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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 3rd, 2010, 05:51 PM   #1
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From camera to DVD recorder?

I got hired to do a camera gig this weekend taping hockey games at the local arena: seven hours per day for three days, with ten minutes in between each games. If all goes well (i.e., I don't leave the lens cap on), there will be other games to video the following weekends. My camera feeds directly into a Sony DVD recorder and after each game the arena owners make copies of the DVD and sell them to the parents. No editing, no extras, no bells and whistles. This seems to be something they offer on a regular basis.

I thought this might be something interesting to offer for certain events because it has a definite impulse buy quality to it (like those pictures of yourselves at amusement park rides). I already use my laptop and Adobe OnLocation to capture to HDD whenever possible, and I was wondering whether there'd be a way to go one extra step and record to DVD in real time.

Has anyone heard of software that could do this? This would be an SD signal, of course, so the data rate would be well within what my laptop (and burner) can handle. Alternately, I guess I could author and burn the DVD in the background with a small-ish program that doesn't needlessly tax the resources while recording the next game to HDD, but I'd always be one game behind. Plus, I'm not sure my 5400RPM drive could handle it, even with an SD signal.

Ideas or suggestions?
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Old May 4th, 2010, 03:04 AM   #2
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I've thought about this situation for dance competitions, where parents are still buying VHS tapes.

Your idea of recording straight to a DVD recorder seems to be best, as you have 10 minutes between games. What I consider to be the easiest solution is to have two identical recorders, and record the next game on the 2nd one, while the first one is finalising the disc. Alternatively, when the recorder has finished writing to the disc, (probably 2 minutes or so) put it into the 2nd machine to finalise the master copy, so you're always recording to the same machine. Pre-record your first play (company ad) onto all discs you'll use as masters.

You'll need small screens to check the picture is recording and access the recorder menus for finalising etc., no big deal these days.

Then all you need is a duplicating tower to make copies and several printers for the printing on the discs etc, etc.....or charge them the postage when they order and send them out within two days.

At least you'll have all your masters done by the time you go home!

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Old May 4th, 2010, 08:08 AM   #3
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Thanks Vaughan, but I was looking for a mobile solution that I can offer on-location. I can pre-print the DVDs and cases, and I like your idea of pre-burning the company intro (I'll have to do some tests), but I can't lug printers and duplicating towers around. Which is why I was thinking of doing it all with my laptop, and perhaps a fast external burner (for duplicating).
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Old May 10th, 2010, 03:50 AM   #4
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Follow-up to my original question.

The people who hired me to shoot hockey games runa family business. They hire space a table in large arenas and hire cameramen to shoot the games (soccer, hockey, etc.) according to the season. Each cameraman plugs into a Sony DVD recorder (pretty compact, about the size of a box of cigars) and records directly to a DVD. After the game, the attendant takes the DVD and makes copies using a 9-drive duplicating tower as people place orders (mostly the players, the coaches or parents).

They pretty much seem to have large tournaments covered, but I was thinking of offering a similar service at local games with my laptop and NeoDVD (which can record straight to DVD). I'd either need access to power outlets (unlikely in a soccer field) or a rechargeable power source.

Have any of you attempted this before?


J.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 07:15 AM   #5
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what did you learn

Hey Jacques,

How'd you do with your direct capture?
I do football games and have seen others using the Sony DVDirect units.
It takes maybe 2 minutes to finalize.
I too, have been looking into using OnLocation but figure it won't be able to produce the final dvd without a lengthy encode and burn on my MBpro. Unless i can change the capture directly to Mpeg-2.
I really don't like this poor quality workflow but the coaches seem to value time over clarity . . . i try to tell them that an AVCHD disc or QT file would be superior for review of the plays . . . old dogs, new tricks.

I'm thinking of getting the Sony unit but don't know if it's compatible with my XHA1.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 12:34 PM   #6
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DVDs have to be authored if you want them to play on a set-top box (ie not merely storage). I know of no camera that outputs the necessary muxed files so you have to encode then author before burning.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 12:44 PM   #7
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I recently did a semiar that needed to go straight to DVD. I borrowed a friends old Phillips standalone DVD burner and while it won't do chapter (well actually-it marks one every 5 minutes) and made a master DVD. I had also borrowed his 10 disc duplicator and since the seminar was broken into 3 segments none over 2 hours, during breaks I was able to run dupes. Nothing fancy no printed faces, no chapters no authoring. I only needed 15 DVDs per segment and it worked out quite well. Of course I would have preferred to do it right, load into NLE, edit a bit, sweeten audio if needed, set real chapters burn and print but the client wanted to go out with the finished product and was 100% fine with the suggestion to do what I did.
Since I was shooting SD I simply ran an S cable and audio cables to the DVD burner and fired away. Honestly I didn't even go to tape, just straight to the burner. Client was happy and so was I.
I don't know if thissetup would help you but just something to perhaps think about.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #8
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Obviously I stand corrected. Thanks for for the information.
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