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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old April 11th, 2008, 06:52 AM   #1
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is this possible/viable

hi, I m looking for all your thoughts on something if possible please as im sceptical that what is being offered by a company(unknown) is feasible or financialy viable...so here goes..
I have often filmed Ice skating competitions, some of which run for 2 days and about 10 hrs each day.
Most parents what a DVD of their child skating but each competitor could in theory be in 3 different events over the 2 days. Meaning that you would need to produce an individual taylor made DVD for that competitor at say£10.00.eg competitor No1 is in event 3,10 on saturday then event 28 on sunday evening, so thats one dvd comprising of event 3,10,28. Competitor number 2 is in events 5,8,27 so again author 2nd dvd for that competitor comprising of those events.and so on requiring perhaps 40 one off dvds.Nightmare!( I have also seen it where you only get your competitor taken from each event onto the disc)
I have done this in the past but I dont see this as sensible as authering 60 individual dvds is too time consuming and renders my 11 disc multi burner useless.I now offer each event as a seperate dvd meaning i can mass produce discs.but only say 28 different ones .but the parents will have to buy 3 dvds if their child is in 3 events.
I now see someone offering a same day service meaning that the individual dvd will be available by the time you leave at the end of each day , all for just £10. so, when my daughter skates saturday morning then again sunday evening (last to skate) a dvd of all her competitions will be sitting waiting when we leave! about 30 mins later ,wow.
So after all that my question is how is this done, has anyone done this, how many people would it take and if more than 2 people involved is this really financially viable if the most dvds you could sell would be say 130( very optimistic figure , as i would suggest max would be 80 sold.)
Thanks for your patience cheers john
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Old April 11th, 2008, 08:25 AM   #2
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Anything is possible. You would really have to see the finished product to determine how well it is put together for a customer. I potentially could film all day using a wide angle on a firestore and give that to the customer which has no personalization to the customer but is essentially what happened during the day. Without seeing the finished product it would really be hard to determine. Financially it would be profitable if no editing was done and you again were handing out a wide shot of the production.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #3
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Only way i can see this being possible is obviously it a damn fast workflow.
For example, shoot with something like an EX1,have a few memory cards,fast laptop,big hard drive, probably external, big stack of dvd's obviously,few assistants.

So,take orders and money in advance from competitors/competitors parents and get some sort of program,ie little jane might be doing her last routine early on sunday so this'll help.

>make a folder on the hard-drive competitors name eg,jane bloggs,and all other competitors by name.

>shoot event jane bloggs or whoever event 1

>hand card to assistant

>assistant offloads/rewraps card 1 straight into jane bloggs folder,takes a few mins.

>assistant returns and swaps cards,he gives you card 1 you give him card 2

>assistant then returns to lappy and offloads

>assistant returns to you,swaps cards etc etc,you get the idea.

>then immediatley after jane bloggs has her last routine,offload that into folder,open editing program,render/burn as mpeg-2/dvd.

This is how i could do it with my kit,I've already done this type of thing,on my own,with my lappy next to me while shooting,for 8 hours constant,,BUT in 30 mins after the show,no way for the burning,it takes around 5 mins to burn a dvd after it's been rendered to mpeg-2.
80 dvd's x 5 mins = 400 mins,nearly 7 hours !!

Paul.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 09:59 AM   #4
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Or...you could do it the way I do it with a friend of mine all the time. We work mostly in the Western region of the States, but he's gone to events back east as well. This is our basic workflow:

1. Manned camera is set up rinkside. Footage is captured directly to PC with DV Rack.

2. Rinkside PC is connected to a media server via wired Gigabit.

3. Media server is used to edit clips as they are ordered.

4. DVD is burned and handed to client before they leave.

It's a simple setup, but the customer gets their own custom DVD and it's good footage of their child/client/whatever, closeup and personal. This takes additional personnel as well. As I don't handle the financial end of this (I'm contracted as a cameraman) I don't know what the profitability of this is. As my friend continues to do it year after year I've come to sense that there is some level of financial viability. Either that or he doesn't like to keep his money. He also does photography with the event, and that is obviously more profitable than the video. Anyway, I thought this info might help. Good luck.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 11:05 AM   #5
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Skating Workflow

John,
My company does this type of thing regularly, it's a real challenge but very doable. The most important thing is pre-prep and having a crew that can run the workflow fast and be able to think on their feet as challenges arrise. The real work comes in the back room at the rink where the edit stations are.

We typically run it like this:
Sales station set up with Visa machines in the lobby, parents order off of a skater schedule sheet that we provide. We work with the organizers to get the perfect final schedule and have orders based on this schedule AND THIS SCHEDULE ONLY!!! We clearly tell them that if there is a schedule change with less that 2 hours notice we may not have a DVD ready that same day. Get the money up front is another must. Any body ordering after 12 noon on skate day will have to get their DVD the next morning or have it mailed out for an additional $2.00 (many do this anyways and thus reduced the rush of editing on the spot, late orders are moved to the end of the edit list.)

In the back room we have a pre editted front end template of the event with some graphics and a live action intro shot at the night before practise sessions and a title screen of the skaters name and club. Once we even had photos of all skaters added from the event photog from a pre event shoot. We make this intro ahead of time for EVERY skater, wheather they ordered a DVD or not and set it up on the PC in a dedicated folder for each skater.

Rink side we have a camera set recording direct to tape and a DVD recorder. Each group of skaters (6-12 kids) gets recorded and then the tape and DVD (which is carefully pre-labeled with the times, group and scheduled skaters names) are picked up and moved to the ripping stations. There the tape is stored for back up and the DVD is ripped to a working folder (very fast as its only about 15 mins long) and then cut up and the files are dropped into the individual skaters folders with their preproduced intro. From there the editor takes the intro and the skate video into the suite, does a quick clean up edit. adds the intro and exports a DVD compliant file.

Next the burning station takes over and outputs a DVD, prints the predesigned individualized label and case and takes it to the sales table for pickup.

Near the begining of the event the turn around is less than one hour, near the end painfully longer but thats how it goes. We have easily done 100 skaters same day.

3 rinks
4 cameras
4 computers
6 people

100 DVD's at $24.95 , well we aint getting rich but it's a living.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 05:06 AM   #6
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Thank you for the replys and sorry for the delay in responding.
Well they didnt manage to make custom dvds this is what they did..
They filmed with mini dv camera direct to a set top TV DVD recorder using AV out then at the end of each event copied the DVD using a multi burner.So there was no menu , printed disc etc.When I saw they were using av out i was concerned about the picture quality and sure enough when i watched the DVD last night,,very poor and out of focus!, it also jumped and skipped on my player(and it plays anything!) so I feel better, particulaly as they knew me and were very pleased with themselves for coming up with such a good idea.
Oh yes no awards ceremony either on the discs and they wanted to charge for each event until it was pointed out that the order form didnt state that..ouch!
So thanks again and giving me an incite into how pros do the that kind of work..what a contrast! Quality still counts.john
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Old April 13th, 2008, 02:22 PM   #7
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deleted... wrong post. DOH!
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Old April 13th, 2008, 04:38 PM   #8
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Chris,
So are you filming the group as a whole or are you concentrating on that person's child? This would seem pretty hard if you had all 12 parents wanting a dvd and only 4 cameras operating. I am under the understanding that you would have to shoot more of a wide shot and gather the whole group to make this work. Right?
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Old April 15th, 2008, 03:02 PM   #9
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Each kid skates individually, sometimes as a group but it's rare. We shoot every kid and cut it up in the edit stations so only a given kids performance is on each DVD. We spend a lot of effort to make sure the raw DVD's are labeled correctly so we only have to rip the needed scenes to save time. Remember the trick to this workflow is that we are working with mpeg2 all the way through, no need to encode for output, just a quick re-encode of the altered frame-rocket fast.

The framing varies but it's usually a full shot to show the foot work and I usually allow a little extra head room to catch the jumps if they happen. We don't usually shoot very wide as you lose the facial expressions, and thats what makes the parents feel the emotion of their kids efforts-solid gold stuff.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 03:10 PM   #10
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Got it! So you shoot at mid range with 4 cams per skater. This would allow a quick cut with multi-stream editing and then output. Sounds like a good method if everyone is efficient. Good job

Jason
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Old April 16th, 2008, 01:21 PM   #11
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No, not exactly. We shoot one camera per skater/ice surface and have a backup cam incase of gear failure or a known difficult routine (ie: where there will be multiple skaters performing independantly on the same ice surface at the same time). The last event we did had three ice surfaces thus the four cameras. Usually only one camera is rolling per skater. The edit is very basic, just a clean up/tighten up of the tails and adding the preproduced elements.

If we were actually doing multi cam edit decisions we could never meet the crazy timeline for same day delivery.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 01:29 PM   #12
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Just a clarification this is for skating competitions, not an ice show. This is just like the type of skating seen during the Olympics, not Stars on Ice style. Skaters are performing prearranged individual routines infront of a group of judges, not for an audience. I'm not sure if you did the work for the figureskating show last week at the PA Arena, but it's nothing like that, it's very fast paced, one skater after another doing the same routine for marks with each routing only lasting maybe 2 minutes tops. Kid one is still skating off the ice as kid two is being introduced.

For ice show we do it a whole different way, multicam and a whole bunch of editting and everyone gets the same DVD. BTW, no money in the iceshow deals as very few parents want to shell out another $40 for a DVD at seasons end. With the judged DVD's most look at it as a skill improvment tool, some parents even buy DVD's of other kids for comparisons. One time a mother bought the DVD of every winning performance, a few bucks to say the least.
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