Pros and Cons of Making a DVD

WOO-HOO!!!!!! Lots of money to be made!!!!!

Digital Dummy

This is a tough one to deal with. I can’t advise anybody to go out and create an instructional book, tape, or DVD. It’s hard because it has to come from within. That’s how I look at it. For me, I have to be passionate about what I will go through putting on paper or video. I have to realize if this is something that others are going to want to learn. OK, maybe they might like to learn it, but will they want to pay for it? But most of the time, the most important thing is – can I get the information across to the “student”? This IS the most critical part because if the book, tape, or DVD is all glossy and looks great, the guts of it, the material has to be even better! If no one can learn from it, they won’t bother to buy it! You have wasted your time and effort!

So let’s go back to the basics. You have to either create something new that nobody has seen yet, create a new/better way to do a type of balloon, or it has to be a pet project that you love and others have been asking you for. Well, that’s only the beginning. Next, you have to pre-think which form your end product will take. If it is a book, you have to figure out how the pictures will represent each move you are trying to teach. Can words describe the move alone? Can an image tell it without the words? Do you need both so they can see and understand the nuance of the move being illustrated? That’s for a book.

For a tape or DVD, beyond what you need to consider for the book, you now have to think of how it will sound? Yup. You have to take a look at how you communicate! Is your voice distracting? Will it take the attention of what you are trying to teach? And for some, is it going to keep people from watching it? You don’t have to be Spielberg, but you have to think about what shots you will need to get the design across. You have to think of where you are going to produce the video. Will the colors in the background confuse you with what you are trying to do? What other distractions are there to be considered during the filming? Will there be enough light? Will, the sound being picked up strong enough – are you going to be heard? Will it be filmed MOS? (MOS is a German term that literally is: Mit Out Sound. English: Without Sound.) If you do, you can film without the balloon squeaks and background noises. Of course, the voice comes into play because now you will be doing a VO or what is known as a VoiceOver. I used this on my first DVD about the Tri-Corner Hat. I filmed in a warehouse where the phones, forklifts, people dropping things, and just general warehouse noise ran rampant through the soundtrack of the DVD. The hardest thing for me to do was to edit out all of the noises! Just like in the Real Estate field, the most important thing is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

Alright, you figured out what you want to teach, location, set, and sound. Assuming all of these requirements are met, you filmed, and now what do you do? EDIT! Here’s a headache waiting to happen! Of course, that is my opinion! How particular are you going to be about the visual and audio? If you planned properly, you would need to accomplish the fundamental editing tasks, finalize them, and output them to tape or DVD. For the rest of us who do not have everything go ideally and smooth, we have to edit the filming, so it makes sense. Add transitions and titles. And worry about the sound. Yes, I do worry about that. I don’t want too many things to distract from the message of the DVD. If I have to, I will add sounds / delete sounds, add voice over / delete dialogue not crucial to the task at hand, add background music to help long boring parts, etc. You get the idea.

If the final output is going to be a DVD, now there is one more thing you need to think about, the menu! Yep, how many chapters will there be? How is your menu going to look, and how are you going to access the chapters? 100’s of decisions!

Last but not least, packaging – Can the “Student” know what is inside the disc from the sleeve? Does it tell a little bit about you? Are they going to be interested enough in your product to buy it?

Last – last but not least, who is producing this product? Are the materials, the editing, the artwork, the writing, and the camera work going to fall within your budget? If so, are the costs going to be absorbed well enough so that you might make a profit? Don’t forget you will have to wholesale to places like MBD2 and TMeyrs and MK Brody and others who will sell it for you. All this because you had a new idea! Is it worth it?

For many of you, you might say to yourself, no way! Too much work! If you decide to go ahead and create a book, tape, or DVD, good luck!

For me, I will always say it is worth it! I love to teach! It’s not the profits. But that’s me.

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