What's new

My Documentary Premieres on DVD; Want Your Suggestions (1 Viewer)

Jason Scott

May 3, 2003
Hello there.

My name is Jason Scott, and I've spent the last year and a half shooting footage for a documentary on dial-up Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes) ranging from pre-personal computer days (for background) to the remnants of that experience in the present day (still running BBSes and Internet equals, and so on).

The subject matter is less important to everyone here than the fact that I intend the primary (and possibly only) release format to be DVD. I might get a TV deal for some part of the final project, but I expect that for most of my eventual audience it will be a DVD and/or box set they will purchase (likely over a number of months).

I interviewed one of your members, which is how I found out about this fantastic resource. While browsing some of the comments and reviews, it occurred to me that I would like to ensure the best possible DVD by asking you, the top watermark of the viewing audience, what makes a good DVD.

I'll give some further details here if you want to take me up on this offer/discussion.

The (so far) 140 interviews have been shot using a Canon XL-1 (Mini-DV) camera, lit by various methods, mostly a pair of tungsten (Omni and Tota) lights. I've occasionally used daylight, but mostly I prefer to use these lights, as I was trained as a film student and picked up some knowledge and habits that way. I like to think that my shots look better than most video camera work, but of course I may be fooling myself.

There will be inserts and other sources of image and sound coming from videotapes, magazine articles and photographs, which I am scanning in at a high resolution so I can make them as good as possible. Obviously, some of these are 20 years old and can't compete with something shot yesterday.

So I guess my questions are:

:star: What good qualities do you look for in a DVD?
:star: What common, easily fixed mistakes do you keep running into and being frustrated by?
:star: Is there something I should be doing in terms of working with the image or sound that I should be aware of?
:star: Obviously, I'm doing a documentary so I won't have "spectacle" but are there things you look for in a relatively low-key DVD like this?

Thanks in advance for any help people want to bring along. I will happily answer any questions and provide more detail or shots if people want them.

Jeff Kleist

Senior HTF Member
Dec 4, 1999
Since this is your first DVD, don't go nuts with the menus. Make something attractive, but don't go crazy. And don't even THINK about putting modem squeal in the background :)

Include English subtitles if possible. There are programs out there (freeware) that will generate appropriate files

I would look into getting your sound compressed as Dolby digital, that way you can devote as much space as possible to video. Since you are not a professional compressionist, nor are likely to have the tools to do it properly, you need to be able to devote as much space to video as possible

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Latest member
Recent bookmarks