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

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Old November 12th, 2007, 02:11 AM   #1
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Quality of clients TVs.

We deliver our DVDs to our clients and usually watch them on their TVs. It can be a very uncomfortable experience for me because of the quality of the picture on their setups. We spend so much time editing and colour correcting etc. which looks great on our TV but looks crap on theirs!

Photographers dont have this problem because their clients see their photos at the quality they intended. I'm thinking about not personally delivering discs in future or getting a projector and screen and showing them their discs on that.

Anybody else got a good solution?
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Old November 12th, 2007, 02:44 AM   #2
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This is the very reason I stopped visiting customers in their homes to do a demo. The number of people who didn't know how to tune their Video recorder in...... Now I suppose dvd player has replaced that! Their player may be tuned in, but is their TV?
The only time I've ever watched the finished dvd, with the customer, is if I've not been paid yet.. Very rare now though. If you've been paid, which you should have been, use the post office, or if their local, you be the postman, just check in case they have a dog, which may chew their childhood photos!

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Old November 12th, 2007, 10:15 AM   #3
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I deliver the DVDs personally but I don't watch them with them. I just give them to them and let them watch them when they'd like. Which is probably about five seconds after they close the door. If they have a problem with any of it I'm sure they'll let me know. I'd rather let them watch it by themselves and remember that special day alone.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 02:02 PM   #4
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I've always wondered how many people have their DVD players set up in the wrong aspect ratio. All that work put into making their wedding day look special, and all of a sudden, everything looks flat and stretched. Ugh.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 03:11 PM   #5
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Have you ever had a complaint about the look of your video on a customers screen?

The reason I ask is that you probably have a more critical eye than your typical customer. If you're doing your best and putting out a good DVD that will look good on a properly set up tv/dvd, then I wouldn't worry too much about it. The most important thing is that your customers are happy watching the dvd you made them at their home.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #6
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I stopped delivering as a matter of routine after it started to cost about 5x more to drive than to ship USPS Priority. Now I only deliver if the residence isn't much out of the way during some other trip.

Similiar to Mike, I drop and go. But, one time in particular, resistance was futile, so I sat down & watched with the family. Right from the opening scene I was horrified because it looked like sharpness was set to max. I decided not to say anything because the last thing I wanted was to be handed the remote and asked to adjust the tv. (It took some trial & error to figure out the controls on my own widescreen, so I had no desire to try figuring out the controls on different brand while 12 eyeballs were leaning forward waiting to watch the video.)

Anyway, I was a bit puzzled by the rave reviews as I was leaving. In the end, I concluded that since everything they watched on their tv was over sharpened, that is the type of picture they were accustomed to watching.

I'm sure most TVs aren't adjusted properly, but I've never had a complaint that the color or contrast or whatever looked bad. And that's because while I might think my product looks bad on their tv, the video quality is right in line with everything else they watch. So, I don't worry about it. I'm not about to fiddle with a customer's television and be mainly remembered as the guy who messed up their tv rather than the guy to created the great video.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #7
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I don't deliver DVD's anymore. I require the couples to come and pick them up, unless they are from out of town. This now saves me 30-60 minutes of drive timer per couple, and I've never had a couple complain. They are usually quite excited to come pick up the DVD's.

As for how it looks on their TV, I just don't worry about it anymore. If they are watching other DVD's on their TV then they're already used to how those look anyways.

I do, however, always check back with my couples and ask if they had an issues technical or creative with the videos. The last thing you want is for them to have a problem, assume it's your fault, but not ever bring it up with you.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 06:41 PM   #8
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I'm with you. Sound is also a huge issue. I cannot believe what some folks accept for their tv sound system.

In light of this discussion, I wonder if the answer is to buy a big honkin laptop and show it to them on it. Then they can realize that it's their tv that stinks. It bothers me to think of my videos being played on sub-par systems.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
If they are watching other DVD's on their TV then they're already used to how those look anyways.
So true, Travis. I know people who bought a 16:9 TV, and watch all 4:3 material in widemode. Everyone looks like they eat three squares a day at McDonalds. When I ask them about it, I come to realize that they believe that they paid for a widescreen TV and, dammit, whatever they watch better fill that screen. No matter what it looks like.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 10:34 PM   #10
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I put a tech note on all my disc packaging

"Optimised for Widescreen Progressive Scan Display."

It is also in my contract that the client is responsible in ensuring that they have the means to play back this material (such as a PS3 for HD content).

Sometimes I have to send emails advising them to use the Cinema modes on their TVs as the TVs are set to stupidly high brightness levels. Other times, I've had clients with $10k+ panels, only to have their DVD players or PS3's connected through composite.

We can only educate them to a certain degree.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 10:53 PM   #11
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There was an old "standard" when mixing audio - you always wanted to test it on something approaching a cheap set of stock car stereo speakers... if it sounded good there...

Keep in mind that if you have your gear fully calibrated to look good on "regular old Tee-Vee" or on a DVD from the store, and you match that fairly well, it's likely that it will meet the viewing standards of the recipient, even if it's shown on a system that would cause instant headaches and nausea for someone who lives and breathes "tech"... not everyone is as picky, so you probably will be AOK most of the time, they already know their 20" tube TV looks bad, but they are happy with it, right??

The TRUE nightmare comes from "wannabe" tech types - I'll never forget the web site design I worked on for one company, they were QUITE specific about their company colors (an odd shade of purple... <scary music foreshadowing playing>). We matched it as closely as possible, and it looked fine on every monitor we had available to check against...

You know the rest of the story, panic call from freaking out client, go down to their "shop" to find their monitors only capable of displaying 16 colors. and the "company colors" of course look like a psychedelic purple dinosaur puked up some hideous shade of magenta... The client was so sure it was our "fault", we dropped them that morning like the hot screaming headache they obviously were... just wasn't worth trying to please someone who "KNEW" so much! Fortunately haven't met TOO many like that!

SO, anyone got any tales of "the client who knew too much"? Might be an interesting thread <wink>!
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Old November 13th, 2007, 12:55 AM   #12
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Thats funny Vito.
I use a Sony PD170 cam in 4.3 sd mode and I tell my clients thats it's not wide screen but they like the way it looks on a wide screen? I cant stand to see my stuff stretched out like that but hey, so far it works.

And audio. I spend a lot of time getting this right with loads of bottom end etc...only to see a nice wide screen not connected to a sound system. So with my cuts to music they are missing out on the true feeling.
I need a true 16.9 cam and that will fix one problem.
Thats my two cents worth anyway....

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Old November 14th, 2007, 08:10 AM   #13
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Still, we're in better shape today than the old days when we delivered on VHS...
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