Your project is finished. Now what do you do with it? Don’t let it sit on the shelf. Distribute it on the Web, the best medium for world wide distribution of amateur videos. But if you don’t have a Web page and don’t want the headaches of maintaining one, you’re sunk, right? Wrong! A veritable plethora of Web sites exist for the sole purpose of posting amateur video productions and more are bursting into this new arena of entertainment every week. Some charge a fee but most do not. So whether you have edited footage of your family dog, an animated short or a rollicking sci-fi adventure, there’s a host Web site out there for you. Here’s a compilation of some Web sites that we have discovered.
Free Basic Service
Earthnoise is a software company and Web site that allows users to edit and post their videos for streaming. Users can upload video to earthnoise.com, then trim and arrange clips to post or send as video E-mail.
You don’t have to edit your videos on earthnoise.com to post them there. Basic membership is free and provides up to 50MB of storage (about 30 minutes of video). For a cost of $50 a year, you can display up to 200MB of video on the site. You can use your space to post anything you like (so long as it meets the standards of good taste).
Undergroundfilm is a resource for videographers, looking to distribute their work in nearly any category. Not only can you have your videos available for viewing as streamed or downloaded QuickTime files, but Undergroundfilm.com will also sell VHS copies of your masterpiece. They make money by charging you for the VHS dubs (about $3.50 for a 60-minute video in quantities of 100) and taking 25 percent of each one they sell.
Eveo takes a unique approach to showcasing videos. Submit original videos to Eveo on videotape or upload them to Eveo’s Web site. The videos are digitized, encoded, streamed in a variety of formats and screened by Eveo’s editorial team.
Eveo displays the accepted videos on several online channels: travel/adventure, sports, documentary/true life, bizarre, comedy and fiction. Through viewer ratings and editorial picks, Eveo selects the best videos for offline and online distribution, TV and DVD syndication. Eveo also gives you a chance to make money. You’ll get $100 for every 2,000 visitors that view your video.
Your Video on the Web
Free Basic Service
If you don’t have video capture capability check out yourvideoontheweb.com. For $100 you can buy either the USB or the PCI version of their video capture device.
You can post up to 15 minutes of video on their site for free, or choose from a variety of accounts that you pay for on a monthly basis to post longer videos.
Shortends is a no-charge Web site that allows you to post your short film projects: anything from animation to drama. They will take VHS tapes with a signed broadcast agreement, which you download then view with Adobe Acrobat Reader. Upon acceptance they’ll post your project at no charge.
ClipShow provides a solution to the biggest barriers facing Internet video sharing: Translating video into a digital format and viewing video on the Web. With ClipShow you can share all of the precious moments of video that you have accumulated with a worldwide audience. There is no software to download or equipment to buy. You can upload or snail-mail your video to ClipShow, and they’ll handle all of the digitizing and streaming to their Web site. Membership is free.
Imagine Entertainment and DreamWorks SKG have joined forces to create a new Internet entertainment company called POP.com coming soon to the net. The new Web site will devote itself to short, one-to-six minute, Internet-only "pops" of streaming video content, as well as live events, interactive games and animation. Of prime importance for video hobbyists is the site’s dedication to encouraging independent video producers and animators to submit short works for display on the site, and for possible recruitment for development contracts at DreamWorks and Imagine Entertainment.