Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Myrtle Beach - Alaska DVD almost ready

Our time here is almost up. Saturday we will start moving towards The Rally in Perry, GA. We have made good use of our time here at Ocean Lakes Campground. A number of writing projects, along with some business chores have been taken care of.

The weather has been fairly cooperative. Mostly mild, sunny days with an occasional thunderstorm thrown in, and temperatures ranging from a high of 70 degrees to a low of 24 degrees. As pleasant as it has been here – overlooking the ocean, listening to the waves, eating seafood and Philly Cheesesteaks - we are ready to get on the road again.


Our Verizon aircard, a device that plugs into the PC slot of our laptop and gives us a cellular connection to the internet, is working out great. We have spent a lot of time on line during the past week or so. We have enjoyed immediate connectivity and the speed is close to that of our home’s DSL service. This device and service is a genuine keeper. You can read more about it by scrolling down to our February 10th entry.


Good News! John Holod, the DVD producer, told me the “RVing Alaska: What to Expect, How to Prepare” DVD should be through the duplication process and in our hands by Wednesday, March 12th. That means we will have them in time for our seminars at The Rally.

It was just about a year ago that Vicki and I got together with John Holod and Jodie Ginter to discuss this project. John and Jodie are videographers who produce unique DVD travelogues. They show and sell them at, among other venues, RV shows around the country. That’s how we met and became friends.

Anyway, John and Jodie were getting ready to go to Alaska to film a new Alaska DVD. We were interested in making a DVD of our “Alaska. The Ultimate RV Adventure” seminar to go along with our other RV seminar DVDs.

At first, Vicki and I were going to just film one of our Alaska seminars in front of a live audience, just as we had done with our “Choosing an RV” and Extended RV Travel” seminars. One thing led to another during the conversation and it was decided that we could produce a dynamite “how-to” DVD by having Vicki and I meet John and Jodie in Alaska. We would tape a DVD that would actually show the viewer what we were talking about. When we talked about road conditions - the viewer would see the various road conditions. When we talked about getting on and off the ferries - the viewer would see RVs getting on and off the ferries. When we – well, you get the idea.

Vicki and I went to work making a story board and writing a script. A story board, essentially, identifies and lines up the scenes you want to film with the things you want to say. The scenes are not necessarily filmed in the order they will be shown. But they do match the things that will be said in the DVD.

John and Jodie left for Alaska in early May. They filmed “B” roll for our DVD while they filmed segments for their travelogue. “B” roll is background shots that can be added to the final DVD but doesn’t necessarily require the presence of the people who are speaking. Voice and video are matched up during the editing process.

Vicki and I left for Alaska in late July. We met with John and Jodie to shoot the scenes that required our presence in front of the camera. This part of the DVD was a real challenge because the weather did not want to cooperate. We spent a lot of time waiting for the weather to clear so we could film a necessary part of the DVD. At the end of the day we would review the day’s footage. If the footage was not satisfactory we went out and repeated the scene the next day.

All total, Vicki and I spent six weeks in Alaska meeting and traveling with John and Jodie. They must have filmed miles of DVD footage with Vicki and/or me walking, talking and driving our way over the highways and byways of Alaska. We went home happy with the individual segments but not having any idea how the final DVD was going to turn out.

Next came the editing process. John is a skilled perfectionist. Editing takes time. And, at the same time, John and Jodie were flying all over the country showing their DVDs and trying to make a living. John sent us a couple of rough DVDs. In the writing world we call them outlines and drafts. I don’t know what the Hollywood types call them. Anyway we did see and approve an almost final version of the DVD.

While John was editing, the cover for the DVD case was being designed. And the picture and text that would appear on the disk itself had to be selected. Again we received drafts for our approval.

Part of the editing process involved sending the DVD to folks who created maps and graphics. And, of course, selecting background music and negotiating the rights to use it in the DVD also had to be accomplished. This ain’t no home movie, folks.

All of that work resulted in a master copy. The master copy was sent to a duplication company. They make the hundreds or thousands of DVDs that must then be placed in plastic cases.

Anyway, the reason I’m so excited, John said he was told by the duplication company that he would receive the finished DVDs by this weekend and he would send them to us by March 12th.

So, after a year of work and waiting, we are excited.

We’ll soon be offering “RVing Alaska: What to Expect, how to Prepare” for sale in the RV DVDs section of our website. That involves us making changes to the site and making arrangements for CCnow to put the DVDs on their shopping cart.

In the meantime, if you would like to be notified when “RVing Alaska: What to Expect, How to Prepare” is available for shipment contact us at
Put Alaska DVD on the subject line and provide your e-mail address.

By the way, you can see a description of the “RVing Alaska: What to Expect, How to Prepare” DVD content by scrolling down to our February 16th entry.

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