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Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises

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Jared Cicon
Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 22, 2010 at 8:09:08 pm

Hi Everyone,
I produced a commercial for an individual business that happens to be a franchise of a larger chain. There is an opportunity to sell the same content (with ending text edit changes) to about 20 different franchises. I want to quote this at the best price possible in order to get the work. I NEED the work. I was thinking of offering them at $750 per edit (franchise).
Here is my concern: I need to be able to give each of them a broadcast ready master in the easiest/cheapest way possible that doesn't cut too deeply into my profit. I really would like to avoid the expense of delivering the Beta Broadcast copies myself. Is there a codec I can choose from Final Cut 6.0.6 that I can send each franchise through an FTP or maybe even on a DVD and let the cable company create their own Beta transfer? Or better yet, might there be a codec I can send from FCP from which the local cable/TV channels can broadcast directly? Sorry if I sound like a bit of a rookie on this. I haven't ever gone this low of a price point before and usually, my making the Beta copy from a ProRes copy doesn't cut into the profit enough for it to make a difference. In this case however, we are talking about a bunch of beta copies going to a bunch of different people. I really need to make this as painless and inexpensive as possible while still delivering an easy to use product to the customer. Thanks in advance for your help.
Note: I also posted this thread in a BROADCAST MEDIA forum
Jared Cicon


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 22, 2010 at 8:43:04 pm

20 Beta Tapes cost = $160.00
20 Station Pay you = $15,000

Sounds like a deal to me...
(I know, shipping = $60.00)

But, that aside, I think u'll have to check with the stations and see what deliverable they'll except. Some may take a digital file and some may not.

Maybe you can ftp mpegs to some and data disc mov. to some and beta tape to some?

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta


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Neil Hurwitz
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 22, 2010 at 9:54:41 pm

If you can get 750.00 each JUMP ON IT
20 tapes, @ 10.00 each = 200.00
20 Fed Ex,@ 35.00 each = 700.00
2 Day BetaSP Rental @150.00 = 300.00 (if you don't have one)
Your cost 1,200.00
It should take you an hour at most to tag these
Your Profit 13,800.00
or looking at it slightly diferently
that's 690.00 an Hour for your time

RUN, JUMP, RUN as fast as you can to get this job
And if you want to do nothing, NADA, Nothing
send it to me and I'll tag and ship them for
400.00 each and you make a cool 7000.00 for doing nothing
RUN, JUMP, RUN
I realize that you want to maximize your profit
but this is a home run.
Most here would piss themselves to get such a profitable gig.
RUN JUMP RUN


Neil Hurwitz


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Neil Hurwitz
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 22, 2010 at 9:58:37 pm

OOPS, I meant an HOUR for EACH
for a total of 20 hours
But should be way less


Neil Hurwitz


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Jared Cicon
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 23, 2010 at 12:04:39 am

Hey Neil,
First of all, thanks for taking the time to hook me up with your knowledge.
I have never rented a Beta Machine myself, but this looks like it may be an option, if I get the green light from all of the different franchises all in the same week. How exactly would it work. Do I hook the beta recorder up via firewire to my Mac and just use the Print to Tape out of FCP?
Jared


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Jared Cicon
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 22, 2010 at 11:46:02 pm

Hey Chris,
I know it may not seem like a lot of work, but all of the phone calls/recording/shipping that will go into figuring out deliverability to each of the 20 different local cable channels could get very convoluted. Time is just as expensive as beta tapes (even more so). I wonder if I can simply quote them a Hi-Def .mov or data file via FTP or DVD and let each franchise handle the issue between themselves and the cable channel they'll be interacting with. Do you think that would fly?
Jared


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Phil Smith
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 22, 2010 at 10:49:06 pm

This is exactly what I do all day (when I'm not on the road). Sweet! ;-)

I would start off by asking your client if they belong to a service such as Aspera (FTP on steroids for broadcast) OR if they are partnered with TVN, Ascent or a similar regional provider for spot delivery. If they are, your job just got SUPER easy. These services are in the business of distributing regional specific spots.

For Aspera: All you would have to do is create your end-pages to the spots, create a master sequence, and output as either DVCPro50 or DVCProHD. I believe that Aspera also accepts PhotoJPEG as a codec, but I prefer DVC if the client will take it because it will easily keep 4 tracks of audio with very little hit in quality. That way my mix minus doesn't have to be a separate file.

For TVN, Ascent or similar: All you have to do is print to Digi or SP with your Master reel, and TVN will setup a link (usually VYVX or Sat Feed) with the regionals and everybody will take what they need from the feed.

One more thing: DVCPro50 is fine for FTP, and looks fine (especially for SD).

If they don't have these options, things vary greatly form there. I would likely just proceed with charging them an hourly + expenses.

I don't mean to pry, but I'm curious as to why you are so nervous about this? They seem to like your work. I wouldn't discount too much as long as they know you will deliver.

Good luck!
-PJ


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Jared Cicon
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 22, 2010 at 11:57:53 pm

Hey Phil,
Lot's of great information in your response. I always look forward to inquiring here at Creative Cow, coz I am always amazed at the breadth of knowledge of the community. Right now I am up in San Francisco attending a wedding for my wife's cousin. In fact, she is giving me the evil eye as I type this for returning your email, but she understands that I am asking for a favor of you guys there at CC, so it's all good.
If I am creating a master copy from FCP 6.0.6, from footage shot on a Sony HDRFX-1 (mini-dv) and captured at 1440x1080, am I still ok exporting using the DVCpro50 codec? My time line has the 1440x1080 attributes. And will the franchises be able to take that DVCpro50 file and create a high quality beta copy?
I guess another question is: Can I simply send that DVCpro50 file to a mastering house and have a beta copy made directly from it, in the same way I have a beta made from a ProRes file?
Hope I am making myself clear. I only started commercial production about four years ago and am still in a little bit of a rookie phase.

Jared


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 23, 2010 at 12:08:04 am

Output ur finished timeline to a reference file.
Bring that into compressor.
Create DV50 file or whatever format u need.


Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta


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Jared Cicon
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 23, 2010 at 12:12:20 am

Hey Chris,
Thanks for getting back to me, and please bear with me for asking rookie questions. When you say 'reference file' do you mine a 'QUICKTIME MOVIE'?
Jared
If I don't respond to your next email soon it is because my wife made me go to her cousin's wedding reception.


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Phil Smith
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 23, 2010 at 1:29:14 am

So, just to make sure I have this understood... You want these masters to come out as SD (standard definition) correct?

Because it sounds like you shot HDV, captured it to ProRes, edited your piece and used compressor to crop and spit out a BetaSP copy?

Sorry, just want to be absolutely sure before I go any further...

-PJ


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Jared Cicon
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 23, 2010 at 5:54:36 am

Hey Phil,
Just got back from the wedding reception. Thanks for helping me out here.
No, with this project I captured as Hi-def, not Pro Res. I don't remember the exact name of the codec in my Easy Setup, (my computer is back in LA), but I believe it was DVCPROHD 1080i60. At this point I would like to give each franchise owner the best quality master without confusing them. If SD is the best way to go I am good with that, but I mean it when I say, I am a bit of a rookie when it comes to the mastering. So any advice you can give would be helpful. I would like to offer a single format/file to all of the franchises. If some of these clients come back to me because they are just as much of a rookie as I am (which will probably be the case with many of them), then I will offer to create a master Beta for them at $100 each.

In the past I just used 'Print To Tape', and gave the client a minidv as a master, which I recorded back on my Sony HDRFX-1 (Pro-sumer HD cam, I am sure you know).

Maybe this is a stupid question, but don't TV channels have Beta recorders to make masters when customers show up with odd formats?
Jared Cicon


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 23, 2010 at 2:40:32 pm

You ur unsure of the deliverables and don't want to contact all the stations - I would go with BetaSP - SD - Widescreen - Letterbox. Just about all broadcast facilities have/had/still use Beta SP format. It's Broadcast.

SO, output quicktime movie from your timeline, current settings.
Leave the box "make self-contained" UN-checked - this makes a reference movie file.

Drop the ref file into compressor and make a 10 bit uncompressed SD file.
Re-import, wait, do you have a Card in your edit sys? AJA, Kona? Decklink? Then you could just output a SD copy on the fly...

If not, compress to a SD file w/ compressor. Import new file into FCP, drop into same settings Timeline, edit to tape w/ bars, black and countdown. Times 20

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta


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Jared Cicon
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 23, 2010 at 4:34:30 pm

Hi Chris,
Thanks for all the detailed info. This will be very helpful as I move forward.

No I don't have a CARD, so I will have to re-import the reference file to the timeline and Print To Tape (PTT).

Question 1: I know in the current timeline with the Hi-Def footage, that PTT is not available. So when I re-import, I will need to do it with a new sequence and set it to SD correct.

Question 2: I have PTT'd before back to my Sony HDRFX-1 on a Hi-Def MiniDV to deliver a master to Cable TV stations. Is there a qualitative visual difference between MiniDV and Beta? This could save me some money. Is it just a matter of whether or not the local TV cable channel has the ability to extract from MiniDV tape?

Jared Cicon


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Phil Smith
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 23, 2010 at 8:37:43 pm

OK, I see the issue here... let's take a step back for a moment. The confusion is happening because you are using incorrect terminology for what you are trying to accomplish. The below CAPS are not for yelling, they are for terminology. ;-)

First off, "Hi-Def" would refer to one or more RESOLUTIONS, or sizes, of video. those would be 720p, 1080i or 1080p. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-definition_video#Technical_details

Formats that handle HD (or High-Def) are things like D-5, HDCAM, or XDCAM (my personal favorite for it's flexibility and file-based workflow). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XDCAM

"Beta" refers to a format of video tape that ONLY carries Standard Definition video. Examples would be: Betacam, BetacamSP, and Digi-Betacam. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betacam

So, you confused the heck out of me when you kept saying that you wanted to deliver High Definition video on BETA. That doesn't work. ;-)

Secondly, the format that you are shooting on your camera is HDV (which you probably know), what you probably didn't know is that you can capture that HDV format to any number of CODECS to your system (including ProRes, which most Final Cut editors will use because of it's low file size and high quality). ProRes can be used for just about ANY resolution video... from 525 (SD) to 720p (HD) to 1080i/p (HD). http://documentation.apple.com/en/finalcutpro/professionalformatsandworkflo...

In this case, it sounds like you used DVCProHD, which is fine for now.

So, IF you want to deliver HD, the acceptable broadcast formats for this are most likely either HDCAM, XDCAM, or D-5. Most machine rooms will NOT have HDV, which is what your Mini-DV tapes are recording. That said, I'm finding a lot of news stations now carry HDV equipment. So, if you contacted a local affiliate's commercial department, they could likely give you a price on converting from HDV to a broadcast-level master.

The other option is a post or duplication house. Something like Digital Film Tree or Transfer West.

The reason I asked about the delivery in my first posting is because if your client doesn't know what format they want, you can figure out what they need asking them for a spot delivery checklist. This is a helpful tool for you, partially because it justifies how much is generally charged for this sort of thing!

If this franchise is in only major cities, they might all have access to HDCAM. If you have smaller cities, some might only have DigiBeta... so you have to know beforehand what you are going to deliver.

The shorter answer is: No, it's not a good idea to try and simply render out different codecs hoping that they can use one of them.

Who knows? You might get lucky and they can take HDV as a master!
-PJ


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Jared Cicon
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 23, 2010 at 5:37:12 pm

Hey Phil,
If I would rather not be bothered with renting a Beta recorder and making these masters, what would something like this cost me per tape? In other words, let's say I asked Phil to do this for me. How much would it cost for you to make and ship these out to the each franchise/client? Also, what type of FCP/data/video file would you need from me in order to make their Beta copies?
Jared


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Phil Smith
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 23, 2010 at 8:47:28 pm

I appreciate being used as the "example" here... lol ;-)

For you to go to a post house, it would start to cost what Neil quoted you. The idea is getting whomever can play HD the HD version, and then properly converting it for whoever needs SD.

Or, if you're going to deliver SD only, then you could just spit out the SD-cropped version (this also assumes that you made the graphics/text all SD title safe) and give it to whomever has a deck to print to tape.

In my experience, most cable houses and network affiliates don't like Anamorphic.


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Lee Warner
Re: Making broadcast copies for individual Franchises
on May 25, 2010 at 9:52:16 pm

As a network we generally shoot and edit 1080 material as 4:3 Safe. Meaning all the important visuals are within the mid zone that can still be shown on SD transmission without anything important getting cut off. The downside is that you can't use the entire canvas but the upside is that it's easy to make SD copies that don't need to be letterboxed.

Lee
CTV Calgary


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