September 14, 2015 at 6:16PM

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Self creating my own DVDs

Hello NFS,

I am currently producing a feature length documentary. I'm looking to earn some money to cover costs and earn a little bit of money. We are going to take the movie on tour and have a couple of screenings around the USA. We are considering creating a couple of DVDS to sell at the screenings- Do any of you have any experience burning your own DVDs and distributing them?

2 Comments

Hey,

This might not exactly be what you're looking for but a couple of months back, my team was commissioned to film a concert and the client wanted DVDs of the concert to sell. Since it was a small quantity (30+) we decided to burn the DVDs ourselves and package them as it was about 40% cheaper than sending them out for duplication. We got the DVD-R discs from a local store for about $0.25/pc (converted to USD) and ordered DVD cases in bulk online for $10 for 50 pieces. If you have a good colour printer, you could print the covers yourself and stick them into the box, or you could send them to a printing store to get them nicely printed on glossy paper. (We opted to print them ourselves.) You can use Nero or Adobe Encore to design the menus and add chapter markers. Of course, the methods outlined here are extremely low cost and if you're looking for something more professional (like with DVD stickers), then I highly suggest sending them out to DVD printers for printing and duplication. Note that if you want your DVDs to be in 1080p,
you're gonna to have to use Blu-ray Discs which cost more. Time-wise, burning the DVDs yourself shouldn't be too time consuming as it takes about 30 mins to encode a master copy (with all the menus and chapter markers) and about 5 minutes to duplicate each disc. I hope this helps. All the best for your tour!

Cheers,
Sean.

October 16, 2015 at 11:00PM

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Sean Ng
Director
86

Hello Taylor,

Just today I finished self-producing around 80 DVDs for my latest documentary, and there are a few things I learned that I think could be helpful for you as well.
(The documentary is about a choir and we have a fixed price agreement - all the members signed an ordering list - so I may not be a big help in terms of tips on distributing.)
The first thing you want to decide is whether you want to do it all yourself or if you want to pay a DVD company to do the work for you. Depending on the number, model and packaging of your discs, it can even be cheaper than doing it yourself. Most DVD houses offer authoring, burning/pressing, printing and packaging for your Discs and your product will look very professional. I would suggest doing some research on local and online companies.
You also need to make the decision between DVDs or Blu-Rays, which obviously depends on the length of your film and the quality you want to achieve, but primarily on your budget (Blu-Rays are very expensive.)

If you decide to do it yourself, here is my basic workflow:
I exported from Adobe Premiere Pro to an MPEG-2 DVD file and imported it into Adobe Encore where I did all my authoring. (I also used Adobe Photoshop to create the DVD menus.) I then exported my Encore project to an ISO file, which is easy to mass-burn to a large number of discs using a program like ImgBurn.
I bought 100 printable DVDs, 100 DVD boxes, and 100 box covers on Amazon, which were all pretty cheap while their quality was astoundingly good for their price (not as good as Hollywood DVDs of course, but nothing too bad). You could save some money on the box covers and just use thick paper and cut it out later. I designed the on-DVD cover and the box cover in Photoshop and printed everything with my home inkjet printer. The by far most expensive thing was the ink, for 80 DVDs I emptied two black and two 3-color cartridges.
The total costs were between 2-3 € (2-4 $) per DVD.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Niko

October 17, 2015 at 2:42PM, Edited October 17, 2:44PM

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Niko Supplieth
Filmmaker
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