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recording video conference

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adam Mercadorecording video conference
by on Jun 28, 2006 at 7:42:04 am

This is way OT I know, but not really sure where to ask this. And folks here are so knowledgable figure it is worth a try...

I am trying to set up a video conference to conduct a remote customer testimonial interview. Been looking at the various products/services on the web and there are just so many. Nothing jumps out as the clear choice. iChat AV supports firewire/DV camera for high quality. Skype looks pretty easy to use and can record to a file. iVisit is quick and cheap. i have contacted the various software developers seeking more information, but I wanted to see if anybody else has done this before and what tools one might recommend.

Please any information and clarity would be most welcome

cheers
mm66


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Mark SuszkoRe: recording video conference
by on Jun 28, 2006 at 6:27:58 pm

Could you expand upon how you plan to use this testimonial interview? Details are important.


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adam MercadoRe: recording video conference
by on Jun 28, 2006 at 9:33:51 pm

<>

Well if it makes a difference, we are shooting a HiDef product demo/sales peice. Unfortunately the few customers using the product are back east, and there is niether time or budget to fly out and shoot the testimonial directly. So we would like to explore the possibility of using Web Video Conferencing software to capture and conduct the interviews. The creative team will be in California and the customers will be in Ohio, possibly. We will direct them remotely via phone or chat.

Now I say HD shoot, but I am well aware we will not be able to get near those resolutions, but obviously the better quality we can get the better and we can work around the limitations creatively. Some software I have seenis limited to 320x240 from a USB web cam which, of course, wont do. Apple iChat AV will take a firewire signal from a pro camera (we use JVC HDV100s) so that would be great if I could capture that signal to a file. also, Im pretty sure the customers will be on PCs so would have to be limited to that platform, unless a good cross=platform solution exhists.

Is that enough detail, I can provide more if needed.

cheers
mm66


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Mark SuszkoRe: recording video conference
by on Jun 28, 2006 at 10:55:51 pm

OK, no offnese, it sounds crazy to me now. Is this testimonial supposed to happen live for some reason? I may have misunderstood.

Considering the stakes for the sales piece, and the fact the rest is hi-def, it makes no sense to me getting such a vital piece of your program as a low-rez stream like this. Whatever the product or service is, the guest speaker would have to be amazingly important to overcome the limitations of the format, and if that was the case, he or she is worth shooting properly in the first place.

If this is not supposed to be live, but to be edited into the high-def program layer, then it should look better and not be much more expensive to hire a guy in the town where they are to shoot them on location. This might be done, depending on the place and the guy, for maybe a half-day rate around 200-500 dollars. You put a speakerphone in the room and direct the cameraman and talent over the phone, audio-only. He then overnights the tape to you or FTP's it to you over the internet during the night. If you send the shooter a list of shots you want and diagrams of the framing, all should be well. This is competitive price-wise with anything you can set up via video-phone from the local Kinkos or etc.

Locating an affordable shooter with an HD or HDV camcorder close by the talent is not insurmountable. Companies like Crews Control and others do just this sort of thing for you, and pre-qualify the quality of the shooter so you don't get an incompetent wannabee for your money.

Seriously, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well, and you shouldn't dismiss the notion until you really have explored the options available.

We do satellite shoots like this all the time to feed interviews to remote sites around the country and 15 minutes SD with an audio IFB link to the talent is really very reasonable if you can get them to the local studio or truck.


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adam MercadoRe: recording video conference
by on Jun 29, 2006 at 4:02:38 am

<>

No, no. Just a way to capture the testimonial without having to ship the creative team across country...

<>

Well this is the crux. We initially opted to leave the testimonials off as we do not have time or budget to go get them. But the client really feels it would add a heck of a lot of value to the sales piece. The rest of the piece is CREATED HiDef, but final delivery, for now, is via web. We have decided to create and keep in the HD format thru the process to future proof the clients media. So the low res stream would not be MUCH of an issue for now, but it would definately be the weak link.

<>

This is a great idea if I can convince my client to do it. Would leave a bit less wiggle room for spontaneity but would really look much better for it.

<>

Of course, did not think of crews control. Great idea.

<>

Well this is why I am asking around now, to canvass opinion. I totally agree it is worth doing the best we can to deliver the best product. However convenient the video conference, it really would let the show down.

<>

Many thanks for your suggestions. I will pass all options on to the client and see where we lay. I'll let you know how it pans out.

adam


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