March 25, 2016


FAQs, Policies and Technical Information

At Act One Pictures, we do our best to provide you with as much accurate information as possible. We also want to be very clear about our procedures and policies to provide you with the best possible product at the best price. We also have strick rules relating to copyright laws. We hope that the following information answers your questions, but if not, please contact us about anything at 1-858-467-1999 or

Production Questions:

Can I use a single camera for a wedding video production?
Yes, but movement is limited. A single camera shoot focuses primaraly on the bride. It does save on editing, but you won’t always get the groom or family reactions. A two camera shoot must be edited, but the other elements captured are priceless. A three camera shoot will usually pick up everything and will make your wedding video shine.

Editing Questions:

How many photo’s can I fit into a music slideshow?

A good rule of thumb to follow is about 10-12 per minute. That leaves the image on screen for about 5-6 seconds each with a one-two second dissolve or transition effect between each image. So if a song is 3 minutes long, you can probably get between 30-36 images included. We normally figure out the total song length and divide that by the number of images, round it down so that the first and or last image last a bit longer.  

Transfer Questions:

What is the difference between “direct” transfer and “captured” transfer?

Direct transfer is where the playback device or deck is plugged directly into the recording device or deck. This offers very little adjustments on video and/or audio.

Captured transfer is where the playback device is plugged into a computer system via firewire or a converter box and the original media is then imported into one of our professional software programs. Once it is imported, all sorts of editing, corrections and adjustments can be made before outputting to disc, tape, flash or hard drive.

How do I figure out the cost of media transfers?

Actually transfers prices are very reasonable. Consider how long it would take you if you had the appropriate equipment. All transfers are done in real time. We verify duration of each master before we start. We cue up each original to the correct start point, set a timer, start the playback and make any adjustments for tracking, video quality and audio levels. We then re-cue the master and then start the recording. We monitor the transfer for a few minutes to verify the recording. When the timer goes off, we stop the recording right after the media ends and if no additional media is to be transferred, we title and “finalize” the DVD.

So each original has two operator “set-ups” and the record time is just charged at an hourly rate depending on the formats. This process holds true for any type of transfer. We found that this method of pricing keeps your cost as low as possible for unmonitored transfer or capture. We do offer monitored transfer, but there is an additional hourly cost for the technician.

Duplication Questions:

What is the difference between Duplication and Replication?

Duplication is the process where the “pits” are literally burned on a blank disc with a laser in a computer. Replication is the process where the “pits” are pressed into a blank disc with a “glass master”.

Why do discs fail?

Duplicated discs are still susceptible to sunlight, playback and scratches. Every time you play a disc, the laser burns the light areas on the disc just a tiny bit. Same goes for sunlight. Scratches on the read side may also flaw the playback, but scratches on the top label side could actually ruin the disc permanently, as there would be no refection at all from the laser reader.

Technical Information:

Standard Digital Video Formats:

Unlike images, which are almost invariably GIF or JPG format (especially when aimed at the Web), video file formats are not quite so universal.  In addition, since uncompressed video files are quite huge, some compression is almost invariably required. What choices you make will depend on how you intend to use your videos. You have to be willing to experiment!

MPEG (.mpg):  This digital video format is very high quality with good compression, and will play natively on either Windows or Mac. There are standard choices for compression, aimed at where your final  project will go – the Web, DVD, etc.

Windows Media (.wmv):  This format is the standard for Windows playback. These files will play on any Windows computer, though you may have to upgrade Windows Media Player (use the “Help” menu for how). Outside of Windows, treat this format as proprietary – Macs and other operating systems will need to install the latest version of Windows Media Player (free from Microsoft) to play these files.

Windows AVI (.avi):  AVI files will play on other platforms with players, but are generally associated with Windows machines. Since AVI depends on the Codecs provided by the operating system, this format should be avoided everywhere except within your computer editing environment.

QuickTime (.mov):  The QuickTime movie format is provided by Apple Computers, and they support it.  It is a very good format (it now uses MPEG-4 as its standard Codec), and a QuickTime player is available for almost any operating system.  However, since the format is proprietary, you must make sure the computer on which you run the video has the player, available from Apple’s website at   If you intend to deliver the video via the Web, be sure to supply a link to the Quicktime site on your page.

RealMedia (.rm):  RealMedia provides one of the oldest and most widespread  Web delivery formats – 85% of all web-accessing computers have RealPlayer installed. Many of the tools to code and deliver RealMedia video files are free for download – including RealProducer which encodes other formats to Real, and RealServer Basic which delivers these files more dependably than ordinary links and webservers. Both Pinnacle Systems’ most recent programs and Adobe Premier will encode to this format. As with QuickTime, RealPlayer is required for Real files to play on a workstation. RealPlayer Basic is free and available from The only downside of using Real is the aggressive nature of their marketing – this can be avoided by a non-default install of RealPlayer.