ASCII by Jason Scott

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Glass Masters —

Documentary Disc #2 went to the printers last night.

Not an April Fool’s, by the way. It really did go out to them. Of course, the natural question is “Why only #2? Why not all of them?”. Well, there’s two reasons, one financial and one technical.

The financial one requires you to know how DVD production works. You send the information that will go to the production house, on two DLT tapes (one for each layer of the DVD-9 that I’m using) and from that, the production house makes a “glass master”, which is the original they make all the duplicates out of. This Glass Master is then used to blow out a small handful of “check disks”, which are then sent to me to inspect. They are exactly what would go into the box, except they lack a label. I am then to look over these discs, play them on a bunch of machines, verify that everything I thought was good was good, and then sign off. On my signoff, they go into production.

All well and good. But what if I don’t like what comes out and the problem is on my end? (Like, I missed something or it’s otherwise my fault?) Well, DING DING DING, it costs about $1200 to have another glass master made. If the problem is one across all three, then I’m out nearly $4000 with nothing to show for it.

So, with the trouble we’ve been having with Ulead DVD Workshop 2 (which, I again state for the record, is crap), the DVD house and I decided to add a few days to the process and run through largest disc (#2 has 7.9 of 8 available gigabytes used), and make sure it works. If it does work, the other two sets of DLT tapes will be waiting there, and I’ll say “Yes, go ahead with #2 and start #1 and #3 as well.”

So basically, we’re being careful not to make a costly mistake. The typical delays of doing something this big.

The other thing is that Ulead DVD Workshop sucks. It is able to create a DVD image of the third Disc, but because the third disc has 3,000 files on it, it’s basically doing some sort of “analysis” on it before it goes to DLT, and that “analysis” is crashing. I want those files there, so we’re going to go about this the new-fashioned way of sending a master DVD DL to the plant and working from it. So those are going out tomorrow.

Then, assuming the check discs that come back work, I give the word to go ahead with the other two discs that I’ve sent in, and they start the fun process of making the discs, putting them into the boxes, and putting the whole shebang into a freight drop at my house. You know…. DVDs.

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