Monday, September 17, 2012

What Format is Your Video Sample Reel?

Putting your demo video on the Internet.
Is your demo video online?
As the internet gets increasingly faster, it's a great time for editors so show off their work on the web. There's no reason these days for creative video people not to have their work posted on the web, whether it's YouTube, Vimeo, some other video hosting website or even your own website. For those editors who still resist posting material online,
there is always the option of presenting your work on a laptop or tablet during a face-to-face meeting.

In the past, it was a double-edged sword - although making your video available on the web meant more prospects would see it, it also meant horrendous quality of low data-rate compressed video. A lot of video professions opted to forego an online presence and deliver their work samples either by tape or DVD. But these days with better throughput to the internet, the video quality online is even better than delivering a tape or DVD. That's because, unless you know exactly what they have, you should always assume the person recieving your work samples does not have access to a Blu-ray reader (even in their computer) or a HDV/HDCAM video deck, and with a standard DVD or VHS, the resolution is limited to 720x480 (if that).
You are much better off uploading your video to a website and giving out a URL. The video will be much better quality and in the case of a website like YouTube, you don't even have to transcode it to a web-ready codec. YouTube recommends that you upload your video in it's native size and format. That means that once your video is complete, export it out of your nonlinear editing system "Same as Source", then upload it to the web. In a very short time your video will be ready for viewing by anyone.

Recently I updated my video sample reel (my previous reel was all SD material), when I finished I exported the sequence and uploaded it to YouTube. As I mentioned in my previous blog, Video Assets Embedded in a Web Page, I host my videos on YouTube, but make them accessible through my own website. That means I create the URL that I send out to people and if I update the video, I can use the same URL. YouTube doesn't allow for updating a video - each video you upload is a new video with a unique URL. I would recommend this practice for your sample reel, that way anytime a prospect wants to see your reel they have the link to your most current work.

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