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DVD Sales

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Jason MechelkeDVD Sales
by on Dec 17, 2007 at 8:56:39 pm

I'm working on a proposal for a local ice skating orgainztions annual skating show in March and they are requesting DVD's for distribution. While asking for the proposal, they mentioned that they could "help" in the duplication and distrubution of the final project in order to keep costs down. I have two thoughts on this and I would like some other opinions.

My first thought is to handle everything myself and just hand them the total number of DVD's that they are requesting. This way I would have total control over the final product and would make sure that all copies are completed properly with the right labels and jacket covers. I could also prevent others from copying my work without permission, by creating one master and making all copies from that. For me this option is more of a quality control issue, I want the work that goes out in the public to be my best work from top to bottom and this would allow me to control all of that. The issues with this is time, it will take me a little longer to get everything burned, designed, printed, and distrubted. And it will cost the client a litte bit more, however this is a cost they can pass on to purchasers of the DVD.

The second option would be to just build them a master DVD and let them take care of the rest. They would print there own labels and purchase their own cases and print their own case labels, if they decided to do so. This would save me a lot of time, but it would take away the quality control part that I talked about before. I'm also not sure what to charge them for a master DVD like this if I went this route.

So my question is what are you all doing when it comes to a project like this? Is keeping the control over your project more important than just getting the project done quickly and more affordably for client? What do you charge for a Master DVD that you give to a client(I would of course keep a master as well.)

Whether or not this matters, I'm proposing my hourly rate for shooting and editing. And then I plan on charging a flat amount per DVD if I go the route of doing everything myself.

Any and all opinions are welcome.

Thanks

Jason Mechelke
Midnight Sun Productions, LLC


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Raymond Motion PicturesRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 17, 2007 at 9:14:31 pm

I would give them a master - those sorts of things never sell the way organizers (or you!) THINK they're going to sell. Grant them the right to make copies of the master, charge them for the right and be done with it.

If there's copyrighted music in the background - then don't charge them because you don't own all the rights.


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David Roth WeissRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 17, 2007 at 9:34:06 pm

In my opinion, the answer to your question is entirely dependent on volume of DVDs you'll be making/selling. If its less than 1000, you're "duplicatiing" -- or over a thousand, "replicating." Duplicating means burning, no copy protection, and packaging by hand; replicating means professionally stamped from a glass master and usually including machine printing and packaging.

Depending on how many you're making, DVDs can either be a good source of income or just a royal pain in butt, with lots of work involved and very little revenue. Tell me how many you're projecting for the first run and I'll be better able to help you determine how much of the job to keep vs. how much to give away.

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Ron LindeboomRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 17, 2007 at 9:38:16 pm

David's basics are spot on but the numbers have changed recently. Today, it is possible to get replicated discs in quantities of 300 at places like discmakers.com and I suspect there are others (but I am not sure of them and can't recommend them).

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
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Raymond Motion PicturesRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 17, 2007 at 9:43:04 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "David's basics are spot on but the numbers have changed recently. Today, it is possible to get replicated discs in quantities of 300 at places like discmakers.com and I suspect there are others (but I am not sure of them and can't recommend them)."

Here's the problem - no replicating house will replicate unless the music copyrights are paid for and clear. The client needs to be aware of that.


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Ron LindeboomRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 17, 2007 at 9:46:28 pm

[Raymond Motion Pictures] "Here's the problem - no replicating house will replicate unless the music copyrights are paid for and clear. The client needs to be aware of that."

If there was copyrighted music being used, it wasn't stated in the original question nor in David's reply -- which is what I was addressing.

You are absolutely right that if copyrighted music does come into play, a replicator will not touch it with a 10 foot pole.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

Now in the COW Magazine: Commercials. A look at the history, strategy, techniques and production workflows of successful commercials. All brought to you by some of the COW's brightest members. Accept no substitutes!

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Steve WargoRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 18, 2007 at 5:17:05 am

We did this for 10 years for a local Ice Skating organization. they actually had an ASCAP-BMI license for skate competitions.

You never said how much you were charging for the dupes.

When we do small dupe runs, we charge $3.50 a printed, burned disc in a thin clear jewel case. That is the price we discovered was the difference between them doing it and us doing it. Subtracting cost of goods sold, we make $2 a disc. So, it doesn't pay until we a hundred or so and even then, it has to be one of my lower level employees.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 on the way.


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David Roth WeissRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 18, 2007 at 5:52:27 am

[Steve Wargo] "we charge $3.50 a printed, burned disc in a thin clear jewel case."

Steve,

That's too low! The major dub house nearby charges $7.50, so I charge $6.50. Still a bargain for the client, but lucrative for me. I better not find out you're producing their DVDs next week...

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Steve WargoRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 19, 2007 at 7:08:16 am

[David Roth Weiss] " I better not find out you're producing their DVDs next week." Send me their info and I'll ask them not to tell you anything.

The above price is a wholesale price for clients when they need to resell to recoup their money.

We have a 9 disc duplicator system and our Bravo Pro printer does runs of 50 pieces. In 40 minutes, my $10 per hour helper can burn and print 50 copies at a cost of $ .70 each or $35. 50 x $3.50 is $175 for a gross profit of $130.

Our normal price is $5 to $7.50 depending on how clueless the client is. (Hope they're not reading this)

Actually, the Bravo Pro printer takes about 100 seconds to print the face of a disc so it takes a bit under an hour and a half to print 50 discs.

Thin jewel cases are about $ .18 so there goes my bottom line. All shot to hell.

Send us your dub orders. Of course, as soon as I know who your clients are, we'll offer to do better production work for less money and then we'll end up losing your business because you won't have any. Crap. It's just a vicious circle isn't it?



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 on the way.


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David Roth WeissRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 19, 2007 at 7:36:05 am

[Steve Wargo] "Of course, as soon as I know who your clients are, we'll offer to do better production work for less money"

Ummm... Steve...

You may offer to do better production work, but of course it doesn't get any better, so you'd have a tough time delivering.

Anyway, its my birthday Friday, so don't steal all my clients.

Happy holidays!!!

David





David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Steve WargoRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 23, 2007 at 6:20:06 am

Happy Birthday

Merry Christmas

Happy New Year

Thanks for all the great posts this year. You've brought a lot to this forum.




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 on the way.


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David Roth WeissRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 24, 2007 at 6:29:16 pm

Thanks Stevie!!!

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Raymond Motion PicturesRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 18, 2007 at 6:09:55 am

[Steve Wargo] "We did this for 10 years for a local Ice Skating organization. they actually had an ASCAP-BMI license for skate competitions."

That license counts for the rink audience, not the DVDs.


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Steve WargoCorrect
by on Dec 19, 2007 at 7:14:45 am

However, it's a sporting event and the music becomes a very debatable topic. It's kinda like basketball and baseball games, or national skating competitions where they play music and then the music becomes part of the event and bla bla bla. It's been done so long that it's almost too late to do anything about it.

I'm not trying to justify anything, just stating the facts. Not looking to start another thread on music rights.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 on the way.


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Don GreeningRe: Correct
by on Dec 19, 2007 at 10:42:27 pm

[Steve Wargo] "It's kinda like basketball and baseball games, or national skating competitions where they play music and then the music becomes part of the event"

It's called "Incidental" recording and is legally acceptable, at least here in Canada.

- Don



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Raymond Motion PicturesRe: Correct
by on Dec 20, 2007 at 2:54:36 am

[Don Greening] "
It's called "Incidental" recording and is legally acceptable, at least here in Canada."


It's not 'incidental' if they're performing to it. An example of incidental music would be in a documentary scene where it's part of the reality of the scene and not controlled as in a feature film.


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Don GreeningRe: Correct
by on Dec 20, 2007 at 8:41:42 pm

[Raymond Motion Pictures] "It's not 'incidental' if they're performing to it."

Correct. But music playing in the background at a wedding is considered incidental recording. Again, this is here in Canada. What that is considered in other parts of the globe I have no idea.

- Don



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Todd at Fantastic PlasticRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 17, 2007 at 10:07:37 pm

[Raymond Motion Pictures] "no replicating house will replicate unless the music copyrights are paid for and clear."

That's interesting, indeed.... I'd never thought about that.

I can say though that although our music is always paid for and with clear copyright, the particular replication houses that we use (including what I think must be the largest one on the world which happens to be in my hometown) have never once even asked us about music clearances.

Maybe we just got lucky...


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Raymond Motion PicturesRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 17, 2007 at 10:34:17 pm

[Todd at Fantastic Plastic] "I can say though that although our music is always paid for and with clear copyright, the particular replication houses that we use (including what I think must be the largest one on the world which happens to be in my hometown) have never once even asked us about music clearances."

Well, they are doing the COPYING.

The whole thing's a sticky-mess. BMI & ASCAP have no set up for 30 DVDs of amateur ice-skaters. By the time you add in macrovision requirements, the parents will be paying $200 (or more) a disk to watch their little Suzy.


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David Roth WeissRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 17, 2007 at 11:54:44 pm

[Todd at Fantastic Plastic] "I can say though that... ...the particular replication houses that we use... ...have never once even asked us about music clearances."

Todd,

In the last year things have gotten much tighter in the industry after some of the biggest labs and DVD replicators were implicated in major crimes when some bad-apple employees were caught red-handed copying many first-run films and stealing Academy Award nominated screeners.

As a show of good faith, many of the labs participated in sting operations that helped pinpoint exactly which employees were responsible. The bad employees wound-up with serious jail time. Meanwhile, the labs, many of which could have been sued out of existence, agreed to institute copyright checking proceedures. However, if the lab knows you, and they know you are legitimate, they often bypass most proceedures. The lab that I go to asks for a music cue sheet and a signature on a document declaring that we own all rights.

David



David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Ron LindeboomRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 18, 2007 at 12:34:54 am

I have done business with discmakers.com (as well as CRT in North Carolina) and they have always been incredible strict about rights clearances. I have always bitched that they are so strict that I can't even have my account set up to where I can have an assistant work with my account even if I pay for it. As the responsible party, I have to hold the bag all the way through the process, so that there is no one else to shuffle blame to should a clearance issue ever arise. (Not that I'd ever do that but you get the point.)

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

Now in the COW Magazine: Commercials. A look at the history, strategy, techniques and production workflows of successful commercials. All brought to you by some of the COW's brightest members. Accept no substitutes!

Would you like to be in Creative COW Magazine with your story or contributi...

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David Roth WeissRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 18, 2007 at 12:00:29 am

[Ron Lindeboom] "the numbers have changed recently. Today, it is possible to get replicated discs in quantities of 300"

Yes, that's true, but the rate they charge for a run of 300 is often so close to rate for 1000 that its doesn't seem quite worth it. On the other hand, if you've ever had to store 1,000 DVDs in their full packaging, its a bigger deal than you'd think.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Jason MechelkeRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 17, 2007 at 9:40:27 pm

I was told they wanted about 30-40 DVD's.

Jason Mechelke
Midnight Sun Productions, LLC


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David Roth WeissRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 17, 2007 at 11:29:54 pm

Jason,

30 - 40 oughta be easy for you to do, and the going rate these days is $6.50 to $7.50 per disc, just for burning and inkjet printed discs with a paper sleeve. That's on top of a fee for authoring.

David



David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Jason MechelkeRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 18, 2007 at 3:14:03 am

Thanks David and all that responded. As always, I learned more valuable information from the "herd".

Jason



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Kerry BrownRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 18, 2007 at 7:57:16 am

As a sidebar how many of you are aware that a MPEG LA license fee is supposed to be paid for
each duplicated or replicated DVD?

KB


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Herb SevushRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 18, 2007 at 5:54:40 pm

Kerry -

So in the case of Jason's 40 disk order he would owe 80 cents. I'm sure MPEG LA will be running after him to collect. If you are selling enough DVD's for the license fee to matter, then you are dealing with a duplicator who is already paying the license fee. This is really a non issue.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Kerry BrownRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 18, 2007 at 7:43:14 pm

Not so, there are duplicators that don't even know about MPEG LA. This falls into the realm of copyright issues. " If it's only a few it doesn't matter?"

KB


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Herb SevushRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 18, 2007 at 8:55:14 pm

Kerry -

My understanding is that if the duplicator doesn't know, or is failing to pay anyway, it's their problem, not yours. And yes, if it's only a few it doesn't matter. If the fee involved is less than the cost of the postage for the letter requesting the fee, it's too small to be collectible -- and then what's the issue?

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Kerry BrownRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 19, 2007 at 5:13:40 am

Over a year's time it could add up. Here is what MPEG LA had to say about some
questions I had.

1) "Are duplicators supposed to have this license?"

Response: Yes, they are.

2) "Does a cable access facility that makes DVD copies of shows need the
license?"

Response: Yes.

3) "Does any one making duplications and original DVDs need the
license?"

Response: Yes, if they create MPEG-2 Packaged Medium (e.g., CD, DVD
discs containing MPEG-2 video) for anything other than their own home or
personal use, then they would benefit from the coverage of the MPEG-2
License in Section 2.4 for MPEG-2 Packaged Medium and would be
responsible for applicable royalties for the MPEG-2 video on each disc.

4) "Is the royalty paid thru the purchase of blank DVDs?"

Response: No, it paid by the party creating the discs with MPEG-2 video
content on them (see 3 above).

As a general matter, patent holders have the right to place a royalty at
any point in the product chain, and in the case of our MPEG-2 License,
it is our current policy to hold replicators/duplicators responsible for
taking the License and paying applicable royalties for the MPEG-2
Packaged Medium they create. But, if a replicator chooses not to
comply, they thereby thrust the responsibility onto its customers and
the patent holders will have no choice but to hold the customers
responsible for payment.

"Under the MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License the party that offers MPEG-2
Royalty Products (Section 1.25) for Sale (Section 1.30) to the end user
is responsible for royalties on the various categories of end product
(in hardware or software) sold or placed into the stream of
distribution."

Scenario #1: I create the DVD for client, I send to duplicator, I
deliver to client (reseller).

Scenario #2: I create the DVD for client, I deliver to client
(reseller). Client sends to duplicator. Duplicator delivers copies to
client.

Who should be the licensee?

Also what about schools or government intuitions that offer DVDs of the
graduation or other events?

"In the scenarios you describe above, MPEG LA would look to
the party duplicating the discs to be licensed and pay the applicable
royalties. But, to the extent that party does not meet its obligations,
all other parties in the product chain have infringement liability and
can be held responsible for the applicable royalties."




KB


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Herb SevushRe: DVD Sales
by on Dec 19, 2007 at 3:23:30 pm

Kerry -

I got it, yes, we should all be very aware that the MPEG codec has royalties attached. So does the lyrics to the song "Happy Birthday". And I am as concerned about my exposure to improper use of DVD duplication as I am to the unpaid royalties I owe when singing happy birthday at my son's party. Both instances are only an issue when used in "Mass Media" - 300 copies of a high school graduation DVD (royalty's due = $6.00) are not going to get the school board in trouble. If you're pressing ten thousand DVDs and your duplicator isn't paying the proper licensing fee, and MPEG LA deems fit to come after you as the distributor, you can feel free to sue the duplicator - fat lot of good it will due you - and then all the lawyers can buy a Benz for the new girlfriend. The licensing fees are only an issue with the actual duplicators who are pressing millions of disks a year. It is not practical for MPEG LA to go after anyone else. Especially a guy who is discussing pressing 40 DVDs for an event.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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