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Old June 8th, 2013, 07:34 PM   #16
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

I love this conversation here is my two cents worth:

I have delivered on Betacam, Betacam SP, Betamax, VHS, S-VHS, Hi-8, DV, DVCAM, video cd, DVD, BR, Flash Video, .wmv, .mpg, Quick Time, Silverlight, and probably several others I am forgetting. The point is that it is not only ever changing, but it was never just one format at a time.

As a creative product producer we must remain ahead of the technological abilities of our clients from the most advanced user to those that can barely check e-mail (I have had some that canít). My clients dictate to me what the delivery medium will be, not the other way around.

I donít shoot weddings, I deliver to business oriented clients but it is not that much different. I suggest that you consider it goes far beyond the bride. Even within the same household. The young bride may only want to see her video on the new Blu ray player she got as a wedding gift, her mom and dad can only see it on DVD, and her sister wonít bother watching it at all unless she can see it on her I-Pad. Add in a link you can e-mail and anyone can see it via the web and now pretty much everyone is happy. I am not telling you guys anything new, we all live it. My point is, it was not, is not, and never will be, a singular format process. You will always need to offer more than one format for the finished product.

I utilize FTP to deliver a lot of lo-res client proofs as we go back and forth in the edit process. As simple as that is, I also use Send Space for some of my clients because they find FTP confusing and like a one link process. I have also done shoots where we live stream video from the set back to a clients office while they are on speaker phone with us, to provide remote direction while we are shooting. So again, it is my role to meet their needs, be it simple or advanced, and to make it as simple for them as I can, in every case.

Downloadable delivery will become more commonplace for all of us. I think we are a very long way from it being the only way. Especially on the home consumer side of things. But....As I write this my 15 year old son is in his room administrating a gaming server fed by his friends from his You Tube channel!!! It is a wide range of users out there!

Chris, you have probably read at least a hundred of my posts and vise-a-versa so I donít think I will offend you with this. Deliver your content and forget about what process they are viewing it with. You do good work, the DVDs you are delivering now are being watched on lap tops with crappy speakers. Not all of your clients are putting your DVDs in dedicated players. That is beyond your control. Let it go.

Steve
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Old June 8th, 2013, 07:43 PM   #17
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

Hi Steve

Thanks ! I'm well aware of the fact that delivering on optical disk doesn't mean they will play it on the newest and shiniest DVD player and HD TV ... I think as long as you supply your product in a format that suits the client..they will be happy . I have seen clients watch a demo disk on a CRT TV so old that it barely had colour ...I was horrified but they were over the moon and booked me.

DVD delivery might be a bit antiquated but it does have advantages like being a physical and tangible product plus it even gives you a bit of advertising lying on the bookcase gathering dust.

Chris
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Old June 8th, 2013, 08:34 PM   #18
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
I love this conversation here is my two cents worth:

I have delivered on Betacam, Betacam SP, Betamax, VHS, S-VHS, Hi-8, DV, DVCAM, video cd, DVD, BR, Flash Video, .wmv, .mpg, Quick Time, Silverlight, and probably several others I am forgetting. The point is that it is not only ever changing, but it was never just one format at a time.

As a creative product producer we must remain ahead of the technological abilities of our clients from the most advanced user to those that can barely check e-mail (I have had some that canít). My clients dictate to me what the delivery medium will be, not the other way around.

I donít shoot weddings, I deliver to business oriented clients but it is not that much different. I suggest that you consider it goes far beyond the bride. Even within the same household. The young bride may only want to see her video on the new Blu ray player she got as a wedding gift, her mom and dad can only see it on DVD, and her sister wonít bother watching it at all unless she can see it on her I-Pad. Add in a link you can e-mail and anyone can see it via the web and now pretty much everyone is happy. I am not telling you guys anything new, we all live it. My point is, it was not, is not, and never will be, a singular format process. You will always need to offer more than one format for the finished product.

I utilize FTP to deliver a lot of lo-res client proofs as we go back and forth in the edit process. As simple as that is, I also use Send Space for some of my clients because they find FTP confusing and like a one link process. I have also done shoots where we live stream video from the set back to a clients office while they are on speaker phone with us, to provide remote direction while we are shooting. So again, it is my role to meet their needs, be it simple or advanced, and to make it as simple for them as I can, in every case.

Downloadable delivery will become more commonplace for all of us. I think we are a very long way from it being the only way. Especially on the home consumer side of things. But....As I write this my 15 year old son is in his room administrating a gaming server fed by his friends from his You Tube channel!!! It is a wide range of users out there!

Chris, you have probably read at least a hundred of my posts and vise-a-versa so I donít think I will offend you with this. Deliver your content and forget about what process they are viewing it with. You do good work, the DVDs you are delivering now are being watched on lap tops with crappy speakers. Not all of your clients are putting your DVDs in dedicated players. That is beyond your control. Let it go.

Steve
+ for this one. I agree with all of the above. I don't shoot weddings either. Most of my clients take delivery by way of the web, meaning web ready files they can load on their own servers. Being as though they pay a lot for the video, I have as of late sent along a bluray as well. That way they really see what they are paying for. The quality of the disc far exceeds the web friendly format.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 03:26 AM   #19
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

As Al says 'The quality of the disc far exceeds the web friendly format'. As producers we are always striving for the best quality that we can get for the end product, but although download speeds are steadily increasing for many people, they will never globally match the quality that we will be able to produce for our final product. So to best present our work, we will always want to offer private clients our best end product in my opinion.

Another reason that I don't think wedding clients will ever want online only, is because having paid a premium price, they will want to own it. If it is online only, they will always be totally reliant on the remote servers where it is stored. That means that there are many scenarios which may stop it being accessible. One of the weddings I delivered recently, was going to be viewed by the Bride and all her girlfriends at a wedding video party she had arranged. Picture the scene:- they are all sitting around glass in hand excitedly waiting for the opening scene of the day, when up pops a message on the screen - SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE! BUT OUR SERVERS ARE CURRENTLY SHUT DOWN FOR MAINTENANCE, PLEASE TRY AGAIN LATER.

If it is in your hand, you have control, so as far as the heading of this thread is concerned, for wedding clients, I can only see online files as a backup and just another way to view.

Roger
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Old June 9th, 2013, 03:37 AM   #20
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

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but although download speeds are steadily increasing for many people, they will never globally match the quality that we will be able to produce for our final product.
It can, if you deliver them a equally high bitrate file as what's on the blu-ray disc, the only issue is size as we are talking about 15-20gb file, but that might be a problem for some now it won't be in the future.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 03:56 AM   #21
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
It can, if you deliver them a equally high bitrate file as what's on the blu-ray disc, the only issue is size as we are talking about 15-20gb file, but that might be a problem for some now it won't be in the future.
I wouldn't disagree, that it is possible to match blu-ray quality with download, but what is a problem, even allowing for the file size, is that most people don't have a broadband system fast enough or a high enough allowance. We are of course already producing video that is higher quality than blu-ray and can supply hard copy on cards and sticks that are better than BRD. Quality will continue to increase as 4k eventually becomes the norm, and download speeds will always lag far behind for most people, so are we going to want to settle for lower quality just for download? Probably not, otherwise we might as well all save some money and use lower quality cameras and editing equipment in the first place.

Roger
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Old June 9th, 2013, 10:02 AM   #22
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

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but what is a problem, even allowing for the file size, is that most people don't have a broadband system fast enough or a high enough allowance.
Now it is, yes but that won't continue to be. Even with my current limited account I can download at a rate of 300mb/minute and I have a standard package. we won't get rid of dvd's and bluray the next years but I'm sure internet delivery will continue to play a more dominant role every year.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 12:13 PM   #23
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

I wouldn't be too quick to get away from delivering physical media. At least the client has something they can hold & value. It was always the problem with the wedding video as compared to the gorgeous leather bound album that the photographer could deliver. Nowadays we have some nice packaging for DVD/Blu-ray discs instead of those crappy plastic Amaray cases & now similar packaging is also available for USB thumb drives.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 02:55 PM   #24
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
It can, if you deliver them a equally high bitrate file as what's on the blu-ray disc, the only issue is size as we are talking about 15-20gb file, but that might be a problem for some now it won't be in the future.

In the U.S. it's going to be a problem for a long time to come. The carriers are making boatloads of money with this slow crap and no incentive to move speeds in a timely manner. It's a shame for a developed nation to have such slow service.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 03:45 PM   #25
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

Gentelmen,
Great conversation. Marketing 101 has always taught “put yourself in the mind of the customer”. In our world of small time video production some guys error big time in this area. In the world of broadcast and motion pictures many job roles are separated as “creative” or “technical” so one can specialize and do what he does best. By small time I am referring to those of us that must operate as a one man band or small crew and fulfill all roles. As video producers we sell a creative product we create through technical means. We must be both a “creative” and a “technician”. Which one are you?

I learned many years ago the client is hiring the creative. They frankly do not give a sh** about your latest 4K camera purchase, bandwidth, megabytes, resolution, or technical prowess. They usually don’t even want to hear about how you are going to achieve the end result they are going to pay you to create. As technicians we know data is real, it is a tangible reality that must be created, stored, served, and reassembled at their will on their computer screen. The average computer user does not understand that the way we do. They not only do not understand it they do not want to understand it. They want it to work like the radio in their car, turn it on and it works, you get what you want, period. What they see on the internet is not real to them, it is a screen they look at and stuff just appears.

Some video guys are so impressed by the equipment they worked hard for they try to sell their product by touting the technology. My opinion says the bride does not care if you shoot with an Arri Alexa or a Sony handycam. She wants something beautiful and real. So dress up what you do and make it real for her. Nigel hit it on the head. A photographer sits down and lets her flip through the pages of an expensive leather bound portfolio. So maybe you guys can do something similar. When you meet with her for the presentation dress up your technology the best you can. Instead of opening your laptop and clicking on your preloaded demo reel, pull the well packaged DVD out of your briefcase and use it. Show her in real world terms she can touch what she will get. Then you can move on to the online demo of what you offer how she can show her stuff off via e-mail and the magical computer screen. Because you are a technological wizard. She does not care how you do it or how many lines of resolution there is. Don’t try to explain it, just impress her and keep it real in her world, not yours.

Steve

Sorry guys. No one has ever accused me of being succinct. My posts get carried away, just like my opinions!
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Old June 10th, 2013, 06:21 AM   #26
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
Gentelmen,
Great conversation. Marketing 101 has always taught “put yourself in the mind of the customer”. In our world of small time video production some guys error big time in this area. In the world of broadcast and motion pictures many job roles are separated as “creative” or “technical” so one can specialize and do what he does best. By small time I am referring to those of us that must operate as a one man band or small crew and fulfill all roles. As video producers we sell a creative product we create through technical means. We must be both a “creative” and a “technician”. Which one are you?

I learned many years ago the client is hiring the creative. They frankly do not give a sh** about your latest 4K camera purchase, bandwidth, megabytes, resolution, or technical prowess. They usually don’t even want to hear about how you are going to achieve the end result they are going to pay you to create. As technicians we know data is real, it is a tangible reality that must be created, stored, served, and reassembled at their will on their computer screen. The average computer user does not understand that the way we do. They not only do not understand it they do not want to understand it. They want it to work like the radio in their car, turn it on and it works, you get what you want, period. What they see on the internet is not real to them, it is a screen they look at and stuff just appears.

Some video guys are so impressed by the equipment they worked hard for they try to sell their product by touting the technology. My opinion says the bride does not care if you shoot with an Arri Alexa or a Sony handycam. She wants something beautiful and real. So dress up what you do and make it real for her. Nigel hit it on the head. A photographer sits down and lets her flip through the pages of an expensive leather bound portfolio. So maybe you guys can do something similar. When you meet with her for the presentation dress up your technology the best you can. Instead of opening your laptop and clicking on your preloaded demo reel, pull the well packaged DVD out of your briefcase and use it. Show her in real world terms she can touch what she will get. Then you can move on to the online demo of what you offer how she can show her stuff off via e-mail and the magical computer screen. Because you are a technological wizard. She does not care how you do it or how many lines of resolution there is. Don’t try to explain it, just impress her and keep it real in her world, not yours.

Steve

Sorry guys. No one has ever accused me of being succinct. My posts get carried away, just like my opinions!
Steve couldn't agree more with what you said.

Brides/grooms simply don't care. Out of 100% of the market, may be 10-15% care about the technical/technological aspect (if that!)

Everyone else just wants a working product that they can place into their DVD player, which looks good and works flawlessly ... that means they can pass the disc to their uncle, aunt, grandparents without telling them they need anything other than a DVD player.

By all means, offer all the bells and whistles as add-ons i.e. bluray, digital files, usbs, cloud storage. But stick to the basics which is to make a creative edit, with good music & emotion, showing the day as it unfolded all placed on a DVD that looks presentable on the outside and inside, which works perfectly. I think if you can do that, you will always be in business.
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Old June 10th, 2013, 03:07 PM   #27
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

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Originally Posted by Roger Van Duyn View Post
Hi Eric. I don't do many weddings, mostly corporate clients, but the concept is the same. It's confusing in Florida regarding when to charge sales tax, and quoting California sources if you get called in by the State of Florida won't help you.

After MUCH investigation, here's what I do. When you are delivering a product, there's tax. That means when you work as a PRODUCER, there's tax. I found links on the state site somewhere (under either Photographers or IT Services) that said an electronic product is a still a tangible product. (Plus you can copyright it. You can patent a process or service). It's the same thing as electronic money still being real money. And when you think about it, it makes sense. Not any different than buying an EBook from a vendor that has a physical storefront in Florida.

When I work as a shooter, for another company, (and usually there's a 1099 form involved), then I only need worry about federal taxes.

So the State of Florida views an electronic product as a real (tangible) product that you've sold just like the electronic money you've been paid is real money. Now I may be wrong, but that's the conclusion I reached, and my attorney agreed. When I work as a PRODUCER, then there's SALES TAX. When I work as a SHOOTER, then there's NO sales tax (so far).
I was quoting a California tax just to show that it varies by state. I've previously researched Florida sales taxes laws on the matter and came to the conclusion based on what I read on the Internet as well as being told by an accountant and a photographer I work with.

But to further confirm my beliefs on the matter, upon reading your post I e-mailed a Tax Specialist at the Florida Department of Revenue. Here is our e-mail exchange...

E-mail Title: Sales Tax on Intangible Items
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin
Hi,

I have a question on sales tax. I own a video production company. If I perform a service of filming and editing a video, and then send the finished file to the client by uploading it online and having them download the file, such that there is no tangible product that I deliver (such as DVDs, Blu-rays, or a thumb drive), then is that service taxable here in Florida?

-Eric

Response...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tax Specialist
Mr. Coughlin,
Yes, you would be correct. Since there isn't anything of a Tangible nature exchanged, there would be No Sales Tax on such a transaction as you have described.

Raymond D Minges
Tax Specialist I
(727)-524-4392
Florida Department of Revenue
Clearwater Service Center
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Old June 11th, 2013, 02:44 PM   #28
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

Hi Eric. Thanks for your post! It directly contradicts information I was given, but yours is more recent. Here's an additional official document from the State Website further corroborating your post:

https://revenuelaw.state.fl.us/LawLi...=%2211A-002%22

However, I did find a warning that if we are given incorrect information, even by someone from the DOR, we are still liable, just like if someone from the IRS gives us incorrect information for our income taxes.

I think I'll contact the Lakeland Tax office and see if I can get documentation like yours, with my name on it. At least that will conclusively demonstrate a good faith effort to avoid tax evasion.

There are many threads online, both here and on the COW giving conflicting information. And I'd swear I remember being shown a document just like yours stating the exact opposite of yours.

Sheesh, what a mess.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 11:07 PM   #29
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

If you can legally avoid collect sales tax, whereas your competitors have to, this may give you a competitive advantage. However, the analogy to Netflix is a little flawed. You are comparing a 99 cent movie to a Wedding Video. What happens when the Bride's computer crashes AND you are no longer in business?
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Old June 21st, 2013, 12:10 AM   #30
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Re: Delivering Only Online Files

I'm coming in a bit late on this but in my market I am about to phase out DVDs and just go with Blu-rays as my deliverable. Sure, I have online as well but only the highlights. My weddings are usually between 1 hour and ninety minutes and without being able to skip chapters that's too long in my opinion. In time online will be the way to go but not yet.

I shoot HD, edit HD and deliver HD. The time it takes to down convert to DVD is not worth it and I am not happy with the results. At under $100 it is more cost effective to buy them a BD player. Better than a media file player, Chris, as Granny will get confused. The BD player looks the same as her old dvd player and plays her old disks the same way. As a side note, taking a player and plugging it in with composite leads will not result in an HD picture. AS you all know HD requires HDMI or at least component.

If we offer a premium product it should be tangible, high quality packaging and (preferably) HD. It also should be simple to use! A properly authored BD fits this - not an MP4 file on a BD data disk. The customer will assume it is a blu-ray movie and call you when it doesn't play.

My last wedding couple wanted all four copies as blu-ray. I ended up at their house as they said none of them worked. I took around another player just in case but when I got there the first disk she put in worked, I suspect because her husband put the TV onto the correct input. What I noticed was their very nice 55" Sony TV was displaying a decidedly standard def picture.Turns out they only had a composite connection from the Blu-ray player.

I said, "You do realize it's not HD hooked up this way?"
The reply, "Yeah, but we're using the HDMI cable on the TV in the other room".

No wonder many people say they can't see the difference between SD & HD - they may not have seen HD!

As Steven said earlier, there will always be many formats but it is our job to make our product look as good as possible while keeping the technology transparent to the client.

Sorry for the long winded reply.
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