How are you guys dealing with distribution issues?

PeterWright wrote on 12/19/2014, 5:34 AM
I've just finished a six camera end of year dance concert - about 90 mins duration.

The market is almost entirely families of the kids performing. Between 30 and 40 DVDs.

I offered Blu-Ray. No takers.

On my Samsung tablet, I have full HD MP4 versions of the whole show. Looks so much better than the DVDs, but if I offered MP4s on say USB, one could buy, all could copy. No money for me.

Anyone tussling with this?


farss wrote on 12/19/2014, 6:27 AM
Use guilt.
Sure they can copy anything, next year you mightn't be able to afford to turn up either. Remind them you're never going to get rich doing what you're doing.

Chienworks wrote on 12/19/2014, 6:44 AM
Another option i've seen touted here from time to time is to negotiate the probable number of purchases and charge for them up front in the recording fee. When i do audio recordings of small local groups i charge enough up front to make me happy, usually $50/hour including setup & tear down time, then toss in a couple dozen "free" CDs. After that additional copies are $2 each, which includes an inkjet-printed CD, a jewel case, and a nice glossy insert. At that price they'll order a few dozen more for their friends and family rather than making copies themselves. I may only make $1.50 on each additional sale, but it's still gravy and i already got paid for the event.

Obviously a 6 camera video shoot is going to have a much higher initial cost, so figure appropriately.
Grazie wrote on 12/19/2014, 6:50 AM
Peter: "Anyone tussling with this?"Yes. Unless you do mega runs and make money on the "Once-Off" option, then our craft is now going to be tagged with the "Anybody" can do it title. We now longer hold the means of publication and thence distribution. We have YT and Vimeo and so on and so forth. Unless one does this ProBono, with an alternative income, I suspect these days are well and truly over. Yah just gotta have a USP more than before.

Bob: "Remind them you're never going to get rich doing what you're doing."I doubt they'll understand that concept nor have any traction with it.


PeterWright wrote on 12/19/2014, 6:52 AM
Good stuff Bob - I think I'll put together a paragraph of next year's programme laying that all on the line.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 12/19/2014, 7:00 AM
I basically have done what Kelly said: either I get paid for the event & have a set # of DVD's I make or I get preorders.

If they don't do preorders I don't do the event. Got burned once by that, not again.

I don't do guilt. If someone did that to my wife then I'd tell everyone I know what scum they are and I don't want to be called scum by everyone I'm trying to sell to. If they won't pay I won't work for them.

I'm guessing you got permission from the person/group hosting the dance show to do this. The lady I work for sells DVD's for $10 and normally gets 40-50 sales. So my $300 pay for a several hours of work helps us both. She gets an easy $100-200 w/o much effort and I get ~$50-30 per hour. I'd suggest that's how you should handle it: have her sell the discs & they either pay you a set fee or a %.

EDIT: I wouldn't offer mp4's to consumers unless I planned on doing it just to get my name out. If you get paid for the gig then you've already gotten your $$, so if it was me I wouldn't care if they copied. If you get paid by the disc then, if it were me, I wouldn't bother except for specific people I liked (IE a friend, etc.).
PeterWright wrote on 12/19/2014, 7:00 AM
Grazie, yes - the truth is it's between one and two weeks work, including setting up, shooting, multicam editing, rendering, authoring, burning, designing, printing and guillotining sleeves etc., and it's not really worth it but I must admit I enjoy it.

10cc - ".... the things we do for love."
OldSmoke wrote on 12/19/2014, 9:47 AM

I do a yearly Nutcracker On Ice DVD, 3 camera shoot for our skating club and ice rink. At the average we get 55-70 discs of which around 20 are BD. I charge $50 for a DVD and $60 for a BD and $15/disc I donate to the skating club. I make promo videos twice before the event and I also provide download links to chapters of the DVD but only for those that bought a disc and never the whole play. I get paid on the day of the event and I usually deliver in two weeks, last year I had to rush it in 10days.
There is no way you can make "real" money from that but I do it for fun and for the club. I am certain that even wedding videos are not doing so well, corporate videos are better paid but have more demanding customers.
As for getting them to buy BDs, it takes a lot of talking and a 42" HDTV at the booth to show the difference; I did that in 2012 & 2013. However, the customers I educated in 2012 where not there in 2013 because the children of those parents stopped skating and new young ones came in and I had to educate them again. I didn't do it this year but still sold 18 BDs; maybe I do it again next year. My take on all that is simple, the customer gets what he wants and trust me, the majority doesn't know or see the difference.
I record only in 1280x720 @ 59.94p which converts nicely to DVD and BD. The links I provide are also 1280x720 but only @29.97p and 5Mpbs which makes it ok for a tablet or phone but not so much for a big TV.

Anyways, this is what I do.

Proud owner of Sony Vegas Pro 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 and now Magix VP15&16.

System Spec.:
Motherboard: ASUS X299 Prime-A

Ram: G.Skill 4x8GB DDR4 2666 XMP

CPU: i7-9800x @ 4.6GHz (custom water cooling system)
GPU: 1x AMD Vega Pro Frontier Edition (water cooled)
Hard drives: System Samsung 970Pro NVME, AV-Projects 1TB (4x Intel P7600 512GB VROC), 4x 2.5" Hotswap bays, 1x 3.5" Hotswap Bay, 1x LG BluRay Burner

PSU: Corsair 1200W
Monitor: 2x Dell Ultrasharp U2713HM (2560x1440)

Woodenmike wrote on 12/19/2014, 10:01 AM
I wrestle with this too. Our school presells the school shows and i do alright with DVD sales, but our dance company doesn't and is further complicated with multiple casts from different performances, which i shoot with 2 cameras each night for 4 nights. I am at the point where i am going to start charging for the time and let them deal with the DVD sales however they want. The DVD market is limited to just our parents and families of the students because of copyright issues with the music that gets used by the performances which pays royalties for performance but doesn't include DVD distribution rights.
Kimberly wrote on 12/19/2014, 10:21 AM
I deal with this every Friday night on the scuba boat with my weekly souvenir video.

I distribute a DVD in NTSC and PAL and a Blu-Ray. People increasingly want a file for their tablets, etc., but I just act as if I'm techno challenged and say I do disks because that way I can guarantee that it will play in their hardware and if it doesn't play then I'll give them a refund. In the six years I've been on the boat, I've never had a customer ask for a refund, but I have replaced 6-8 disks.

I know the tech savvy guests can copy the disk and pass it around. Some do right in front of me. I don't do guilt, but I do let the guests know it's my camera, my housing, my lights, etc., if they ask. Otherwise I just do my thing and try to show everyone in the most flattering way I can.

My sales are good so in my case, I don't think offering a file would increase my $$$ and might possibly erode my bottom line.


[r]Evolution wrote on 12/19/2014, 2:27 PM
Each season I shoot a 3cam, HD Ice Skate show.

I charge the club $150. This covers my Discs, Ink, & Production time. It also gives them peace-of-mind that they have a professional videographer to cover the event. They advertise the event and me.

I offer pre-sales online as well as set up 2 laptops at the shows for sales. My team dresses uniformly, my clean vehicle w/skin is visible to those entering the building, & 3 Broadcast quality HD VidCams get prominently displayed in the rink. This is all important because the vibe & energy of the event pushes people to place orders at showtime.

DVD's are $25 & Bluray's +$10.
I shoot, edit, & export 1080p. The Video/Show as well as Disc Graphics are the same. I Author .iso's for DVD & Bluray. I burn to the respective media depending on the orders. I deliver an extra 6 DVD's to the club so they can make their money ($150) back with post-sales once I remove the order form.

There's no doubt that the end product looks better on Bluray and it takes no more work to produce both DVD's & Bluray's. I only offer .mp4/video files to those that want a single act for use to help with scholarships or to share with friends, family, etc. This option is also offered at DVD or Bluray price +$10. I tend to get other bookings for weddings, events, etc. via my my sales and advertising of this event.