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Audio & Video

Video Libraries


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I get some very large jobs from time to time.

These tend to be video libraries and can include every thing from VHS to DVD transfers to digitizing high-end tapes like Digibeta as well as old school formats like Beta SP, ¾” and Hi8. I have also handled my share of reel-to-reel audio transfers and even 1” reel-to-reel video, which is pretty rare in this digital age. To put it simply there are a ton of varying formats out there and most of them, I can handle.

Over the last 3 years I have worked on jobs for the Orange Public Library, the FBI, UC Riverside and USC. All of these have been monumental, ongoing tasks that I have approached from a one step at a time standpoint. I generally request an inventory list, making organization easier. When the boxes arrive, they are stored in a temperature-controlled vault with other masters. Then the fun begins. The transfer process is not always a simple one, especially when digitizing is involved. There are a lot of variables that make various set ups necessary. Some can be complicated and they can involve frustration and troubleshooting.

Every step from transfer to duplication to labeling to organization is handled with the utmost care because if there’s a mistake anywhere along the line it can trickle down into the final product. The only way I can handle these large jobs is by breaking them up into a kind of conveyor belt in which every element is headed in the direction of completion. So that one day, these dinosaurs of industry can be finally allowed to rest in peace. But the data continues to live on in our hearts, in our minds and on our hard drives. Please contact us here for more information. (323) 469-0707

A Scanner Lightly


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As the Office Manager at Advanced Media, I oversee a lot of family history projects from beginning to end.

I started thinking about my own family history. I too have boxes and boxes of slides and photographs left behind by my grandmother. There’s always one photographer in the family and that designation has now fallen to me. But I had to wonder, when would it be my turn to take all these images, most of which I had never even seen, and create digital files so my entire family could witness a bit of our history that we still don’t know much about. I decided to start with my own photographs that I have collected since childhood.

As I began scanning them, I found that each photograph contained a unique memory of a time and a place that no longer exists anywhere except here in this snap shot. I found that I wanted to share them with my friends and family, some who have since passed away. The faces and places began to speak to me and I began to piece together the mystery of my life and I saw that it had meaning and beauty and continuity. It made me want to make more memories with my loved ones. It inspired me to create a slide show with music. I chose to put mine in chronological order.

The project isn’t done yet but I have scanned all of the photos and I’m hoping to give these out as Christmas gifts for my family and friends. It’s a great way to warm all of our hearts, watching it together, reliving the memories and retelling old stories and rediscovering who we are, where we come from and where we are headed. After all, photographs have a way of really capturing what is important. They are moments in time that will not be lost forever as long as we take the time to preserve them and to share them with the ones we love, not to mention future generations who we may never have the chance to meet face to face. For more in formation please click on this blue word. (323) 469-0707

My First Blog


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Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Jesse and I am the Office Manager at Advanced Media LLC.

A lot of people ask me how I got started in this business. My journey began in my Junior year of high school. I took a film class and I ended up learning on old school linear editing equipment and shooting silly videos around Poway High School in San Diego. I was fortunate enough that they had a pretty cool program because many schools do not offer anything in the way of film classes. When I transferred to Palomar College I worked on general education credits and was hard pressed to figure out my major. It all kept coming back to this direction that I’ve been gently pushed into. I took a class in Screenwriting.

I transferred to the University of California at Santa Cruz after completing Junior College and I began to really immerse myself in film school. The program at UCSC offered 16mm film camera as well as digital camera training. Students were able to rent lighting equipment, microphones, cameras and other necessary items. The program also gave me an opportunity to experience hands on editing and a top notch Film History department. Initially I worked in the AV department and part of my job was to set up equipment for teachers to use in presentations and I ran projectors for screenings. Later I ran the equipment rentals for students in my class as part of a work study program. I had the opportunity to join the Production concentration shortly after arriving at UCSC and I made a few art films there as well as a couple of short, Observational Documentaries.

Upon graduation I moved to the Bay area where I worked for Filmcore for about 6 months as the assistant to the Vault Manager. I had a blast there but I gave it all up to travel the country with some college buddies. It was an amazing time in my life but I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to work in film after that. I ended up moving around quite a bit and settled in New York for 4 years.

When I returned to Los Angeles I applied for an internship with Advanced Media which I found posted on craigslist.org. I was starting over again. After 3 months on the job, my immediate supervisor left the company and I took over running the day to day operations at Advanced Media. Since then I’ve learned all about analog formats, video to DVD transfers, 8mm film transfers and video marketing. One of the editors here gave me a few lessons in demo reel editing and I began to take on clients. Now I have a couple years under my belt cutting everything from demo reels for actors and directors to music videos and trailers for feature films. So inevitably my path has been a road through the past but my eyes were always on the future of the industry. To find out more, please contact me here. (323) 469-0707

Confessions of a Video Expert


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For my first confession, I will have to admit that I’m not really an expert. I don’t know it all. There’s simply too much to know in the field of video.

But I know all the answers to the most frequently asked and most important questions. Not to mention I can walk you through a process that you may be unfamiliar with. I am not a hoarder of knowledge. I would like to share what I have learned and to tell you that you can do it too. A lot of people tell me that they’re dumb when it comes to computers and I literally cringe because I don’t like to hear that kind of negative self-talk. Also, I know what they mean. Computers aren’t all that intuitive for everyone but I don’t think it’s as difficult to pick up as say, playing a musical instrument, although practice does lead to progress in any field.

Everyone I know who is tech savvy is that way not because of some innate gift but because of a deep interest in computers or in editing or in whatever their field of expertise happens to be. They follow their curiosity and that is what leads to learning. So no one need be afraid of a little computer, especially since the newer models are so much more user friendly. Don’t forget that any question you have, someone else probably had that question before you. And they probably figured it out. It’s called Google, don’t be afraid to use it. If you don’t know how to do something, there’s no need to leave the confines of your home. You can probably even find a video tutorial that will show you step by step how to solve your problems, whatever they may be. So what does all of this rambling blog signify? If there’s one message that I want to convey, it’s this: Don’t underestimate yourself. You are a lot more intelligent that you give yourself credit for. So don’t be afraid to try new things and get involved in this encroaching digital age. Contact us (323) 469-0707

Bluray Options and Opinions


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We have been offering Bluray authoring for about a year now and this format is getting increasingly more popular amongst professional film makers as well as with consumers and all points in between.

You may have a few questions about this process so I wanted to write a little bit about it. What is authoring you ask? It is the process of converting files to a disc whether it’s Bluray or DVD. It involves transcoding your media (aka your files) into a specific file type that will work with the disc creation. It also involves the building of menus, assigning buttons for specific functions and in this process we can do a multitude of other changes to your disc. So why go Bluray instead of just going to DVD?

If you want HD quality in a disc, you have to go Bluray. It’s also very popular at the festivals these days. The cost of Bluray authoring reflects the amount of time spent on the project. The files can take the better part of the day to encode, thus tying up one of our systems for that time. Generally for short films under 30 minutes the cost is $150. That’s partially because they fit onto a smaller disc. There are two types of Bluray discs, 25GB and 50GB. The 50GB discs we use for the feature length films. The cost for this is $200. If you want 5.1 surround sound we charge an additional $50 for separating the tracks and assigning them to the correct speakers. Bluray is no longer our future. It has finally made that quantum leap to the present. Contact us here. (323) 469-0707

Backing Up Your Media


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Every day I recommend to customers that they make a copy of their transfers.

Whether it’s a VHS to DVD or some other analog format to digital file or DVD, I always recommend it. The thing about a DVD is that it can get scratched or dirty or misplaced. Having a 2nd disc greatly increase the odds that you’ll never have to lose those precious home movies. If you took the time to have the transferred to DVD, why not have an extra copy made or perhaps you may need a whole set of copies for relatives who are on the video or who might like to relive something beautiful or just something amazing or hilarious that went down back in the day.

It’s not talked about a lot but there is also the fact that even modern DVDs will decay over time. The science isn’t in yet so I don’t have an exact answer for how long while your DVDs last? It could be 20 years. It could be more or perhaps it could be less. There are a lot of factors that go into this outcome including the way it was stored, the brand, even the device used to create it. That’s why at Advanced Media we use the best media available while keeping the costs reasonable and easy on your pocket book. We also use top of the line gear that is relatively new and in perfect working order. In this modern era, nobody wants to be without their media. Whether it’s DVDs or hard drives or files, do yourself a favor. Back up your media. Please contact us here. (323) 469-0707

Backing Up Your Hard Drive


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It’s a sad fact that sometimes, hard drives can die and take all your secrets to the grave.

Not to mention all your important documents, video files, pictures and whatever else you may have stored on there. Hopefully it’s not your screen play or your feature film. So what can be done to prevent such a tragedy? The thing about hard drives is, they may last a very long time or they may not. It’s kind of a crap shoot. I spoke with a customer the other day who told me he went through 6 drives in the last 4 years. I don’t think that’s normal, but he was extremely frustrated and wanted to get all of his family video history in one place, safe once and for all. The other thing about hard drives is that they need to be used. It’s a use it or lose it situation. This type of technology, much like your automobile, needs to go for a spin every once in a while. That can help to prevent the hard drive from fragmenting. If that happens and you lose all of your data there are options, very expensive options, which may or may not work. So it’s best to back everything up which means having another hard drive to store everything. Hopefully someday the geniuses who come up with these amazing, new technologies will figure out a way to preserve all of our important media on a tiny drive that fits in the palm of your hand, that will never, ever quit on you. But until then, back up your media. Please feel free to contact us here. (323) 469-0707

Audio Cassette to CD


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If you’re like me, you’ve probably got boxes of audio cassettes in your garage.

They’ve made many moves with me and yet, I never seem to have the time to listen to them. Not to mention I don’t even own a tape deck anymore. The only way to listen to my old mix tapes from my teenage years that good friends had given me would be to transfer them to CD. I do a lot of these transfers in my professional life and there are a lot of misconceptions about these types of transfers. First of all, I use very good equipment for playback as well as for recording. It’s not that sophisticated though. I use my Alesis tape deck to play back and I go through a pair of RCA cables into the CD recording device. I play the tape back. If there’s a hiss, I turn on the Noise Reduction. If not, I simply set the record level so it’s not hitting the reds when it peaks at the top volume. I pull back a little if it is. Then I simply press play on the Alesis and record on the CD recorder.

A CD can hold 80 minutes worth of audio in contrast to an audio cassette which could be anywhere from 30 minutes to 120 minutes. Therefore if a tape is more than 80 minutes long I will use 2 discs, one for each side. Also, the equipment does not generally create a new track every time a new song is on when conducting this type of transfer. It’s better with vinyl. So if a client needs everything cleaned up and organized, I can do that no problem. But it does take a little longer so I charge about $35/tape for that service. Of course if you just have one song you need, I won’t charge you the full amount. It would be more like $10. Also, sometimes people need MP3 files, which is a compressed audio format. My machine creates AIFF files so I would be able to convert that using software on my Mac. MP3s can be very good files for the web and for email because they tend to be pretty small while retaining a decent quality. For more on audio transfers feel free to contact us here directly. Or call (323) 469-0707

Free Bluray Software


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At Advanced Media we now offer Bluray authoring.

From time to time a client will call in with a problem. They’ve been trying to make their own Bluray discs and they hit a snag or the result is less than spectacular. So they’re coming to us to fix to the problem. Other times I have had customers tell me that $150 for a short film on Bluray is out of their price range and they were going to burn it themselves. Generally I get a call back because it’s actually a lot more difficult than a lot of people think it will be. There is a lot of Free Bluray Software out there on the web available for downloading.

The main problem is that you can’t really get the results we’re getting using a program we use which is called Encore. We have worked out all of the kinks and found all of the specific settings in a series of tests that took months to arrive at the perfect recipe for an incredibly clear and amazing HD image. We have had three highly qualified Post Production specialists working on our team to bring you the best possible Bluray quality at an affordable price, not to mention with a very fast turn around. So if you’ve tried it or even if you don’t think you’re up to it, give us a call and we’ll help you get your Bluray to market or to fistival. For more information, please click here or call (323) 469-0707

DVD to File


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A lot of people are not familiar with the fact that you can change your DVDs into files, so I wanted to write a little blog about it today.

Most people are aware that you can go from VHS to DVD or from various tapes to file, but what if you have a DVD and you want to edit the footage or upload it to the web? That’s something I’ve been helping customers with since 2007. There are two basic types of DVDs that you should be aware of. The first is the professionally manufactured DVD. That would be something that you purchase in a store and it’s very well protected. Of course there are ways around the protection but we do not offer that service because it’s not legal. The service we do offer is for the 2nd type of disc. That would be the DVD-R. This would be an unprotected disc. If it’s purple on the bottom, it’s probably a DVD-R. If it’s green, it’s more likely to be a CD-R. If it’s silver, it could be anything. If the bottom is black you have a Bluray disc. We are now offering DVD to .mov file or .mp4 file for the cost of $10/disc. In the past customers have paid upwards of $25 for files from disc. We’re offering this deal until the end of the year to see if we can drum up some new customers. Also, this is something that we feel is going to become more and more common place and necessary for our ever changing, technological society. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us here or give us a call during business hours which are 10am-6pm Monday thru Friday. And yes, that means we’re not open weekends. (323) 469-0707

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