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Old 12-11-2009, 17:23   #1
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New Cruising and Sailing DVDs...

Hello all! I'm a filmmaker, and I'd love to get your input on something. In a nutshell; What would YOU like to see in cruising videos? I own a bunch, and quite frankly most are bad or worse...

Would you like to see the basics...the common everyday anchoring, docking, navigation and sailing that make up a passage? Nature and the natural world opened up by cruising? Different landfalls and harbors? Scary, dangerous mistakes? Mini-lessons? Advanced planning? Refit demonstrations? Boat repair in beautiful surroundings?

I'd love to hear all your thoughts. Both young and old, beginner and old salt like to watch shows about our favorite subject...but most of todays DVDs are severely lacking in production values and content.

One last question; if a DVDs description sounded interesting to you, how much would you pay? I think the current rate of $19.95 to $29.95 is ridiculously high. What would an hour of enjoyable viewing be worth to you?

Thanks for your time, Christian Van Horn
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Old 12-11-2009, 18:17   #2
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In the mid-1980's Gary Jobson and a group of pal's and investors launched a Video Magazine under the banner "Sailing Quarterly" featuring "magazine articles" in video format sold to subscribers.



It lasted about 3 years and never even came close to breaking even as there simply weren't enough subscribers and those that did subscribe routinely shared their cassettes with friends and fellows who, accordingly, did not. We lost our butts on that effort, ending up with only a nice collection of tapes that we still have (many with a much youger but not much more healthy looking Don Street squeaking on about such esoterica as how one can tell the alcohol content of Barbados rums--"If the Ice Don't [sic] SInk...")

Given that there are even fewer sailors today--per US Sailing--I'm wonder whether there's any cheese down that hole...
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Old 12-11-2009, 18:40   #3
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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Given that there are even fewer sailors today--per US Sailing--I'm wonder whether there's any cheese down that hole...
That's a very good point. Think "low overhead" to succeed. As for "Sail", I own every tape! I actually have to sell them all soon...do ya think I'll take a loss? I have soooo many sailing and cruising VHS tapes to sell, eBays gonna love me... Thanks for posting svHyLyte, how did you get involved with that venture? I loved those tapes...
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Old 12-11-2009, 22:02   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian Van H View Post
Hello all! I'm a filmmaker, and I'd love to get your input on something. In a nutshell; What would YOU like to see in cruising videos? I own a bunch, and quite frankly most are bad or worse...

Would you like to see the basics...the common everyday anchoring, docking, navigation and sailing that make up a passage? Nature and the natural world opened up by cruising? Different landfalls and harbors? Scary, dangerous mistakes? Mini-lessons? Advanced planning? Refit demonstrations? Boat repair in beautiful surroundings?

I'd love to hear all your thoughts. Both young and old, beginner and old salt like to watch shows about our favorite subject...but most of todays DVDs are severely lacking in production values and content.

One last question; if a DVDs description sounded interesting to you, how much would you pay? I think the current rate of $19.95 to $29.95 is ridiculously high. What would an hour of enjoyable viewing be worth to you?

Thanks for your time, Christian Van Horn
G'day Christian.
I'm going to call you Fletch. You sound like a bit of a rebel.
One of my great disillusionments in life is that there isn't enough good sailing videos, let alone those with a nautical theme. Apart from your now relatives from the Bounty, and some frolicking from Errol Flynn and perhaps Master and Commander, there is a paucity of any film in the genre.
I would be content to watch almost anything about boats. In fact, I'd probable watch a 120 minute video of boats at the marina. However, I believe that instructional videos on a range of topics such as:heavy weather sailing, crossing a bar, mooring techniques etc. Also, "how to" videos on various on-board systems such as refrigeration, reefing systems and so on. Sort of an "ideas locker" of practical solutions. What about various cruising locations? There's a whole planet of them - and think of the tax deductions! Strewth, you wouldn't need to make a profit.
I say go for it. And good luck to you. Keep the prices reasonable, and most folk would pay you instead of copying or pirating your work. I believe that when we perceive the greed of big corporations ripping people off, that human nature will flinch at the prices and find alternatives. If they see a modest amount going to the one who does the work, then it is deserved and not despised.
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Old 13-11-2009, 02:55   #5
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There doesn't seem to be much out there. I'm a weekend sailor and have been for decades, but next year we're selling up enough stuff to get a liveaboard-able yacht and go cruising for an unspecified time.
The point is, I haven't been able to find much in dvd's to educate, feed the dream etc. The Pardy's stuff is highly credible and they deserve respect for what they do, but it is a bit hairy armpit, mung beans and knitted sandle stuff. We're looking for a bit more space and a few luxuries.
I would happily pay for dvds featuring a presenter with a warm and cheerful style who comes across as a buddy, showing me how to navigate, interview some liveaboards to see a bit of their lives etc.
The secret is in getting a good presenter who can leave his ego in the cupboard, but still be confident and engaging.
In fact if I knew anything about it I'd put my hand up for the job!
But seriously, if it's done well there will be a market...
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Old 13-11-2009, 04:19   #6
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Based on the perennial "What's the perfect boat" threads here on CF, perhaps there'd be interest in two DVDs, one for coastal and one for offshore/extended cruising, explaining the key features of a few representative boats in each category. You might be able to attract some recognizable names to provide their opinions.

And knowing you, Christian, I'm sure you'd add some quirky humor to keep it from being too dull.
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Old 13-11-2009, 07:29   #7
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Sailing Quarterly was produced by Alpine Film Productions, a Denver company started in the mid-'70's by one Rob Dubin, a camera man/film producer and run by he and his wife. The company produced TV commercials, documentaries etc. and I understand was reasonably successful. They--and I believe Gary Jobson (then of ESPN)--conceived of the idea of a video magazine on sailing sometime in the mid-80's and conjured up Sailing Quarterly, a video magazine to cover sailing, that was launched in '89 with the assistance and participation of Jobson, Dennis Conner, et al. The effort produced 6 volumes of four "magazines", which were actually of excellent quality (many can still be found on the internet and, of course, we have all of them). The effort was not a commercial success, however, and folded after Volume 6, at which point Dubin and his wife bought a Island Packet and...went cruising!

We had no personal involvement with any of this, nor the Dubins, but did have some money in a fund that backed some of the effort (along with a number of other productions), at least for awhile. The Dubin's are (or were) still traveling and have a web site at Welcome to Ventana's Voyage . I suspect they could be helpful to you effort. On the one occasion I happened to meet him--momentarily at SDYC in the early '90's--he was very enthusiastic and congenial and I suspect that remains so.

FWIW...
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Old 13-11-2009, 07:56   #8
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Quote:
However, I believe that instructional videos on a range of topics such as:heavy weather sailing, crossing a bar, mooring techniques etc. Also, "how to" videos on various on-board systems such as refrigeration, reefing systems and so on. Sort of an "ideas locker" of practical solutions.
I agree with Scardycat, General knowledge videos about general shipboard maintenance topics would be nice. How about "Bottoms UP! Hauling Out For That Bottom Job! This Week... - West System" or something like that. You could feature West Sytstem, Interlux, etc. Other things like rigging maintenance, cleaning the boat, etc. Also, sailing How-to's like Scardycat said. It doesn't have to be manufacturer specific, just a general knowledge overview. Also, you could feature new technologies, like the new digital radar or somesuch.

Use the internet. Streaming video, VOD (video on demand), etc. Use site subscription for control of assets, NO downloadable media. If they want it, buy the DVD. Start low and slow, make 'em as needed til it takes off. Nowadays you can produce high quality DVD's and covers at home. So you don't HAVE to order mass produced material in bulk. THAT'S a huge savings by itself. There are inkjet printers and "labelers" that can produce a quality label on the DVD. Myself, I use an HP photo printer with the DVD/CD tray and it works great.

Get a duplicator, a DVD printer or dedicated labeler, some plain covers, and either buy or print your own case labels. OH and don't forget the HD Digital Video Camera! No overhead = No loss, except time and effort. If it flops, sell the hardware on eBay.

Duh, who am I to tell you? Your the FILMMAKER, for God's sake!
So, Where's the flick?

Let me know if I can help as I have a knack for finding things...
Love to see it happen!
Good Luck!

Oh BTW - What was that Sailing channel on satellite?
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Old 13-11-2009, 08:06   #9
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All you'd need is to mount a camera on a Vendee Globe racer for the Southern Ocean part and add some v/o color commentary- it'd sell like hotcakes.
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Old 13-11-2009, 08:07   #10
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I have rented a few "how to" sailing videos from Netflix recently, and I agree, they are dreadful. The one I remember featured an unsuccessful attempt to heave to a fin keeler (forget the exact boat - one of the IOR-inspired designs from the 80s).

I think there ought to be "basic" and "advanced" videos and some distinction between fin and full/modified/cutaway/whatever full keelers. The two boats really do act quite differently.

I don't mind all the chitchat and enjoy the scenery, but a simple step by step is a sine qua non here.
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