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


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Old February 9th, 2016, 09:23 PM   #1
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Online delivery / sales of recital videos - consensus

I've searched but the threads are so long, it's ridiculous.
Is there any current option for an online sales option to selling DVDs?
The quality loss, wasted time on menus, iDVD hiccups, artwork, duplication, shipping, delivery delays is so repulsive . . . i could have delivered my work within days but due to a multitude of issues i'm 6 weeks post shoot and still not delivered.
Let's keep it brief and only offer legit techniques.
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Old February 9th, 2016, 10:33 PM   #2
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Re: Online delivery / sales of recital videos - consensus

I don't do this stuff anymore, but I am a regular reader of these forums, and when this service came up:

Kunaki -- CD/DVD manufacturing and publishing service

I bookmarked it just so if I ever had to do DVDs again, I could outsource the whole thing.

I told my last DVD client this year that we couldn't do the project again next year unless it was digital delivery. I had to pull an iMac from home to get a working DVD burner, and even then it was touch and go. I don't know how much I can stick to the "no DVD" thing, but I am attempting to make a stand.
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Old February 10th, 2016, 08:03 AM   #3
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Re: Online delivery / sales of recital videos - consensus

Yes, Kunaki was a revolution for me; i went from buying and burning 100s of DVDs per year to only the masters that i upload.

I still may utilize them in the following scenario (being that no other service has arisen for BD):
Split the recital / performance into part 1 & part 2; output an AVCHD or MP4 file for each and burn to standard DVD then sell the set for use in BluRay player or for the parents to download for viewing on computer.

This is good for sales of physical items on gigs that rely on number of sales but the ideal is a Public YouTube upload of the entire program so the parents can stream to any device/TV. An unlisted posting to YT requires a cumbersome input of the cryptic link. But the risk of losing revenue due to parents getting wise & sharing the link is, i think, relevant. Paid per view requires 1,000 subscribers, so that's out.

Isn't there a new iTunes option? I have to look into that, thought i saw something in the past 6 months that offered that for small time producers.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 01:39 AM   #4
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Re: Online delivery / sales of recital videos - consensus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Ahrens View Post
I still may utilize them in the following scenario (being that no other service has arisen for BD)
Iím pretty sure Blu-ray Duplication, Blu-ray Replication, Blu-ray Manufacturing, Blu-ray Packaging has been offering Blu-ray duplication and replication for quite a while. And, if I recall correctly, they will drop ship it for you as well.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 10:05 PM   #5
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Re: Online delivery / sales of recital videos - consensus

Those guys aren't in the same ballpark in regard to time and cost. $10/ & 1 weeks vs .75/24-36hrs
I'm leaning toward MP4 data dvds but my first test failed. Locked up the BD player halfway through a 45m piece.
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Old February 18th, 2016, 03:55 PM   #6
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Re: Online delivery / sales of recital videos - consensus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Ahrens View Post
I've searched but the threads are so long, it's ridiculous.
Is there any current option for an online sales option to selling DVDs?
The quality loss, wasted time on menus, iDVD hiccups, artwork, duplication, shipping, delivery delays is so repulsive . . . i could have delivered my work within days but due to a multitude of issues i'm 6 weeks post shoot and still not delivered.
Let's keep it brief and only offer legit techniques.
Hi Mark,

What exactly do you mean when you say, "an online sales option to selling DVDs?"

Are you looking for a way to sell DVDs online or otherwise facilitate disc ordering? Are you looking for an online company that will handle the DVD authoring and production for you? Or are you looking for some kind of a turn-key solution so you can simply produce a video, and have some service handle the DVD Production, sales, and delivery?

I primarily shoot live events, where often everything I make comes from selling videos on DVD and Blu-ray. For this reason I am hesitant to offer digital file delivery, as it would be very easy for someone to make a copy and share it, thus cutting into my profits. DVD and Blu-ray present some obstacles to doing this. Also, virtually everyone can play a DVD or Blu-ray now, so you aren't stuck providing technical support to people who are trying to watch videos on their ten year old Windows Vista machines.

Despite these benefits, I completely agree that putting together a DVD or Blu-ray can be a major headache. I spent eight years refining my disc production set up, and have only really felt like I've had things going smoothly for the past year or so. I'm now at the point where I can shoot an event, and within 2-3 days start mailing out the finished copies on fully authored DVD or Blu-ray discs.

So, how do I do this?

Well, first thing is that I produce the events live, using a live production switcher in a mobile flypack. This way I don't have to edit everything together later, greatly saving time in post. All I need to do in post is add some titles, make sure the audio levels are good, and set the chapter markers. Then I can go into DVD and Blu-ray authoring.

Separate from my editing PC I have a dedicated encoding PC. All my projects and media live on an NAS device with a gigabit network, so I can open the same project I was working on editing on my encoding PC. This PC only has a single monitor, and is pretty much just set up for encoding with only a basic graphics card, but a fast Intel Core i7 3970k processor. Here I render out the DVD and Blu-ray compliant files using the highest possible encoding quality with variable bit-rate two pass encoding. The bit rate is calculated to use every last bit of storage space on the DVD or Blu-ray for optimal quality.

While this is happening, back on my editing PC I am able to put together the disc menus, disc labels, and case inserts. I have built photoshop templates for these things, so it doesn't take me too long- Just a matter of customizing the templates a bit.

I do the DVD authoring in Encore, which I know is old and not supported anymore, but its integration with Photoshop and After Effects allows for some great looking, completely custom, motion menus. Specifically, Encore's build chapter index tool will automatically take my Photoshop chapter menu template and populate it based on the chapter markers I set in editing. This saves a huge amount of time.

Encore is able to spit out the final ISO files to write to the disc fairly quickly, as the videos themselves were already transcoded. The only then Encore needs to render are the chapters, which doesn't take long at all.

Now I know this sounds like a lot of steps, but in practice all this only takes a few hours.

I have an entire room dedicated to disc authoring, forming a kind of miniature assembly line. The first step is a Primera disc duplicator and printer. This is run off of a old Windows XP computer I had lying around. The only thing this computer needs to do is run the light-weight Primera software, so it doesn't need to be powerful.

Next I have a printer set up to print out the case inserts. This print with cutting guides, and I have a large paper cutter there so I can trim the inserts and put them in their cases. As the discs finish burning and printing, I pop them into the cases and shrink wrap them for a nice, professional presentation. Doing this I am able to duplicate and package about 30 DVDs or 15 Blu-rays an hour.

For disc ordering and delivery, customers can order the videos on my website here- Video Store

Check out and processing is all done through Paypal. Logging into Paypal I can, in a single step, purchase postage and print a shipping label. Once the shipping label is created, my customers automatically receive a notification and can track the status of their shipment. Already having a shipping label, I can simply drop the discs off at the post office.

Paypal completely automates this process, so all I need to do is login and click on "Create Shipping Label" and I'm done. I have a Dymo LabelWriter printer, which prints the sticky shipping labels.

Although I don't advertise it as a service, I do handle DVD/Blu-ray production for some other videographers, but I don't think I could compete on cost with some of the specialty duplication services out there.

However, feel free to call me if you have any questions about my set up or how I do things. My number is 541-224-6583.
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Old February 28th, 2016, 08:44 PM   #7
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Re: Online delivery / sales of recital videos - consensus

Wow Adam, helluva response there. Thank you for the info, I'm sure it could be helpful to many.

I've got (almost) a one word answer for you, Kunaki.com.

Seriously. I went from buying 100s of DVDs per year to burning just one DVD per show.
At $1.00 per disc it's hard to argue against outsourcing.

But, yes . . . the goal of the post is to move beyond DVD quality and BD time sucks.
Just post to online streaming delivery. Free for all, once my fee is paid.
At least, that's my thinking, right now. It's hard when i get $500-1000 for one gig and the other that i sell 60-80DVDs at, i can get $1,800.
My ideal is to get paid $1,000 to shoot and deliver. It only takes me the shoot and 4-5hrs to begin upload. That is, if the audio isn't FBAR'd. Mic cutouts suck. I sometimes have to spend 2x the time to try to pickup actors/players that aren't mic'd at all and the proximity mics near the stage don't get much.

My few dance shows are cake. 4 cam shoots are easy. I'd like to work on my angles, though; better composition; and i always wish i was more than one person to man the angles.
I really should hire a kid to tutor.

Reading through your post, though; i couldn't help feeling the hassle of the physical delivery. It's been a while since i spent a day producing DVDs. Even the whole artwork merry go round; such a time suck . . . i end up tweaking and outputting extra stills for this or that spot - ridiculous, sometimes i spent 2-3hrs on artwork because it's a reflection of me. This week i same to the realization that it's unnecessary and went basic on the art. Fantastic. Done in 20m. I'm never going back - except for the good payoff gigs.

Thanks again for the time spent on your response. Hope your are well and inspired.
Mark
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