Article by Robert Long II ©2012
So your movie is assembled and you are ready to send it out to try to get a distribution deal, or to self distribute yourself. Something I would suggest is going to a local video post house/duplication center to get your motion picture ready for the next step – showing it to the public. For this article, I am going to put the spotlight on VIDEO LABS. This mid Atlantic company (based in Rockville, MD) has been in business since 1978, and has decades worth of experience working with independent filmmakers. I should know – as I work there. Now before you start to think that I am shilling for my employers (I’m not) I am using this company as an example of what the indie filmmaker has to consider after the final cut has been done.
I know there are companies on the web (Disc Makers for instance) where people can go to get a 1000 DVDs for a set price. There is one HUGE problem with this. The independent movie producer usually doesn’t NEED 1000 DVDs the first time out. Let me put that into terms you can understand. One box of DVDs in DVD cases is 50 DVDs. 1000 DVDs ends up being 20 big boxes that you have to find a home for in your spare bedroom, basement, garage, or storage unit. Now honestly ask yourself; are you going to move 1000 units of your independent movie? The first time out? Especially as a self distributor? I know from experience that it is better to start with 300 to 500 and work up from there. Otherwise your place is going to start looking like a warehouse – especially if you have more than one title! I’m not trying to be a wet blanket, but I am trying to tell you to go about it smart. This is where a place such as Video Labs comes in.
Founded 1978, the company started out as a video duplication center. Decades later it has become so much more than that. It is now a full service in-house multimedia solutions center. Fancy sounding name? Well this is what it means to you: DVD and Blu-ray duplication, Final Cut and Premiere editing suites, green screen studio, DVD face and wrap design + printing, standards conversions, and support for helping you get your motion picture set up for sale on the internet. That is just scratching the surface of what a company like Video Labs can do to help the low-budget independent filmmaker.
In my time with this company, I have been witness to – as well as involved with – several filmmakers from the surrounding states (Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.) that have come through our doors for help. Whether it has been to get their digital tape to DVD, fix audio and video levels, or to produce limited edition posters and product for a film’s grand premiere, Video Labs has done it – and so much more. One of the coolest things I saw is that we did a master for an indie horror movie that was going to be released by a major motion picture distribution company.
What’s great about Video Labs is that the owner – Mike Weiss – wants to work with independent productions, and he and his sales staff will really go to bat to for them. So the next time you feel you need a limited run of product for an upcoming convention, premiere, or film festival, consider a company like Video Labs. You might be surprised at the quality you can get at a price that won’t put you in the poor house. You can learn more about this company and its services by clicking on the logo.