Need a Photo to music or montage software referrals

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    • #40327
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hello, I currently have a MAC and I have been making some great photo montages for friends etc and I would like to make it into a business. I have found a website that I think has some good montages on it and I’m curious if anyone is aware or could figure out what program this company uses? The website is http://www.cinemashopvideo.com. I’m also interested in any advice anyone can give me with going into this type of work? I have a couple questions on how you can make sure they can’t be reproduced. Ihave also been taking a lot of photography and some classes. How can I make it so that people can’t reproduce my work?

      Thank you in advance!!

    • #173238
      birdcat
      Participant

      Any NLE will do this – If you’re on a Mac then you can look at iMovie, but Final Cut Pro is what I hear most Max users like. I’m sure there are others and those who use Macs will, I’m sure, chime in.

      If you want to look at PC NLE’s there are more to choose from – Vegas, Premiere and Avid are the more commonly used ones (in all their flavors) but there are others (like Pinnacle and MS Movie Maker) as well.

      FWIW I didn’t think the samples on the website were all that extraordinary – Just average.

    • #173239
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’d have to agree with Bird, the demo I watched was average…. and yes I understand that it’s compressed for the web, but it’s still pretty average.

      John

    • #173240
      EarlC
      Member

      Check out Animoto or Photo to Movie – one is outstanding, but has certain distribution and control restrictions at different price levels, while the other cost a little bit, ($50, I think) but has some really nice controls and no distribution restrictions.

    • #173241
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Ok… No Offense, but the demo is pretty sad in my opinion. (and by that i mean that i found the demo to be really bad…)

      It looks like they used Movie Maker to make the demo, which i think is sadder.. ;/

      If you dont have a NLE (like vegas, premiere pro, etc..), open Movie maker, Use dissolves as transitions and use FLASH IN and FLASH OUT as transitions of different periods of times. Also, add some of the “Moving Effects” to PHOTOS. (I forgot the formal name of such effect.)

      To make your slideshow more interesting, add some Up-Beat song. you dont want to put some 60s song, like the one in the baby demo. Trust me, the music has a HUGE impact in your final work. Also remember that you have to have the rights of the song, or you will be will be breaking thethe Copyright of the song.

      Also, Videomaking is art. Edit your video as you were creating a painting. Visualize the video in your mind. Be creative, use different colors, try different brushes, paint different places. EXPERIMENT! There are endless possibilities to try. Go and be free, be crazy, be bold. BE ORIGINAL!

      Remember that, just like a novel, your video has to have a beggining, middle, and an end, just like the 60th Birthday Demo. What is your movie (or slideshow) is going to be about? Why are you making the slideshow, Whom is the slideshow about? Try to answer these questions in a subtle way in your video.

      Your viewers are only going to see what you show them. You dont have to show them EVERYTHING, but you can’t obscure the entire video either. Try to find the perfect balance between both. Hide the ugly parts, show the beautiful ones.

      Whatever you do, DO NOT USE THE CRAZY TRANSITIONS!! If i ever watch a movie that you used the star transition or the multiple heart transition just because you found it “cute”, i swear i will (as my history teacher says) Hunt you down and i will hurt you. Do not dare to dare me. =D but seriously, please, dont use those kinds of transitions. Sometimes simple is better.

      Remember, the videomaking art is a endless space of ideas and oppurtunities. Play with them. Experiment them. BE BOLD AND BE BRAVE! (and dont use crazy transitions!)

      Your brother in videomaking =D,

      Caio.

      BTW, if i mispelled something, dont pay much attention to it. I am just an 8th grader. =D

    • #173242
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Oh, i am sorry if i sounded much disrespectful. I am not the “i am better than you” kind of person.

      Peace!,

      Caio

    • #173243
      EarlC
      Member

      “Hello, I currently have a MAC and I have been making some great photo
      montages for friends etc and I would like to make it into a business. I
      have found a website that I think has some good montages on it and I’m
      curious if anyone is aware or could figure out what program this
      company uses? The website is http://www.cinemashopvideo.com.
      I’m also interested in any advice anyone can give me with going into
      this type of work? I have a couple questions on how you can make sure
      they can’t be reproduced. Ihave also been taking a lot of photography
      and some classes. How can I make it so that people can’t reproduce my
      work?”

      First of all with today’s technology and the boatload of computer wizards “out there” it is highly unlikely that you can afford the really good copy protection services for the level of distribution montage work is going to generate. Notwithstanding the fact that even the really good copy protection stuff can be broken. Anything less, even the current level of DVD duplicators that offer some type of copy protection scheme, can easily be broken by even amateur hacks. So, get what value you can for your montage creations and don’t sweat the copy protection – not worth the time, money or mental stress.

      I produce an average of 300 or more montages a year. They are reasonably priced, and at a level where I usually get orders for up to 10 or 20 copies, depending on the event. In my case, mostly memorial montages for favored family pets as well as humans.

      There are, IMHO, two ways to generate montages. Well, maybe three.

      If you are pursuing this work as a creative labor of love, to enjoy and experience as an outlet for your inner artist, the “story teller” in you, to heck with the time it takes, and profit is of no interest or consequence, then by all means tell a story, use specific select transitions and none of “those crazy transitions” and put in hour-upon-hour of amazing editing skills and creative talent for something a few will appreciate, none would be willing to pay the actual costs of, and that will become obsolete as soon as the next upload to YouTube.

      If you are seeking to establish branding for your productions, using special creative designs, massive Ken Burns style movements, ebb and flow story telling techniques that BUILD your production beyond standard production levels, even utilizing 3D elements with heavy Photoshop influence. If you eventually hope for this branding to establish you as the “go to” montage artist for high end, high dollar creations, and want nothing to do with the day-to-day needs of millions of people out there…

      …well, that is certainly a commendable direction to take, and there are some who have successfully pursued that level, although the few of whom I am aware are still trying to figure out how to get paid for the time and effort required to create these productions. I personally am aware of ONE creative and highly skilled producer who puts up to 3 months of intensive labor – his and people he hires – to create outstanding song/topic based 3D visually magnificent montage productions and says he cannot hope to recoup the thousands of dollars invested in time, software (mostly the time) and people power to achieve this level of production quality. Almost the same as the paragraph above, huh?

      If, as I have, you want to pursue this as a valid and viable money-making (dare I say profit generating?) business, a specialty if you will, then you need to find the blend of time invested, software needed, and production quality desired to get your production expenses to a level where you can establish prices that are affordable for the millions of people who might be willing to go to you for their montage work. There are a bunch of options out there, including the two web sites I mentioned in my previous response, for generating GREAT looking, entertaining and quality montage productions without having to invest into the rather esoteric, lofty approach as mentioned by (no offense intended) Caio. There is nothing inherently wrong with taking the high road, but there are certainly many starving artists over the years who discovered that the high road doesn’t put beans on the table, a car in the garage, or a chicken in every pot.

      My success with montage creation, marketing and sales is largely due to a VERY low (I would call it reasonable) price, with affordable copies, and packaged with high quality complimentary graphics for the DVD surface AND the full-color library case inserts.

      I have honed my production time to a level where I can generate up to four of them in an 8-hour day, running anywhere from 8 minutes to 15 minutes (sometimes even longer for special personal productions for a family – converting a family heirloom album of old and antique images from family roots in Germany, England, etc.) The family heirloom, “storied” productions however, DO require much more work, bring in much more money, and call for things from special musical segments for certain groupings, to a LOT of Photoshop image touch up, enhancement or even repairs. That is a whole different creation than the day-to-day montages that keep my cash flow at a comfortable level. Back to the basic 4, perhaps as many as six, in an 8-hour day.

      These are simple and straightforward, using photos that for the most part FILL the screen (it is the picture they want to see, enjoy and remember NOT the moving backgrounds, postage-stamp-sized images or flash past images that hardly stay on long enough to register in the mind of the viewer). I average up to 50 images per song. I average three songs per production. I offer an opening, and closing (same title) title. And I use virtually EVERY transition in the book, some I have created on my own and many others that are not as “crazy” to the client, as they might seem to be to the artistic video production purist.

      SIDE NOTE: What I find curious and interesting, also sometimes a bit entertaining, is the parroting of some basic tennents of video production and creation that students or others have heard in a stilted classroom far removed from production and business/marketing reality, or read in tomes written by long-ago semi-famous producers, etc. who expound on the need for little if any transitions, the use entirely of cuts, dissolves and the occasional white flash, and the “enhancement” of production value by adding those moving backgrounds, diminishing the size of the image of interest, etc. For one thing, sir, it is a MONTAGE, not a movie with dialog, action, movement of actors, and such (not often that is at the consumer level – Ken Burns and others notwithstanding). The purists are FLAT WRONG, sorry to say, when they expound against using a BUNCH of diverse, interesting, even sometimes TACKY transitions in basic consumer montage production work for hire.

      OK, back to the lesson based on many years of experience specializing in what I call, but my associate HATES to hear, “down and dirty” montage production for profit.

      1.) The average photo-montage clients are primarily interested in seeing their photos, nothing more, nothing less, and will complain often and loudly if you reduce the image in favor of the background, or take away from their perusal of the photo in favor of the many moving elements that actually distract the eye from its desired focus.

      2.) The average PM clients are NOT willing to pay the equivalency of an arm and leg for massive retouch, image enhancement, color correction or image repair. They have had many of these photos for many years and drag them out of the box or album occasionally to view- so much so that even the wrinkles, fades, tears, water damage and more have added to the personality, if you will, of the images, further enhancing each photo’s particular “story.” Rare is the client who is both willing to pay for such service, and has expectations of seeing a pristine, perfect rendition of their photo as opposed to the actual photo they included in their project.

      3.) The average PM clients LIKE, if not LOVE, a multitude of transitions. Granted there are some that are way too wild and wacky, especially if used repeatedly, but for the most part, use of as many as 40 differing transitions is totally acceptable. I use a blend of perhaps 25 percent dissolves, 10 percent cuts, 5 percent page-turns, with the rest being unique and specific either to the rhythm of the music, or a comedic photo with high humor value, etc. I use slower, smoother transitions for slower, easier music, and quicker, faster, abrupt even transitions for music with a steady or occasional fast pace or beat. Follow the rhythm with your transitions and virtually any and all of them will work, be appropriate, and LOVED by the client.

      4.) Paying attention to the pacing and rhythm, keeping the photos the dominant image, using some hand-adjusted Ken Burns style movements where it fits, or for bringing in, up or onto screen larger images that have to pretty much be moved up, down or side-to-side to view it all at a size worth viewing, and smoothly going into or out of each song selection are the primary “secrets” to successful and a high perceived production quality of montage videos.

      5.) Remember the packaging. Complimentary or customized art for the DVD surface AND the DVD case insert are important. Very important if you want to develop a solid duplication business without people simply copying their own (and they can, and do, and will – all of them…unless). Unless you give them a quality of product AND a professional quality of packaging they can easily or readily duplicate. My clients will often make copies of their own, but I have significantly increased my sales of copies, and reduced the number of pirated duplications simply by offering them a completed production they cannot replicate easily. I will often get orders for as many as 20 copies of memorial montages, milestone birthday montages, milestone anniversary montages, first born, etc. – at $25 per copy, for a job that might have taken me three hours tops to produce beginning to end, is lucrative.

      If you figure out a way to quickly and easily develop basic montage productions, get the word out, make them affordable because you didn’t HAVE to invest a huge amount of time and effort into their creation, and don’t give in to thinking you HAVE to make every image look perfect (unless, of course you are being compensated for this), and develop a reputation for being what the marketing community says is impossible – able to do this fast, affordable and good (even GREAT), you would likely have ALL the business you could handle for the rest of your business life. It is said that a consumer can only have two of the three – fast, affordable and good, but you are in a position to deliver on all three, believe me.

      One last comment, I promise! There are arguments that with the wide availability of do-it-yourself software, usually included free or somewhat, over the internet or with the computer they purchase, montage work is not desired, not profitable and consumers will not pay for something they can do themselves. Well, yes, and no. Many do not have the skills you do, or will develop over time. Many do not have the time, or desire to learn the program, simple as some of them are. Many will become frustrated somewhere along the way, and are so technologically challenged that they cannot figure out how to get their creations onto a DVD that will play properly on their players. Many cannot get past a silver recordable DVD with black marker title on its surface in a cheap, scratched up, clear plastic CD case.

      There’s a dfference (or should be) in what you do and deliver, even if it is “down and dirty” and what the average consumer is capable of doing. Go for it!

    • #173244
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      <“SIDE NOTE: What I find curious and interesting, also sometimes a bit entertaining, is the parroting of some basic tennents of video production and creation that students or others have heard in a stilted classroom far removed from production and business/marketing reality, or read in tomes written by long-ago semi-famous producers, etc. who expound on the need for little if any transitions, the use entirely of cuts, dissolves and the occasional white flash, and the “enhancement” of production value by adding those moving backgrounds, diminishing the size of the image of interest, etc. For one thing, sir, it is a MONTAGE, not a movie with dialog, action, movement of actors, and such (not often that is at the consumer level – Ken Burns and others notwithstanding). The purists are FLAT WRONG, sorry to say, when they expound against using a BUNCH of diverse, interesting, even sometimes TACKY transitions in basic consumer montage production work for hire.”

      Humm… That sounded more like an answer to my reply than a “Side Note”. Ok… Here are my opinions about what you wrote.

      First, I don’t think that you should think that other people’s actions or thoughts are “funny”. Ok, you can THINK that, but it is not very nice to let those who you are talking about down. For example, if i said that i found your white mustache to be very funny because it made you look like Santa Claus, you would be offended, of course. Anybody would be offended if they hear that they actions are “funny”. In my opinion, that’s not very nice.

      (SIDE NOTE: I dont think you white mustache is funny, neither that you look like Santa. It was only an example. =D)

      Second, If the “Students” are doing something that you dont agree with, i think that you should try to persuade them to do such things differently, instead of saying that they are just copying old fashionable guys who knew way less than you do. Try to discuss with them. For example, try to find out why they think they should use simple transitions instead of those “tacky transitons.” You might actually learn something from them, but only if you are open minded enough.

      Third, we obviously differ in the transitions issue. It is ok for defferent people to have different opinions. What i am saying is just that if you make a Photo Montage, your clients would like to see “chique” transitions instead of those that they can find in MovieMaker or Imovie.

      Finally, i dont think that you should say that others are “flat wrong”. Thats is YOUR opinion, not the REAL fact. NO ONE in this world is in conditions to judge others. I am sorry, but you are in no stand to decide what and who is right and “flat wrong”.

      I am not seeking fight here, i am a man of peace. I am just trying to discuss our differences, and what i believe to be wrong (But again, who is the perfect being to judge others? No one.)

      Kuddos,

      Caio

      <BTW, you might want to consider younger people’s opinion. Sometimes, our new generation has pretty good ideas. =D

    • #173245
      EarlC
      Member

      Actually, based on my longterm actual production business experience regarding what hundreds of consumers have purchased, enjoyed and commented positively upon, I will stick with the “Flat Wrong” comment regarding production of montages as a business.

      On another note πŸ™‚ most Christmas holiday seasons I allow my beard and hair to grow long because more times than not I DO play Santa somewhere around here – either a small boutique store or one of the are homeless shelter food lines.

      “The purists are FLAT WRONG, sorry to say, when they expound against
      using a BUNCH of diverse, interesting, even sometimes TACKY transitions
      in basic consumer montage production work for hire.” The KEY words here are basic consumer montage production work for hire. AND, I couldn’t find the word “FUNNY” in that side note. So, that would be your word, not mine.

      No problem with “young people” used to be one myself πŸ™‚ But what is said about old age, experience, even avarice holds true. When I make and sell as many of these a year as I do to people on the west coast (it is said that many things that happen, happen here first – arguable, of course), and people keep coming back, referring and buying in…well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right?

      Finally, much of your input appears based on theory or “opinion” and I have opinions as well, but regarding commercial montage production and sales to consumers – that was fact.

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