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Submitting High-Def Material for Demo Reels


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#1 Joe Taylor

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 01:20 AM

Does anybody know of a system of submitting or passing off high-def material for demo reels instead of standard-def DVD's? All of my recent work has been high-def or 35mm trasferred to high-def and would like to submit my work to prospective clients in the high-def medium.

But only being familiar with passing out DVD's, I am wondering if there is a standardized way of doing this. My thoughts are burning 1080p Quicktimes to a DVD with short instructions for dumping the QT file to the clients hard drive. Does this seem acceptable?
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#2 Chris Durham

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 10:58 AM

You could create a DVD menu with 2 options - one or Play, which just plays the standard dvd content, and one for Watch HD which points to the 1080 quicktimes, or maybe another menu page with the instructions for downloading them. That way you give options for people who are savvy and also for those who are not so savvy.
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#3 David Rakoczy

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 11:55 AM

Can't we all just go 16 x 9 HD and be done with all this mess. It is crazy how many pre-sets, sequence settings, compressions there are in my FCP. It is nuts.. then open the dropdown to my BlackMagic Card for external playback and you have another 100 options... Shooting in 16x9, cutting in AppleProResHQ and then having to deliver 720x480 NTSC to the Stations makes it all just shy of impossible.

This is a CRAZY time to Frame, Edit and Deliver!!!! :blink:
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#4 Joe Taylor

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:33 PM

Hello Chris,

I've never seen you method done. I'm using DVD Studio Pro, perhaps they have a way to do this. I was just going to package a standard-def DVD as well as a DVD with a HD QT in a two disc case.

I hear you David. I know that DVD is still very popular but I wish that HD sets would soon take over and everything is distributed in a HD format.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:53 PM

The most widely playable format is probably a quicktime movie in h.264. Sadly, Quicktime Player itself doesn't support a lot of the extensions which make h.264 work really well, reducing the quality to file size ratio, but they have a website full of HD quicktime movie trailers and seem to do quite well out of it.

I would suspect that blu-ray players, given that there is still no blu-ray playback solution for Apple Macs, are probably less common than computers capable of playing said Quicktime movie.

P
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#6 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 06:56 PM

There really is no good way to do this; everything is too de-standardized and fragmented, and lots and lots of people are still unable to really watch HD material. If you send a Blu-Ray, you'll find that many won't have a player to watch it with, and if you send it as a data file, you're going to have trouble with people who don't have updated Quicktime software, or don't have the hardware to play it back smoothly, or aren't computer-savvy enough to figure out how to do it, or just plain don't care to put the effort in to watch it that way. DVD is really the only standardized format that everyone can definitely watch.

What I would say is to send out DVDs, have both standard def and HD available for download on your website, and have Blu-Ray available if anyone requests it or if you happen to know that they've got a player. Or if you've got a lot of money for it you can send out both DVD and Blu-Ray to everyone and they can choose for themselves.
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 08:14 PM

if you send it as a data file, you're going to have trouble with people who don't have updated Quicktime software, or don't have the hardware to play it back smoothly, or aren't computer-savvy enough to figure out how to do it, or just plain don't care to put the effort in to watch it that way


This is certainly true, although I think really those of us who are able should really be putting HD on the website.

I personally don't have nearly enough HD stuff, there's too much I have in SD that's really useful, but that's life.

P
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#8 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 10:15 PM

This is certainly true, although I think really those of us who are able should really be putting HD on the website.

I personally don't have nearly enough HD stuff, there's too much I have in SD that's really useful, but that's life.

P

Yeah, putting HD material online is fine; people will either download it or they won't. But physically sending them data files on a disc is a recipe for disaster- it requires way too much work on their part, and there's too much room for error. Everything about your reel has to make it as easy as possible for people to watch, enjoy, and contact you.

And yeah, I've got some HD material I'd like to use, but I've also still got too much material that only exists in SD for it be worthwhile just yet. Hopefully soon.

Edited by Scott Fritzshall, 19 May 2009 - 10:18 PM.

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#9 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 11:34 PM

Mac users may find the info in this video helpful:
http://www.macvideo....rticleId=112361

In the video, Bruce Nazarian describes how to use the latest Toast software to inexpensively record approx. 30 min. of Blu-ray _HD_ content on regular 4.7GB DVD-R discs for playback in most Blu-ray players, including PS3 machines.
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#10 Andronico Gonzalez

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 07:20 PM

I have another solution, probably is not the best solution but sometimes can help. You can make DVD'd with clips and menu in DIVX HD, you can have all your material in any resolution you want. This DVD'd can only be play in PC. Or you can program in Director a Interactive DVD that can auto-run, in both PC and MAC, a menu and clips in .mov, .flv and .swf in any resolution.
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#11 Jim Hyslop

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 07:44 PM

There really is no good way to do this; everything is too de-standardized


No, that's not quite true - the nice thing about video standards is that there are so many to choose from! :-D

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#12 Tom Lowe

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 08:29 AM

Right now the best bet would probably be to send them a data DVD and tell them to pop it into their PC or Mac and watch it.
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#13 Keith Walters

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 02:34 AM

Adding to what Scott Fitzshall said:

There are too many assumptions being made about potential clients.

One
is that the creative people you are desperately trying to to show your work to are all going to be super techno-savvy 20-somethings with the latest high-end multi-multi core machines bulging with RAM and a sumptuous repertoire of all the latest plug-ins and other software that will ensure that if your file is capable of being played by a single machine on the planet, Goddamit, theirs will be that machine:-)
As with just about any other sort of unsolicited media file, the reality is that if it doesn't play first time, unless they're really sure they want to see it, they aren't likely to want to persevere. They would rather spend what limited time they have moving on to the next hopeful.

Two
is the assumption that everybody has access to a super-fast unlimited-download Internet connection that will allow faster than real-time downloading of full 4:4:4 HD 24/7/365 etc.
The reality is that many of the people you want to show your work to will be part of larger organizations, most likely with a networked Internet connection, in many cases suited more toward the more modest requirements of commerce than online video.

Three
is the Geek-notion that all you have to do is supply the correct drivers/software for them to install and everything will be sweet. Apart from the fact that they might not be inclined to do so, and that bitter experience has shown that this may not only not work but also foul up their machine, most corporate networked PC users are specifically forbidden from loading any sort of active software onto their PCs and most machines will have the Install/Run functions disabled anyway.




I have a friend who works for one of the Sydney TV networks, and one of his responsibilities is maintaining the "workstation" where they try to transcode video footage sent in by viewers, downloaded from the Net etc into something the News studio can handle. He reckons that just when you think you must SURELY by now have covered EVERY possible codec in the known universe, a new one will crop up. (The freeware application "Super" does a pretty good job, but even it gets defeated occasionally).

I think you would be better off just sticking to supplying regular DVDs, and throwing in a regular Blu-Ray version just in case.

I really can't see how the resolution is going to be that much of a deal breaker anyway, there's far more to a quality product than resolution. After all plenty of showreels were distributed on ordinary VHS, and if care was taken, they would normally get the message across.
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#14 Tom Lowe

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 09:33 AM

I think you would be better off just sticking to supplying regular DVDs, and throwing in a regular Blu-Ray version just in case.


This sounds about right. Or replace with the Bluray with a data DVD with your HD clips as 720p and possibly 1080p. The likelihood that someone can play a 720p Quicktime MOV on their computer is more than the chance that they will have a Bluray player in their office.
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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 09:56 AM

The likelihood that someone can play a 720p Quicktime MOV on their computer is more than the chance that they will have a Bluray player in their office.


Yes, this is the only reason I posited using quicktime. You can put it on a standard-def DVD easily enough - those who can play it will play it, and those who can't will watch the standard def.

P
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