DVD manufacturing recommendations


(Kevin Longa) #1

I know that DVDs are quickly becoming a thing of the past; however I will be creating them for university, educational and community screening kits for my international food documentary series, TASTE.

Do you have any recommendations for companies/software that does a good job of creating DVDs? I’m talking the works: creating DVD menus, play options, DVD packaging, etc.

Thanks!


(Bri Castellini) #2

I have no clue! My computer doesn’t even have a DVD/CD slot anymore so at this point I’ve gone almost entirely digital. Is making thumb drives not an option? I know @gmcalpin did a cool printed USB card thingy…

@hermdelica @movieguyjon @Anthony_Ferraro you guys have any advice here?


(Meg Carroway) #3

Yeah are DVDs as a format important here? I was doing some research and dunno if you’ll find a company that does it ALL but here’s something about software for making the information:

Then you could just find a manufacturer to actually put the information on a bunch of DVDs and package them and stuff?


(Herman Wang) #4

I haven’t created a DVD in a while, but if I had to I always use the DVD authoring tool that comes with my editor.

I don’t see anyone making a viable business out of creating DVDs these days.


(Gordon McAlpin) #5

Yeah, like Bri said, I made a USB card. It was essentially a file on a drive. No menu or anything like that, though I’m sure there are ways to approximate the “DVD experience,” if you want, like with an autorun HTML file or something like that.

I used this company: http://www.flarian.com — they had the lowest unit cost and terrific customer service, as well as lower minimum production runs and unlimited data pre-loading than other vendors I saw. I liked the card form more than other thumb drives because of the rectangular shape — which not only displays poster art nicely but fits in an envelope, so you can mail it with a regular postage stamp (even internationally).

The biggest advantages were that it’s a FAR higher quality reproduction than a DVD while being significantly lower than a Blu-ray.

If you’re dead-set on DVD, I can’t help you! Sorry for going off-topic, but I really love this USB format and think other digital creators should really look into it as a distribution mechanism — especially people who exhibit at pop culture conventions and things like that.


Festivals for Promotion
(Jonathan Hardesty) #7

NOTE: I for some reason clicked reply to @gmcalpin instead of replying to the OP. Oops.

I made DVDs for my first film a loooooooong time ago using some cheap DVD-authoring software from Office Depot / OfficeMax, which came with a sticker-press for DVD cover art. I imagine things have changed significantly since then. Sorry! Wish I could be of more help. :frowning:


(Robyn Paris) #8

Hey Kevin,

My editor is using the DVD authoring too that comes with his system, then I am sending it here to be reproduced and packaged: https://www.discmakers.com
I wish I weren’t proving DVDs but I did my Kickstarter awhile ago and promised DVDs way back then. I’ve already given everyone digital copies, but some people still love their DVDs.
The USB card is interesting but if I did another Kickstarter, I would only offer digital copies and not even bother with DVDs.
Robyn Paris
Writer/Director
The Room Actors: Where Are They Now?


(Carlo Delmar) #9

Indie filmmaker Dustin Mills uses a company called Kunaki to do inexpensive manufacure-on-demand and shipping of DVD copies of his movies.


(Kevin Longa) #10

Thanks for the @ mentions, @Bri_Castellini!

Thank you @Meg for the link!

@hermdelica, @movieguyjon: yeah, I used to make my own DVDs using iDVD on mac and a sticker press from Office Depot. That was back in high school (10 years ago). I would still use that method, but a lot of that software is pretty outdated and not really great at making DVDs in bulk (I’m talking 500+ copies at least).

@gmcalpin I definitely like the USB card idea. However, a lot of the people I’ll be selling to are expecting DVDs and they’re likely to be pretty old school consumers. So a USB might be too complicated for them and they’re expecting a high-quality product, and there’s still something about the packaging of a nice DVD set that doesn’t get replaced with digital thumb drives, cards, etc. But if I were to go the USB card route, then do you mind telling me what the user experience was like for the people who used the cards? I’m guessing the cards work for both Mac and PC and that the card would act just like a thumb drive where a person would have to manually search for and open individual video files to play the films via their computer’s file browser (i.e. the Finder application on Mac)?

@rparis what was the DVD authoring tool that your editor used? And what has been your experience with DiscMakers? Any good?

@Carlo_Delmar do you know what Dustin’s experience has been with Kunaki? Any good?


(Carlo Delmar) #11

I don’t know Dustin Mills personally, but I know he was using Kunaki in 2014. I just tried visiting his website, but it no longer exists.

Christopher Mihm sells his movies on DVD, but I don’t know what DVD manufacturing service he uses. Here is his website: http://www.sainteuphoria.com


(Gordon McAlpin) #12

No problem. Definitely, you’re gonna have some people not quite understand what to do with USB cards. But for me, the HD video file far outweighs a DVD with nice packaging but a garbage SD image.

As for the user experience, I shipped them pretty plainly, to keep the weight under 1 oz (so I could ship it with a postage stamp); they received the USB card — which looks like this http://multiplex10.bigcartel.com/product/multiplex-10-the-animated-short-usb-card — in a rigid mailer.

They fold out the… erm, prong. Spindle? Whatever it’s called. The thing that plugs into the port, and it mounts like any thumb drive. It’s a Windows-formatted drive but Macs can read them (I’m a Mac user); it just has the default icon because I’m not aware of any cross-platform way to make them. The video file was literally the only file on the drive, so the M4V/MOV video file is preeeeeeettttty easy to find. :slight_smile: I did consider adding some other files — like soundtrack MP3s or PDFs of the script — to a folder and calling it a “special edition.” I think as long as the video file is the ONLY file at the root level, you’re not going to confuse people.

(You could theoretically put an HTML file at the root level and have that be an interface for your USB drive, with all the other files tucked away in folders, but I wanted to keep it simple.)

Users double-click the video file, and it plays in their default video player (or they copy it into whatever video library they want, since it’s a DRM-free file — or delete it and just use it as a thumb drive if they want).

You COULD set it to autorun the video on insert, but that only works on Windows, adds a bunch of extra files (which I suppose you could set to “hidden”), and I think it’s kind of user hostile to assume that’s what they want to do.


(Sandwich Fam) #13

LOVE the USB card format you’ve outlined here, @gmcalpin!

We could totally see this as a way to distribute physical copies of high-quality video files instead of DVD. Especially the branding: you can really design these well so they get people excited to watch just by holding it.

Also: the potential to add a folder of “Special Features” – behind the scenes photos, original scripts, and other goodies – adds a lot to the package.

Our series are freely available on YouTube, but we can see USB cards being great options as VIP gifts or incentives for future fundraising efforts.

Thank you for sharing!

John Krissilas & Lena Burmenko
Co-creators of Marked Web Series
Stareable Page:
https://www.stareable.com/series/view/marked-web-series-sci-fi-mystery