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


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Old January 25th, 2010, 04:55 AM   #1
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Review my website

I just updated my website, please review it for me. Most importantly, I updated the landing page and started hosting videos myself instead of using Vimeo.com.

My rates are included as a gift to you:) I'm in Atlanta area.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 10:31 AM   #2
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oh, it's

JDinges Videography
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Old January 25th, 2010, 03:57 PM   #3
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Jeff interesting design, but I hate to say that I am not a fan of most of it.
The full screen image is extremely pixelated and distracting, as well as not very engaging without any audio what so ever.

The navigation is very hard to read against the background, not to mention good web design should always have some kind of navigation available from every page. You should never have to go back to the main page to find another page.

As for the pages, they are very unengaging. The straight black with no additional graphics leaves a very bland and cold feeling to the site. The preview area is very stark as no preview still is on any of the videos. They also take a while to buffer, so you might want to check your encoding bitrate, as I am on a fast T3 connection.

Sorry to be so harsh but wanted to cut to the chase and give you some feedback.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 05:20 PM   #4
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Hi Jeff,

First off, well done for actually doing a web site dedicated to your films, it will develop over time.

I think you need to loose the background movie on the title page as its a 17mb flash file. I would replace with a photo if you are to keep the current layout.

Your sample videos do not seem to stream and have to download first to view, each being around the 20mb mark. I would use same pixel size 640x360 but encode them as streaming H.264.

I think as it stands you would loose a lot of site visitors on slower connections.

I would use your blog site to show the samples or make a new custom Word Press site.

Are you not using Vimeo anymore because of background music copyright issues? have you ever been challenged on this?

Here is a script for a movie poster that shows before playing the clip. it's Quicktime based, H.264 with a .mov QT wrapper. (the extra height 376 is including the controller bar)

///

<<script src="http://www.apple.com/library/quicktime/scripts/ac_quicktime.js" language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="http://www.apple.com/library/quicktime/scripts/qtp_library.js" language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"></script>
<link href="http://www.apple.com/library/quicktime/stylesheets/qtp_library.css" rel="StyleSheet" type="text/css" />
<script type="text/javascript"><!--
QT_WritePoster_XHTML('Click to Play', 'ronnie-poster.jpg',
'ronnie.mov',
'640', '376', '',
'controller', 'true',
'autoplay', 'true',
'bgcolor', 'black',
'scale', 'aspect');
//-->
</script>
<noscript>
<object width="640" height="376" classid="clsid:02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B" codebase="http://www.apple.com/qtactivex/qtplugin.cab">
<param name="src" value="ronnie-poster.jpg" />
<param name="href" value="ronnie.mov" />
<param name="target" value="myself" />
<param name="controller" value="false" />
<param name="autoplay" value="false" />
<param name="scale" value="aspect" />
<embed width="640" height="376" type="video/quicktime" pluginspage="http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/"
src="ronnie-poster.jpg"
href="ronnie.mov"
target="myself"
controller="false"
autoplay="false"
scale="aspect">
</embed>
</object>
</noscript>

////


Take care & good luck, James
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Old January 25th, 2010, 06:03 PM   #5
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I have to agree with what was already pointed out. The landing page is very hard to read, and looks quite amateurish. I would highly suggest hiring a graphic designer or web designer, as this is the single most important impression you can make on your potential clients. I used to make my own sites, tweak them endlessly, and still wasn't satisfied. In the end, your time is valuable and when you don't need to tweak your site, you can be more productive.
Another note that I learned was not to use 3rd person when describing your company, philosophy or style. Clients want to get to know you...and it's pretty obvious that our blurbs weren't written by the press.

Make sure that your printed collateral (cards, flyers, brochures etc.) match the look/feel of your new site for consistency. You're trying to create a brand, like Nike or Coke that is recognizable quickly and easily. That is another spot where hiring a graphic designer can help. Best of luck, and sorry for the splash of ice-cold water.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 07:07 PM   #6
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Hi Jeff,

Just for fun,

JDinges Filmmaker

You'll need the Quicktime web browser plugin.

James
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Old January 25th, 2010, 11:16 PM   #7
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Jeff,

Sorry... but I vote for James version. Nice job James.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 12:04 AM   #8
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Great advice, no offense taken whatsoever. I also like James's design, and saying JDinges Filmmaker instead of videographer also was clever and makes me seem more artistic and not just a cameraman.

I'll consider James's design and mine. I think that my landing page might work if the background video is simpler, like moving clouds, water, nature, etc.. I'm sure I can utilize my learned skills for future projects. I was trying to get it to look similar to this but I don't have macromedia so I think I'm very limited:

Fullscreen Random Background Videos Preview - ActiveDen

I'd like to create something like that where people might visit just for their enjoyment to keep them coming.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 08:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Miller View Post
Hi Jeff,

Just for fun,

JDinges Filmmaker

You'll need the Quicktime web browser plugin.

James

Much better!

FWIW I can't stand QT streamed videos! They don't launch fast, I get no player controls so I can pause to let them buffer. All in all I can't stand it. I'd MUCH rather have flash streamed with a player.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:10 AM   #10
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Yeah, I would take that site design if he could do the previews in flash. A google search revealed that 98% of users use flash, and I know personally with windows 7 just coming out many people probably don't have quicktime installed. Please don't take it from me, Mike, because you're in GA;)

I'd also want a way to add new videos myself though.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Dinges View Post
Great advice, no offense taken whatsoever. I also like James's design, and saying JDinges Filmmaker instead of videographer also was clever and makes me seem more artistic and not just a cameraman.

I'll consider James's design and mine. I think that my landing page might work if the background video is simpler, like moving clouds, water, nature, etc.. I'm sure I can utilize my learned skills for future projects. I was trying to get it to look similar to this but I don't have macromedia so I think I'm very limited:

Fullscreen Random Background Videos Preview - ActiveDen

I'd like to create something like that where people might visit just for their enjoyment to keep them coming.
Jeff DON'T go with a full screen video clip. It will be distracting.
You can post a alrge video clip, but encompass it int he websites design.

See my website as an example.
Maryland Wedding Videos & DC Wedding Video &ndash; Bar Mitzvahs from LVProductions
Currently there are only images in a large space, but video will be there with the later Flash website design that is being created.

I'm not saying it's the only way to go, and by no means is my website, while good, drop dead fabulous.

But you will have serious problems if you use a full screen background.
Now if you want to use a full screen video by itself as a splash screen, then that's a possibility.
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