Good idea. I would lean toward special techniques in using the equipment, camera settings, post production image enhancements, etc..

Thanks,
John
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Old August 5th, 2007, 03:34 PM   #3
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Patrick - love the ideas. maybe a section on more business aspects. I am know that I want to have a studio space and it not be in my house but can't justify it without sharing the space with a photographer possibly. And, how do you sell packages...do you only work with your photographer or will you do weddings where still-motions photographer has not been booked but the video has been? I don't think this would make much of a dvd but a decent blog entry at least.
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Old August 5th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #4
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i'm not in a minority when i say you're stuff (ok, and Jason Magbanua's) is the best i've personally seen, and i would absolutely love to hear you've made $$$ out of training DVDs coz u deserve it

BUT

DVD idea 2 for example: shame to think your distinctive arty LS 'look' is gonna be potentially mimmicked by all who buy it. you'd be giving away tips on your best-stuff! :)
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Old August 5th, 2007, 05:21 PM   #5
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I'm a big fan Patrick. Would love to see any of the DVDs you suggest. My order of march would be: 2,1,4,3

Would also be interested in a detailed look at your post production work flow, should you care to share, with extra interest if, perchance, you edit in Vegas.
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Old August 5th, 2007, 05:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Wakefield View Post
i'm not in a minority when i say you're stuff (ok, and Jason Magbanua's) is the best i've personally seen, and i would absolutely love to hear you've made $$$ out of training DVDs coz u deserve it

BUT

DVD idea 2 for example: shame to think your distinctive arty LS 'look' is gonna be potentially mimmicked by all who buy it. you'd be giving away tips on your best-stuff! :)
Thanks so much Richard. I appreciate your concern about people mimicking certain aspects of our work and that is of course something we our considering when looking at this. At the same time, I think there is something unteachable about this that really sets people apart. While I do think what we could offer would provide others with the tools to make their work better, and would most likely create more things that are similar to what we do, I think everybody on our end intends to improve faster than we can produce these training DVDs and I'm already giving this info out for free with all the phone calls and emails we have been getting lately.

Thanks again for the thoughts. I'll wait for some more ideas and then post back with some of our comments.

Patrick
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Old August 5th, 2007, 06:08 PM   #7
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I agree with Patrick - you also have to consider that many of us live no where near each other and that we aren't really too much of a threat for competition. I know that we all offer the ability to travel but if a B & G want you to come to them, then that means that they have hopefully already searched for someone in their area and not found what they are looking for. And, I really hate when you ask someone in any profession how they did something and they give you some answer like..."if tell you how then what makes me so special" type thing. If you are so worried about loosing business from this one thing you do then you really should be worried. Helping others along can never be bad business and hopefully it could mean raising the bar for wedding videographers.....time to set the professionals aside from the amateurs that are keeping this industry down
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Old August 5th, 2007, 07:50 PM   #8
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I look at training/tutorials like this....

If my local competition gets ahold of how my workflow is, primarily in post, then there is a smaller gap in how much better I am, and then they to can peddle the same technics I have and the possibilities to loose clients gets bigger.

However, if you need some help with post production exporting, and DVD Studio Pro for Canadian Videos, get in touch with me. My strong points are DVDSP, Comp 3, and Shake.
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Old August 5th, 2007, 08:37 PM   #9
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Thanks for the comments guys but lets try and keep this related to my original question. There are some very good points there about training DVDs in general, but for now, I'm really interested in how many people might be interested in the ideas I put down for training DVDs we have been thinking of.

Patrick
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Old August 5th, 2007, 08:46 PM   #10
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I like the ideas, but think the pricing is too high. There are lots of tutorial/training DVDs out and something in the price range of 2-3 hundred would get you 2-3 DVDs not just one.
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Old August 5th, 2007, 09:08 PM   #11
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All great ideas

Hi Patrick. I would love to see actually all of the training that you mentioned. We are fairly new to this and we don't do a high volume yet, so the pricing you mentioned would probably put us out of the market for now. If you want to reach a wider range of people, I think $100/each would be ideal. I know you'd have to put a lot of time and work into this though, so I also understand why you're considering this pricing. Just thought I'd give you perspective from someone who is newer and more limited on budget. Thank you for sharing your ideas!
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Old August 6th, 2007, 12:29 AM   #12
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Hey Patrick,

I think you might want to really think about why someone might want a training DVD.

Is it to improve what they are already doing? Is it to completely change their business model? Is it to get a few cool tricks to add something new?

Because some of your ideas would involve changing a business model, even though that might not have occurred to you. For example, training on using a crane and steadicam. Well, only high end clients here are even going for two regular cameras, never mind something so 'esoteric' as a crane. I'm not going to watch your DVD, buy a crane and start bringing it along just for the hell of it. You need to sell a higher end package for it.

So I think a very valuable training DVD would be on how to move up to a higher end clientele. What did you have to do? How to set yourself apart? What new product can you offer that can add value (eg. love story). How to sell the idea of having things like cranes and steadicams.

Or perhaps, you could target DVD's to certain markets. Okay, so you have to work with one camera. How can we make that better? You are working with two cameras. What is the best way to handle the shoot? I suppose it looks like I'm leaning towards your idea number 4.

I think a DVD on tips and tricks would also be valuable.

The Von Lankens seem to be successful with training DVDs. You might want to check out what they are doing. Your stuff is so good, that I'm sure you would give them a run for their money...

Cheers,
Vito
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Old August 6th, 2007, 07:49 AM   #13
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Hey Patrick,
I like DVD idea #4. I would really like to see how you and the crew interacted with the couple and in a sense see what you're doing and how your finished product turned out (I haven't seen a full production from you yet, and would actually like to). It would be nice if it was at a lower cost though. I do agree $100 would be the magic number, but that's up to you and the company.

Monday
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Old August 6th, 2007, 08:35 AM   #14
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Training DVDs

Patrick,
I am always interested in good training materials and your work is very impressive. Although how you did certain camera moves and editing are very interesting, I would also be interested in what motivates you in terms of deciding what to capture - especially when time is at a premium.

As a beginner I like to see others work and while it is tempting to copy a style it is more rewarding to develop your own. I am a single camera operation so information on how to tape a wedding with one cam would be beneficial.

The price might be a little high, but if the content is there and it is extensive enoght then it is another business expense and to me would be worth every penny.

Thanks
Jim
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Old August 6th, 2007, 10:06 AM   #15
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Patrick,
I too am a big fan of your work (didn't I see some of your stuff on Digg?). Although I probably would not spend $2-300, #4 would seem to be the most useful. I always like seeing your stuff and try to use it to make my own stuff better. Thanks!
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