DVD Media and DVD Burning Guide
Hey all, short post here- i've been burning dvds using some cheap software suit for festival applications and have had to learn the hard way about dvd and dvd-burning software. Have hit my share of road bumps so far, so here's an update...
For those new to this, there a billion different DVD formats out there and it can get really confusing, but here's the bottom line: Use the dvd format, DVD-R, for your festival and screener copies that you'll want to be able to play on basic dvd players and not just ones installed on laptops and computers. Here's a good guide on the net.
Secondly, the brand does in fact matter. I was using Verbatim for my first batch and when I ran out I found a great sale on Imation DVD+R dvds and found out that some copies weren't playing correctly and getting all screwed up. I've sent out 5 copies of these to 5 festivals and now will have to call them to make sure they were viewable. argh! This link here gives a pretty good run down of the different brands and how reliable they are.
Thirdly, when you're done burning, check your dvd on numerous players for increased piece of mind! On my computer I have a dvd burner and another dvd player as well as the dvd player connected to my tv. I always check the integrity of a newly burned disk on all three, but the other day got a call that a submission stopped halfway thru the movie on the screener's player. I've also had disks that play perfectly on my computer's drives but that choke up on the one connected to the tv. So always check!!
So here's the summary: use DVD-R format for 98% compatibility and use Verbatim, Maxell, or Sony brands and check on numerous players!!!
Finally, I'm using the consumer-targetted, Pinnacle Studio 10 for creating my DVD menus and creating a simple festival screener that has my trailer, the film, and my contact information. Seems like a very basic project to me, but what is packaged as a simple, user-friendly application is giving me huge headaches!! I'd like a screener to be able to
1) watch the trailer and return to the menu when done and
2) watch the movie which has been chaptered by scenes to allow for skipping ahead or backwards in the 30 minute film.
WOW, THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE IN THIS PROGRAM!!! I can't seem to have both the trailer and the full film co-existing nicely in this program. Either you get returned to the main menu after each chapter in the film, or after the trailer finishes the main film will automatically start. you either get sent back to main menu all the time or never.
So the jury's still out on the software application and I'm praying the 15 festival applications will be viewable!!!
The good news at least is that I'm beginning to get feedback on the film from people who are seeing it for the first time and the reaction's been overall extremely positive! More on that soon!