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October 29, 2007

Table of Contents

Vantage Point: The Silent Majority
Digital Juice Unveils 2 New Volumes of Juice Drops Layered Photoshop Files
Digital Juice Releases 3 New Volumes of StackTraxx Layered Production Music
Blackmagic Design Releases Support for Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 and Mac OS X Leopard
Tiffen Introduces the Stroboframe Pro-DCRS Professional Digital Camera Rotating System
16x9 Inc. Introduces New Lux LED Camera Lights
Ridata Introduces 32 GB 2.5" SATA Solid State Drive (SSD) Featuring a Read; Write: 68MB/PS; 50MB/PS
OWC Announces XServe Memory of Up To 32GB
XLNT Idea, Inc offers Extended Warranty Programs for Nexis DVD/CD Publishers

Vantage Point: The Silent Majority

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about high-end brides and the high-end market lately and I’d like to argue in favor of the great, overlooked, silent majority: the middle-class bride.

Tiffany is often used as an example of a high-end company. Yes, Tiffany has a high-end image, but the company has been careful not to alienate the middle-class consumer. They have something for everyone. Leave the über-rich for Harry Winston. For everyone else who wants something beautiful, and of true quality, Tiffany offers an affordable range of products.

In event filmmaking, there is only room for a few Harry Winstons. That’s not to say it can’t be done. But there are only so many ultra-high-end brides to go around.

That said, there is a huge population of brides to be found and profit to be made in the mid-range market, and there’s no shame in it. The term high-end is thrown around nowadays like it’s the be-all and end-all to creating a successful business. Well, that is just not the case.

Let me share some personal information as an example of what I’m talking about. My husband Steve and I, with two small children, went full-time (that’s both of us with no additional income other than video) in 1988. Our target market: the middle-class bride.

That market put us where we are today: nice, paid-off house; retirement funds in the bank; and a daughter away at a university. We accomplished this despite annual medical expenses of $20,000, starting in 1992 when our sixyear- old son was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Fortunately the cancer was cured, but the expenses continued due to side effects of his treatment.

Our business flourished, even during the recession of the early ’90s, because we dealt in volume. And where did we find the largest pool of clients? You guessed it—the middle-class. And we were a profitable business because we provided a quality product relative to the price being paid.

With the advent of NLEs, our product took a quantum leap in artistry, which led to triple the editing hours for the same billing. A decision had to be made: charge more or provide less. We did both by creating exclusive packages for the higher-end bride and then limiting what we provide in our budget packages.

Our focus is now on the high-end bride; as a result we have lost some of our middle-class clientele. Booking with us now means they are getting our smallest package, which some brides don’t like. We’re in a position now where we don’t have to work every weekend, but we never would have made it to this point if we hadn’t started with the high-volume approach.

The first step in establishing a successful, volume-based business is to identify your target market and create a package for that client. This will be your primary package, the one you want to book most.

Offer at least three packages and place your primary package in the middle, with the most expensive package at the top. The average bride will not want the cheapest package but often can’t justify purchasing the most expensive. Also, it’s important to have a package that is more expensive than your primary package so as not to exclude clients who are looking for a more expansive product. When deciding on a price for your packages, remember, clients are not paying for your equipment and shooting time; they are paying for your ability, expertise, dependability, and the good name of your company.

Next, never shoot a wedding and reception with more than one camera. Okay, now I’ve got your attention!

There is only one exception to this rule and that’s if the customer is willing to pay for additional cameras. In other words, don’t give yourself away. Which leads us to the three biggest myths about wedding videography:

Myth #1: You can’t do a good job with one camera. Absolutely untrue. A talented camera operator and editor can create a beautiful wedding film with one camera. We have over 1,000 brides who will attest to this.

Myth #2: With one-camera coverage, something crucial could be missed. Well, this actually is true, but it’s not only true of single-camera productions. The same applies with four-camera coverage. There is always the risk that something may be missed, which is why it’s crucial to have a contract that takes this into account.

Myth #3: Wedding videos should look like a major motion picture. Wedding videos should only look like a big-budget movie when clients are willing to pay for one. The bottom line is that something’s gotta give if clients are not willing to pay top dollar. If you keep giving to your clients simply because you have those extra cameras and that powerful NLE, you will dig yourself an editing hole so deep you’ll never get out, and your hourly wage will serve to rival no one but the neighborhood babysitter.

I find it interesting that we talk to so many brides who say they just want basic documentary-type coverage. Truth be told, many middle-class brides truly can’t afford an elaborate production but would be thrilled to have a professional documentation of their day.

These brides are the multitude waiting to be served, and we need to serve them in a way that’s profitable for us. As a family heirloom, a no-frills, quality documentary wedding film will have as much value as the most elaborate cinematic wedding movie, because history is timeless and never goes out of style.

Laura Moses is half of Vantage Point Productions of San Dimas, California. She and her husband, Steve, are winners of multiple international awards and were selected to the 2006 EventDV 25.

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Digital Juice Unveils 2 New Volumes of Juice Drops Layered Photoshop Files

Digital Juice® announced today that it is expanding its library of Juice Drops™ layered Photoshop® graphics by adding 2 new volumes to its highly successful collection. The two new volumes, titled highIMPACT VI and driftAWAY, will bring the wide-ranging collection to 66 volumes. The new highIMPACT volume offers a brand new eclectic mix of abstract illustrations in a wide range of color combinations and styles, from a blue honeycomb maze to an amber liquid full of glistening bubbles and ribbons of light. The new style seen in the driftAWAY volume is a fun dreamy mix of floating themed illustrated objects against a series of rich colored backgrounds.

Juice Drops™ are a collection of royalty-free backgrounds and illustrations that are completely customizable. Each volume contains a minimum of 25 high resolution layered images. Artists can use the graphics flattened in their original composition or they can mix and combine layers from different backgrounds and volumes to create new and unique looks. Juice Drops™ layered Photoshop® files are at least 17"x11" at 300 DPI so even the smallest element is shown in great detail. Print designers can tweak, delete, rearrange, colorize, scale, mix and add layers as needed. Each Juice Drop has an average of 10-20 layered elements and most have much more than the average. Often described as "art you can take apart," Juice Drops™ allow artists and designers to begin every new project with beautiful and totally original source material and then customize it to fit their needs and express individual creativity. "An amazing product for any print, video or web project," says John Burns of Burns Multimedia. "Keep up the great work, Digital Juice!"

The 2 New Volumes include:

  • Volume 65: highIMPACT VI -- With a wide range of color combinations and styles from simple to complex, every image in this collection has the unique potential to be useful in a wide variety of print and multimedia projects. As with other high impact volumes, this volume contains illustrations united by their diversity and by their powerful impact on the viewer. For example, a shining chrome display panel set against a faceted red glass background in a variety of angles could be used to showcase a series of photos in a DVD menu, or the chrome frame alone could be used as an accent on a print promotional poster for an avant garde techno musical group. A sparkling laser light map of the world could be used as a stunning logo backdrop for a multinational company's annual report while the vertical glowing stripes behind it could be used alone as a subtle atmosphere for an editorial layout in a fashion magazine.
  • Volume 66: driftAWAY -- This Juice Drops volume contains useful object-based images, each with illustrated layer elements centered on a theme – gambling, nature, music, love or weather, to name a few. The floating color objects, such as colorful butterflies, tumbling slot machine icons, glistening bubbles and sparkling gems, give the appearance of drifting through space on a powerful wave of wind or water set against a vibrant mood-setting color background. A print designer has the option of using as many or as few of these object layers as desired. For example, a logo design for a jewellery store could be based around one single floating green gemstone layer, while a whole multimedia promotional campaign for a luxury automobile line could use the entire gem-filled background as a backdrop to showcase car models in print brochures, broadcast spots, DVD menus and web applications.

Digital Juice® provides a free Windows® and Mac® utility, Juicer™ 3, that makes it easy to browse, search, and select from any of the Juice Drops™ volumes. Juicer™ 3 layered preview technology allows users to preview the layers within the Juicer™ 3 browser without having to load the full resolution file into Photoshop® to see the layers. In addition to using the layered Photoshop® files right off the disc, Juicer™ 3 technology allows users to render an image from disc to hard drive into most major file formats including JPEG, PNG, TGA, TIF, PSD, and BMP.

The new Juice Drops™ volume 65: highIMPACT VI and volume 66: driftAWAY can be ordered through Digital Juice's® online store (www.digitaljuice.com) or by calling the company's customer service center toll-free at 800-525-2203. Individual volumes retail for $99 each but can often be purchased in special bundles for as much as 50-75% off. Check the website for details on bundle pricing and specials. The company's free Juicer™ 3 software can be found at www.digitaljuice.com/juicer/.

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Digital Juice Releases 3 New Volumes of StackTraxx Layered Production Music

Digital Juice announced today that it is adding three new titles to its royalty-free StackTraxx music library. The three new titles bring the rapidly expanding production music collection to thirty-nine available volumes covering an array of different styles, themes, and genres including Jazz, Urban, and Classic. The Jazz Stacks feature a broad spectrum of tunes ranging from carefree new Orleans ragtime to more contemporary New York lounge performances. Urban Stacks hits you with the pounding bass and bone rattling hip hop beats you would expect from edgy street music. With Classic Touch Stacks, listeners will experience some of the most influential songs and beautiful interpretations from the masters... Beethoven, Mozart, Grieg and many more.

StackTraxx™ is the first and largest production music library of its kind. Each song is provided in individual easy-to-use layers or "stacks". By using layers, StackTraxx™ allows video editors the ability to turn on the parts of the music they need, and turn off the parts they don't, without compromising the integrity of the composition. "StackTraxx™ gives editors unparalleled control of the music in their productions. The idea is to allow editors to become conductors, deciding what aspects of the music they want to bring out or tone down without the necessity of being a composer or even being musically inclined," said CEO and Digital Juice® Founder, David Hebel. "The future of high-end royalty-free content is all about power and customization. Professionals enjoy the low cost and ease of royalty-free music but they miss the flexibility, power, and control that a custom song can provide. I think StackTraxx is really the first royalty-free music library to balance these needs and address this issue completely."

Digital Juice® provides a free Windows® and Mac® utility, Juicer™ 3, that makes it easy to browse, search, and select from any of the StackTraxx™ volumes. Once selected, editors can audition the music and begin "conducting" by turning on and off the four to seven layers. Each StackTraxx™ volume contains at least 20 songs provided in full length, 60 second, 30 second, 15 second, and 10 second versions for a quick and easy fit into most production needs. Once selected and customized the song can be exported in numerous formats including WAV and AIFF. Users also have the option to "split the tracks" and save each layer separately for even more flexibility when brought into video or audio editing applications.

The 3 New Volumes include:

  • Volume 37: Jazz Stacks - With so many styles and varieties, jazz is a moving, living organism that defies description and so is Jazz Stacks. Soak in a broad spectrum of jazz like the carefree sounds of a New Orleans ragtime band to more contemporary New York lounge performances, this volume is a great addition to any music library.
  • Volume 38: Urban Stacks - It's music you feel... straight to the core. Editors and producers needing a pounding bass that will shake the windows and rattle the bones will find it in Urban Staxx. From bouncy hip hop beats and DJ scratches to down and dirty "crunk in the trunk," this volume is straight from the streets!
  • Volume 39: Classic Touch Stacks - Beautiful interpretations from the works of the masters... Beethoven, Mozart, Grieg and so many more. From sonatas to symphonies, airy string sections and thunderous tympani fill this library with possibilities. Experience some of the most influential music in history... with Classic Touch Stacks.

The new StackTraxx™ volumes 37 through 39 can be ordered through Digital Juice's online store (www.digitaljuice.com) or by calling the company's customer service center toll-free at 800-525-2203. Individual volumes retail for $99 each but can often be purchased in special bundles for as much as 50-75% off. Check the website for details on bundle pricing and specials. The company's free Juicer™ 3 software can be found at www.digitaljuice.com/juicer/.

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Blackmagic Design Releases Support for Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 and Mac OS X Leopard

Today, Blackmagic Design Inc. released Multibridge 6.6, DeckLink 6.6 and Intensity 1.8 software for the new Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. This software release also includes support for Adobe’s Mac version of their highly popular Premiere Pro CS3 version 3.1. Blackmagic Design users can now quickly find and preview their video media files, using Cover Flow and Quick Look, now featured within the new Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

With added support for Premiere Pro CS3 v3.1 for Mac OS X, Blackmagic Design customers can also do the following:

  • Use project presets for capture and playback using Apple’s uncompressed codecs in high definition and standard definition, and Apple’s DV compressed codec in standard definition. Also included are project presets for standard and widescreen support in standard definition using both Apple’s uncompressed and DV codecs.
  • This new release features project presets for capture and playback using Blackmagic’s 10-bit RGB codec for 2K film and high definition 4:4:4 video providing Mac users full film editing capabilities with Premiere Pro CS3 v3.1. Featured on all Multibridge PCIe and DeckLink HD cards.
  • Other features for Premiere Pro CS3 v3.1 users include Insert and Assemble edit-to-tape for decks which support these features, and RS-422 device control. Featured on all Multibridge PCIe and DeckLink cards.

These software updates are for Blackmagic Design’s Multibridge, DeckLink and Intensity families of products.

These new software updates are available now free of charge for all registered Multibridge, DeckLink and Intensity customers from the Blackmagic Design website at www.blackmagic-design.com.

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Tiffen Introduces the Stroboframe Pro-DCRS Professional Digital Camera Rotating System

Stroboframe a division of The Tiffen Company, has announced the introduction of the Pro-DCRS, an innovatively designed bracket for DSLR and 35mm cameras. The Pro-DCRS offers the latest in Stroboframe design, quality and engineering.

The Stroboframe Pro-Digital Camera Rotating System is a fully-functioning bracket right out of the box - no additional accessories are required. The Pro-DCRS comes with a Universal Camera Mounting Plate, a built-in tripod/ballhead mount and quick-release plate. Designed for the professional, the Pro-DCRS fits even the largest DSLR cameras. Whether shooting portraits or landscapes, or something in between, the Pro-DCRS offers a wide range of versatility and convenience.

The bracket features a revolutionary design in today’s photographic accessories market. The 2 Point "Sure-Lock" (patent pending) rotating system glides on Delrin® components, providing a smooth and virtually silent 90 degree rotation, while locking firmly into place. Delrin® is strong, moisture resistant and has self-lubricating properties making it an ideal choice for a high performance, professional bracket.

Constructed of T6061 and T7075 aircraft aluminum, the Pro-DCRS is both lightweight and durable and is compatible with all Stroboframe Anti-Twist Plates and the Stroboframe QRC - quick release base (300-BASE). As with all of our Stroboframe brackets, the Pro-DCRS is backed with a 5-year warranty for quality assurance.

Stroboframe Pro-DCRS will be available at photo specialty dealers nationwide in November of 2007. Its suggested retail price is $249.95. For more information on Stroboframe brackets or any other Tiffen product, visit www.tiffen.com.

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16x9 Inc. Introduces New Lux LED Camera Lights

16x9 Inc. introduces the Lux-LED-DV camera light by Bebob Engineering, the first on-board light-emitting diode system to feature variable focus range. The unique arrangement of the system's five high-output LEDs allows for stepless variable focus at an angle of 40° to 60°. Output is fully dimmable with daylight color temperature at full saturations and an innovative incorporated cooling system keeps the light cool to the touch.

Through its use of high-efficiency light-emitting diode technology, the Lux-LED-DV is capable of generating greater brightness at a lower power consumption compared to standard tungsten light systems. Bebob's ingenious design incorporates power-efficient DC regulation that allows the light to operate at multi-voltage inputs (from 6.5V to 28V), making it compatible with a much wider range of cameras. The system comes equipped with an inline power supply adapter that enables the Lux-LED-DV to run directly off of standard Canon BP, Panasonic CGA, or SONY NPF L camera battery-eliminating the need for an external power source.

16x9 Inc. is also introducing the Lux-LED for broadcast cameras. Incorporating the same sophisticated arrangement of LEDs and variable focus as the Lux-LED-DV, this new system also shares many features of the original Lux camera light. Its' "three-in-one" design allows it to be used on board a camera, handheld or stand-mounted, without the need for extra accessories or brackets. Bebob's unique double-articulation system lets the light shift position 3" (8 cm) up and down, or forward and backwards, to avoid unwanted shadows. The Lux-LED's ergonomic dimmer knob is integrated into the base handle for ease of use and protection.

The new Lux-LED-DV and Lux-LED camera lights are available exclusively through 16x9 Inc.

www.16x9inc.com

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Ridata Introduces 32 GB 2.5" SATA Solid State Drive (SSD) Featuring a Read; Write: 68MB/PS; 50MB/PS

Advanced Media, Inc., manufacturer and marketer of the popular Ridata brand of recordable CD and DVD media, electronic storage products, and digital media accessories, announces its new, non-volatile 32GB SATA Solid State Disk (SSD) drive. The new SSD drive are ideal for outdoor or field photographers storage. The durable drive offers performance almost twice as fast as a conventional Hard Disk Drive.

"Our new Ridata SSD offers consistent high performance in the variety of environments photographers face," remarked Harvey Liu, Advanced Media President. "Compared to a traditional HDD the Ridata SSD is smaller; uses half as much power; is ultra lightweight; offers incredibly fast boot and access times; and operates at a low temperature with no mechanically moving parts. It is the ideal HDD replacement for laptops or as an external storage drive via an optional aluminum case," Liu added.

Performance
It reduces boot up and seek times to seconds compared to conventional hard disk drives. Users can install new software programs in seconds rather than minutes. The data transfer rates are 60MB/s for maximum sequential read and 48MB/s for maximum sequential write. It requires a five-volt power supply and because of its low power consumption will dramatically extend user time on a laptop or other mobile computing application.

Data Integrity
SSD Drives are inherently resistant to vibration, shock andtemperature extremes. The RoHS compliant drive is very reliable with more than 4,000,000 hours Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF). This level of durability reduces IT labor costs, and the danger of losing critical data. Data integrity is further supported by dynamic wearing leveling and a built-in ECC that corrects up to 3 random 12-bit symbols (Reed Soloman-4) of error per 512-byte sector. With a write endurance cycle (P/E) of more than 2,000,000 times these drives are built to safely write and store critical data.

Mechanical
Featuring no moving parts, the Ridata SSD SATA 2.5 inch drive meets bus interface industry standard Serial ATA (SATA) so there are no host compatibility or upgrading issues. The drive produces virtually no noise, no heat generation, and no vibration, while offering reliable temperature (0 to 70C) and humidity resistance that assures long-lasting data storage. It is engineered with semiconductor components and uses fast Single Level Cell (SLC) NAND flash memory. The 2.5" 32 GB drive weighs 64.5 grams with dimensions of 101.85 x 69.85 x 9mm.

Ridata is currently developing a variety of 2.5" SATA and 1.8" IDE based SSD cards with capacities and interfaces for every need. As with other Ridata products, these will be available through system integrators, selected retailers and Ridata distributors.

www.ritekusa.com

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OWC Announces XServe Memory of Up To 32GB

Other World Computing (OWC) http://www.macsales.com, a leading Mac and PC technology company, announced today that their Xserve Memory Kits are now available up to 32GB. Matched Xserve memory sets of up to 8 modules (4 pairs) now support up to 32GB of maximum memory in increments of 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB per pair. In addition, OWC 16GB Kits are priced less than 1/4th of factory options and OWC 32GB Kits are priced at less than 1/5th of factory options.

With memory prices now at an all time low through OWC, enterprise users of the Apple Xserve can now obtain 16GB of top quality memory for as low as $62.19 per GB, or a full 16GB of memory for $995! With the latest 4GB x 2-based kits, OWC lets customers with high-memory intensive applications, such as audio/video, 3D modeling, and network applications, maximize their system for the utmost performance.

OWC Memory is fully-tested, premium quality memory that meets or exceeds all Apple and JEDEC specifications. Utilizing top shelf, Grade A components, OWC’s memory modules provide a lifetime of high-performance, reliable operation backed by a Money Back Guarantee and OWC’s Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty.

"OWC is at the top of its game for all of Apple’s new Intel Mac and Server models," said Lawrence O’Connor, CEO, OWC. "We understand the mission-critical professional enterprise systems that our memory goes into and maintain a full testing lab of the actual models that our upgrades support. We maintain our leadership position through ongoing testing and innovations that deliver the best options and quality in memory upgrade solutions."

For more information, see: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Apple_Xserve_Memory.

OWC also offers Memory Kits for Apple Mac Pro Towers of up to 32GB, priced as low as $58 per 1GB: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Mac-Pro-Memory.

OWC Memory is available for nearly every Apple model via OWC’s easy to use guide at: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/.

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XLNT Idea, Inc offers Extended Warranty Programs for Nexis DVD/CD Publishers

XLNT Idea, Inc, a leading US-based manufacturer of DVD/CD Publishing and Direct to Disc Printing Solutions, is now offering Extended Warranty Programs for its Nexis automated robotic disc creation systems. The XLNT Idea Extended Warranty Programs will consist of a 48-Hour Rapid Return option, and a 24 Month Extended Return to Depot Repair warranty. Both Extended Warranty options will be offered at MSRP’s of $379.00 and $299.00 respectively, and are available from an authorized XLNT Idea VAR, Reseller or Dealer.

Dale K, XLNT Idea VP of Engineering noted, "We now have a back end manufacturing and support infrastructure in place that is fully suited to support both Rapid Exchange and Extended Warranty Period programs. Now users of our equipment can be assured that any system downtime can be minimized with the purchase of an XLNT Extended Warranty."

Chuck Alcon Jr, XLNT Idea Director of Sales and Marketing added, "Many of our customers use our machines in their own mission critical applications that require around - the - clock duty cycle performance. The Rapid Exchange Program provides users with seamless product support of a unit that fails in the first year of use, while the 48 Month Extended Warranty provides just - in - time warranty repair after the first year of purchase, at an economical price point. These programs further our focus on customer value and customer satisfaction with XLNT Idea and our product offerings."

www.xlntidea.com

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