Selling downloads of your film on your own part 5

Thanks for all the ideas and comments on the last couple posts... some really good ideas there! So I've decided to go with Dpd as they have everything I'm looking for and the man in charge there says that large files are no problem. I'll do some speed tests with it soon to see how fast a 100mb file downloads on average. 100mb is not 3.5gb I know but it should give me some ideas of the average speeds... if they are decent then its a go!

Making sure there is a good customer experience is a big priority because it would suck for someone to buy the film then like the downloads are broken....or like take 4 days... slow or stalling downloads can drive a man insane!

So lets say the biggest file which would be the film itself is 3.5gb... according to some quick research...

So if you use this download time calculator for a 3.5gb file using a 10Mbps connection it comes out to about 50 minutes to download a file that big... NOW I know connection speeds and download speeds vary but thats an acceptable ball park...

3.5gb seems doable for the 720p version of the film... but I'm not too sure I can encode a decent 1080p version and keep it under the 4gb limit 0_o I'll do my best but if I have to make it look crappy to get it there I won't do it... people want 1080p for the best quality so yeh.... What if I broke it up into two files? Would that be annoying to have to play two files to watch the film? Ideas?

I do have a little experience compressing the fucK out of videos and if I can figure out what Apple is doing to encode they 1080p movies for itunes I'll be all good ^_^ found these screen caps online

Seems Apple's new compression scheme can keep a 1080p feature over 2 hours at under 4gb.... smaller than they older 720 compression...

Thats an older film... and the 720p is under 4gb....

So yeh I know a big company like Apple probably uses some fancy compression hardware but its good to know its possible...

5gb seems to be a hard limit set by Amazon S3... and the guy from Dpd told me its best to stay under 4gb... So yeh under 4gb is the goal...

The 720p should be under 3gb I'm thinking... although HSM has so much fog and stuff which causes horrible banding and artifacts at low data rates it's going to be interesting....

But yeh for all parties involved the smaller the files the better... saves everyone money and time....

When you do buy the film your going to instantly get a link to either download or stream an SD 480p version of the film while you wait for the download... Ideas?

I'm just brainstorming out loud as I move closer to releasing the film in hopes that this information might be useful to other filmmakers in the future.


  1. since you are entertaining ideas and trying to get everything together , let me suggest that you register a domain as a base of operations .... this is fine and maybe you just mirror to this site ... but you need a base website.

    it looks more professional when you can give out a business card or a link to say

    rather than

    simplicity is key in advertising .. and having a simple website you can point to will greatly help drive people to buy the movie.


    The Mad Reagent / Variant / blah blah blah

    1. If you type in it does come to this site ^ ^ but I'll be pushing to sell HSM as that's where it'll be...

  2. ............or you could have already done that .... as I see after doing 2 seconds of research ... which I could have done before posting that little "tip" ..

    me estupido.

  3. "and then mdotstrange inadvertantly brought back the intermission", i do hope that won't actually be the case for the 1080 version.

    have u ever downloaded files that were packed into multiple rar files? so you'd end up getting two rar files that'd unpack one movie file type of thing

    1. Yeh thats a good idea... requires a little geekery but not too much eh ^ ^

  4. Hmmmmmmmm... The rar thing is fairly common for people in the know, which I think some of the fans here would be, but that kinda makes it inaccessible to other people, plus they have to worry about finding a rar program if they don't already have one.

    I think most people would prefer one file, but you said it with the fog and banding, that can be a big issue. Can you encode in zones? Like, upping bitrate for highly detailed scenes, lowering it a bit for static ones? I think xvid had something like that back in the day, so you could optimize things like a credit crawl or still scenes or scenes were not a lot changes, and allocate bitrate to high motion or action scenes. Been awhile since I tried to encode something like that so have no idea if it still exists....

    We must discover Apple's magic encoding formula... FOR SCIENCE.

    1. Yeh the only one that might need to be split is the 1080p version... I think most people would get the 720p version and that would be one file... so yeh maybe the people buying the 1080p would be a little geek anyway? and not having a problem unzipping or unrar'ing the two files... you can do it with zip or rar as far as I know... just double click one of the files and they decompress into one movie file...

    2. This is true! Also, you could always write a nifty little doc that shows exactly how to get at the movie. Nice thing is, we're talking about a zip app and not some kind of custom DRM! And yup, I bet even windows can now handle multi-part rars.

      What Freddy & Adam said as well, maybe there are some apps out there that can really get a nice encode for a single 1080p file? I've been using avisynth for various things, it's really amazing in it's capabilities even if it is a bit technical...then there's xvid4psp, which is a general purpose encoder that is built on gets shet done (it is your dad), but I'm not sure as to what the licensing would be or what codecs it even uses (I think the open source x264?) It does have some badass filters for like, DVD rips and things like that...might be worth looking into?

      I'm excited either way, this is going to be badass no matter how I have to get it.


  5. Think of what Jobs would have done: "Mr. Jobs sir, we can offer downloads, but the customer would have to extract one file from 2 rars...." - Jobs: "GET THE FUCK OUT OF THIS ROOM! Simplicity, bitch!"

    When it comes down to compression, the actual software seems to play a big part in the quality of the end result. Did you look into Squeeze and stuff? And for everything else marketing related... as Steve said, keep it simple at all costs.


  6. I heard somewhere that Apple do their encoding with Sorenson Squeeze (don't take this as gospel) They are at V.8 at the moment, which also has an advanced 'Pro' version.

    They sure as fuck aren't using Apple Compressor! ;)


  7. I would agree that merging 2 files should not be considered as a big obstacle on the way, also downloading one file over 4 GB could lead to more problems for people with slower connection. so if you can not keep 1080p version as one file I wouldn't be much concerned in my opinion.

    What I am exited to ask about however is your promotion plan, the idea of releasing the new trailer only once the movie is available for purchase is very interesting given the fact that there wasn't much new material revealed lately. What are the other steps and will you be writing a retrospective on them? how do you estimate the awareness about the upcoming movie among potential fans / viewers? And do you think some energetic announcement will be needed, say you uploading trailer on all possible websites like Vimeo / Youtube, same time releasing some concept art, new renders on graphic design / art orientated sites and so on all at the same time ?

    1. or take this idea and apply it to kickstarter.

      generate the funds for the dvd/bluray release.

    2. Would you be open to other people uploading the trailer as well? My YT channel has somewhere in the neighborhood of 2M views, I'm sure I could help pimp the movie and direct peeps to buy.

    3. Yeh for sure! That would be awesome! Not many people watch the vids on my channel so I'm definitely going to need some help if more than 500 people are to see it haha


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