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OT - video file deliverables

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Paul Dougherty
OT - video file deliverables
on Nov 20, 2012 at 11:39:36 pm

This pattern keeps coming up and makes me wonder what others are doing or saying about this situation. If I finish an HD video (not for broadcast or cablecast), I'll usually want to give the client two files. One is a high-quality mp4 screener made using the iPad preset in Apple Compressor, believing this should work for screening from any contemporary computer. I'll also want to turn over a ProRes Quicktime master. I try to say that this big master file is really not intended for "office" use but rather is meant to be used by a professional to down-convert for just about anything or any spec… and is also there for posterity.

Video is becoming more of a commonplace than a speciality and clients often seem baffled that I would give them anything they just can't play/use and furthermore seem confused that some file type might be Pro only. In one such episode with a big, well known ad agency -they implied they do not have that kind of expertise in-house.. which can't be true. Please tell me if I'm going about this the wrong way or "framing it" the wrong way. It all seems to straight-forward but confusion persists.

Thanks in advance for any advice,


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Alan Okey
Re: OT - video file deliverables
on Nov 21, 2012 at 12:06:35 am

I'd suggest creating and keeping a ProRes archive of the project yourself, but don't offer it to the client unless they ask for it or need it. You'd be surprised at the number of broadcasters who now request h.264 deliverables as opposed to ProRes or Uncompressed. More and more, "good enough" seems to be winning out over what used to be accepted as "best practice."

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Tom Valens
Re: OT - video file deliverables
on Nov 21, 2012 at 2:00:21 am

I've wondered about this recently as well. What I've done (I'm usually editing ProRes 422 timelines) is used Compressor to send 2 files: one with the Custom>Cram>Apple Trailer>Native> 1080p Stereo setting, and a second one with the Custom>Cram>Vimeo>Vimeo HD>720p16:9 setting. The first one seems to be good quality (for the web) and is about 7% the size of the Pro Res 422 file. I haven't tried the iPad setting - maybe I'll do a test and see how that compares. The second file is less than half the size of the first one, but still seems to be a decent quality. Then when I send those, I also mention that I have the higher quality Pro Res files and could send those if needed (though usually too large to send with the normal Dropbox or YouSendIt methods). But not knowing how the files are to be used, I even wonder if I should be sending a still lower quality version in case they need fast uploads/downloads etc. If I ask what size they want, I often get either no response or just a "Whaaa?"

Any words of wisdom?

Tom Valens
Tamalpais Productions
Forest Knolls, CA

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Joseph Owens
Re: OT - video file deliverables
on Nov 21, 2012 at 4:47:38 pm

[Paul Dougherty] "-they implied they do not have that kind of expertise in-house.. which can't be true."

Oh, its true. Really creative people have been known to make a virtue of having no technical foundation.

Anyway, yah, hitting the same issues... H264 is taking over for what they want for their desktops and streams. Many over-the-net distributors insist on XDCam MXF deliveries, which is not much better than a so-so BluRay, but its going to have the hell compressed out of it anyway so that it fits on the broadcasters' servers. ProRes would be the "glass master" that you may as well keep. And I hear "Uncompressed" at least as I used to know it, less and less but now the ProRes QT is the one that is regarded as "Uncompressed".


"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.

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