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Converting my demo reel for the web

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Fongaboo
Converting my demo reel for the web
on Jun 14, 2007 at 12:01:39 pm

I just finished my latest revision of my demo reel on DVD. It defaults to a straight 5-6 minute demo track, but then it allows the viewer to watch other stuff via an 'Archive' menu.

Looking for suggestions for a quick way to convert the whole thing for the web (for one, so I can get some opinions in here). Is there anything that allows for conversion of a whole DVD to a Flash file, for instance? Not talking single DVD tracks to .FLV, but rather something that could take my whole disc, menus and all, and put it inside of an interactive Flash file..

Another idea.. I had heard that the latest revision of the DivX file format had provisions for menus. If this is true, is there anything out there to convert a DVD to DivX in this way?

If not, then I guess I gotta buckle down and do some actual web work (bleh) to get it up there.


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mYthprod
Re: Converting my demo reel for the web
on Jul 8, 2007 at 3:13:06 am

Wow. No, you don't have to do "web work" per se, just give the DVD converted to a flv (or quicktime .mov which is what I prefer).

To my knowledge there isn't anything out there currently that will take a DVD with menus and all and convert it to an flv, although it's a neat idea. A lot of firms are making a lot of money on just straight conversion from tape (video) to web formats. Erm, sorenson squeeze is a popular suite that will take just about any video (from files) and convert it for you. Digital Rapids makes a lesser known "streamz" software that does a great job also (they also sell hardware that will convert "on the fly" video from sources such as a DVD player to web formats).

Most video apps will do the conversion for you though, so whatever programs you used to make your material will also be what you use to turn them into web-friendly files. It's a bit redundant to try and make a webpage into a DVD since it's far easier to just make a simple html page for the menus. There are many shareware (and probably free) apps out there that will help if you know nothing of html. Dreamweaver and frontpage are the big dogs but progs like word will actually take a regular text page and turn it into an html for you as well. You can embed objects into word docs also and I assume you can embed videos. If you do some digging you'll be able to find some friends (online maybe) who will help you out or learning it yourself may be good too.

A 5-6 minute demo reel is likely going to be too long. Industry standard demo reels are typically 1-2 minutes with 3 usually being the max. After that it's likely going to be turned off anyway. Until you severely impress them the only person who's going to care what's past the first 20 seconds of reel footage is you. The absolute worst thing you can do as a visual artist of any sort, whether it be editor, motion graphics, 3D, even sound guy, is to show or offer too much. Demo reels are brief, brilliant summaries of what you've accomplished and if they want to see more, that's what videos that aren't called demo reels are for.



- MythProd
(John David Hutton)
_________________________________________
Digital Effects Artist, Support Technician
Kansas City, Kansas - United States
_________________________________________


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Fongaboo
Re: Converting my demo reel for the web
on Jul 8, 2007 at 3:55:58 pm

Yeah one of the reasons I was hoping to find some kind of turn-key web-conversion solution for the DVD, menus-and-all... was that I wanted to pop it up here to get a few views and critiques. I can definitely make a more simple interface for the web but I was hoping to see what people here thought of my DVD layout.

Maybe the best thing to do is to roll on me navigating some of the menu, and put that movie up for perusal in this group?

Basically when you load it up, it defaults to a straight 5-minute demo. I can definitely see dicing this like you said. Just not sure what to keep and what to chuck though, which is why I wanted to find a way to make it viewable on the web in its current form.

But I also made a link to an 'archive' menu, and the reason I did this was three-fold:

1) Post-houses that do DVD authoring are one of my potential targets for employment. I wanted to show off my abilities in DVD menu design.

2) I wanted to be able to allow certain types of potential employers or clients watch a different demo that I designate in a note on the front of the DVD. For instance, a post-house wouldn't be too interested in my news work. So I'd rather let them watch a 2-minute demo of commercials, rather than a demo with just one commercial and then other stuff they wouldn't be interested in.

3) While it is true that in the initial solicitation they won't go much farther than the 2 minutes, once I actually get to interviews I have had the experience of being asked more specifically about certain aspects of my work and then having to describe a particular piece instead of being able to pull it up. The 'archive' menu allows me to pull up something specific pretty instantly on an interview, providing I'm toting a copy of my demo disc with me.

But I do have to cut out the fat for sure. So once I get something on the web, I'll repost and get your votes for what stays and what goes.



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mYthprod
Re: Converting my demo reel for the web
on Jul 8, 2007 at 4:15:53 pm

You could get a screen capture software like camtasia and then load the dvd up through windows media player or similar dvd player and move through the menus that way. Everything stays on the computer and you can convert the screen capture's resulting .avi file or whatever it makes into a web-friendly formatted file. That would work pretty well I think.



- MythProd
(John David Hutton)
_________________________________________
Digital Effects Artist, Support Technician
Kansas City, Kansas - United States
_________________________________________


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