Send me the Video

Remember the catch-phrase from the Jerry Maguire movie: Show me the Money that eventually made it in to popular culture phraseology? How bout You talkin to me? and Wheres the beef? Lately, Ive been hearing the phrase Send me the video a lot.

When someone asks Send me the video, it used to be such a simple process, although it did take days to get it there.

Last night, I was working on a video project into the wee hours of the morning that needed to be embedded into a clients website by today. Talk about countdown deadline! In the old days, Id have finished this at least a week ago, and dropped a BetaSP tape, VHS or DVD in the mail, hoping it would reach the client in time. If I really pushed the deadline, Id have had to overnight it. Thats still not the best, but is probably the easiest solution so far.

Nowadays, we can upload our video easily to YouTube for client approval, but to actually get the cleanest video possible for the recipients use, you still need to find other methods of Peer-to-Peer sharing, often called P2P sharing. In some upcoming Videomaker issues, we have a few stories on different methods of P2P sharing, and I was checking them out to see how this would work for me.

Yesterday I set up an account with a P2P file sharing company called They have a 14-day free trial, and you dont need to even supply a credit card up front. I opened a business account, because my .avi file was 1.09GB and the maximum for the Lite account is 100MB. After signing up, I proceeded to send my file at 1:30 yesterday afternoon. I got a time-running message saying the upload would take 6.56 min. After 10 minutes, I realized it was 6 HOURS and 56 minutes, not 6 minutes and 56 seconds. So, I left my computer on when I went home. Just in case, and because I wanted to tweak the video a bit more, I resent the file from my home computer at 11:30 last night, and got the message that my file would take 8 hours. A long time.

This morning, when I came into work, my work computers file said I still had 5 hours to go and obviously froze up sometime in the process, but while I was trouble-shooting that, I got a message from YouSendIt that my file from home reached the recipient. I need to research why it took so long, and why the first one failed to send. Is my file too big? Did I need to compress it first? The DVD copy I made was only 158MB, and I could have snail-mailed that, but I wanted to give the web master as clean of a copy as I could.

Before work today, I stopped off at a burger joint this morning to get a quick McBreakfast and coffee, and as I walked out to my car, there were a few questionable sorts hanging out by the trash bins, conversing. As I walked to my car I heard the word, video, and perked up. One was talking about something funny he video-taped the other night, and they were all laughing at his story. Send me the video, one of his pals said, I want to see that! Sure, the other replied, no problem. Ill do it tonight. I would assume he was going to upload the funny video to YouTube.

Delivering video has become so easy now, with some restrictions and possible loss of quality, of course, but we video producers who need to send clean, perfect images are benefiting from the technical gurus trying to perfect the means of P2P sharing for the masses. Its still painstakingly time-consuming, but it is getting better all the time.
I am still amazed at the technology that allows us to send a copy of a piece of paper from one office to another via a fax, at the sheer awesomeness of receiving a TV signal from a little satellite spinning around in space, and the magic that allows me to take an image I see through the lens of a camera and manipulate it into an piece of visual art. However, actually getting that project to another person isnt quite as easy as pushing the buttons to send a fax, record a satellite channel, or capture an image. Yet. But its getting there.

Can you hear me now?

Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O’Rourke is an Emmy award-winning videographer & editor.

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