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Old 03-14-2017, 06:03 PM   #1
ComedyFilm2k12
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Submitting to Amazon Direct Video a complete waste of time?

Has anyone tried submitting their video to this worthless service? I've done a lot of filmmaking and submitted to a multitude of festivals and everything, and yet I can't get a single video to be accepted by Amazon Direct Video. Trying to compete with YouTube? They can't even compete with Vimeo.

So my advice to anyone that has heard of the new Streaming Video Submission site "Amazon Direct Video" is to stay the heck away, I have spent so many hours the past couple days trying to get one single video accepted, nah, they won't hardly accept literally anything....
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:53 PM   #2
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Amazon has a direct video service?
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:59 PM   #3
Rayandmigdalia
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We have quite a few videos on Amazon Video Direct, which is their VOD service. The hardest part is getting everything to their specifications, especially their "Closed Captions" requirements.
They will come up with a dozen reasons why they don't like your captions. Whenever I think I have given them what they want...it's not right. They often contradict themselves. Anyway, to make a long story short, through a lot of frustrating BS, we are on Amazon Video Direct, and one of our titles we were actually able to get on AMAZON PRIME. ("Tattletale Corpse"). We make about $20.00 a month from Prime. The good part about Amazon Video Direct is that you pay them ZERO to get in their catalog, and they "promote" your film for you. VIMEO is nice, but it will cost you $100 a year, and you have to supply your own customers.... If there are any other companies out there. I'd sure like to hear about them. (The "no fee" ones that is).
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:25 AM   #4
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I agree with Rayandmigdalia. My movie got accepted no problem. The hard part was 1) figuring out how to create captions and then 2) creating a video file to their specifications. I got numerous rejections regarding codecs and wrappers before I finally was able to export a file that they accepted. And each time it takes them like 4 weeks to review the file you submit, then you have to keep logging in to see if they accepted it.

And yes you can't beat FREE! Try submitting a digital movie to iTunes through distribber. One time $1,595 delivery charge! Plus a $225 annual fee! And, adding insult to injury, they have a $200 take down fee!
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:05 PM   #5
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I put a short horror film on Amazon a month ago. So far I've made about $4!!!!!! Not bad for no advertising, plus the copy doesn't look so good. I had to blow it up to HD size from MiniDV BUT, it does come with a behind the scenes featurette.. Yeah, the hardest part was making the close caption file. Amazon rejected it several times.. .. I tried to not do close caption for the behind the scenes portion but they rejected it.

I don't want to be accused of spamming so, if you'd like to check out my movie on Amazon, I do mention it in my profile..
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Old 11-20-2017, 07:24 PM   #6
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Rayandmigdalia & Velusion, what were the reasons they rejected your captions?
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:54 AM   #7
Rayandmigdalia
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They will use many different phrases, such as "captions do not match spoken dialogue" (even when you know that it does), or they will side track you with requests for "when dialogue is not present, you should describe what is happening"... WHAT?...so we are also providing captions for people who are also BLIND. (So how do blind people read the captions?). Sounds stupid, but that is an example of why our captions were rejected. You will also hear that the time code is off...are your captions 29.97 fps or 30fps...drop frame or non drop frame. Throw in descriptions of who is speaking off camera. What are the lyrics to the song that you used. I finally started using professional caption companies (such as rev.com) to do our captions, and our last four films have been accepted on the first try. Yes, I hate paying someone to do what I can do myself (eventually), but having Amazon accept the captions on the first try is such a relief... AND, the caption company that I use has a turnaround time of about 8 hours...something that would take me several days to do on my own. (They charge a dollar per minute of screen time...10 minute film is $10 dollars).

Last edited by Rayandmigdalia; 11-21-2017 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 11-21-2017, 07:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayandmigdalia View Post
I finally started using professional caption companies (such as rev.com) to do our captions, and our last four films have been accepted on the first try.
That's also where my rep sends my movies off for close captioning. $100 bucks for a 100 minute feature. I think it's a good deal.
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Old 11-21-2017, 08:18 AM   #9
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$100 sounds like a good deal. I suppose you had to give them an accurate script, preferably digital for copying and pasting?
Mine was rejected for several reasons.

First, the file that Premiere pro 2017 created did not match the requirements of Amazon. Premiere offers several CC file types for output, including the one that Amazon wants but it still did not match the format. The Premiere pro CC included font type, font size and other crap. All that Amazon wants is a sequential track number, time code, and dialog.
Example:

1
00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:07,707

2
00:00:14,514 --> 00:00:18,918
[ominous music]

3
00:00:25,725 --> 00:00:28,995
[unknown words]

4
00:00:35,135 --> 00:00:42,942
Where is everybody?

So, I fixed that. Then they told me my dialog was out of sync with the movie. That’s when I discovered that even though I didn’t have any closed caption (CC) until 14 seconds into the film, I still had to account for the time. Take a look at the example above, number 1 has no caption but I still had to put it there otherwise, for some reason, Amazon was reading the 2nd cue, which starts at 00:00:14,514 , as the beginning of the movie thus shifting all of the subtitles forward by 14 seconds..

The final reason they rejected by CC file was because I got lazy and didn’t want to do closed caption for the behind the scenes footage. Instead, I made a CC commentary that played along with the footage. In the end, I had to properly CC the behind the scenes footage too.

Now that I’ve gone through the process and figured it out. I’m pretty sure my next one will be accepted on the first submission.

Oh, one other thing I learned; don’t worry about line breaks when typing the dialog into the CC file. When I was typing mine, I tried to format the text so that it looked good on my screen. You don’t have to do that. Just type the dialog.
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Velusion View Post
$100 sounds like a good deal. I suppose you had to give them an accurate script, preferably digital for copying and pasting?
No script, just the movie.

I do want to learn more about properly making CCs. I'm interested in your examples and I've been watching a lot of stuff, with captioning on.
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Old 11-21-2017, 05:37 PM   #11
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Yeah, I watch a lot of stuff with CC on.. I'm going deaf.. No lie.

Which version of Premiere pro are you using?
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velusion View Post
Which version of Premiere pro are you using?
I have Adobe CC, so it should be the latest version.
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velusion View Post
...number 1 has no caption but I still had to put it there otherwise, for some reason, Amazon was reading the 2nd cue, which starts at 00:00:14,514, as the beginning of the movie thus shifting all of the subtitles forward by 14 seconds.
-So you mean you had to put a blank caption at the very beginning of the video, where big films usually have company logos?
-Does that blank 1st caption need an exact length? Or can it be anywhere from less than a second to right before the next caption?
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:44 AM   #14
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The one I put at the beginning was about 7 seconds... No special reason..

Sorry, here's something else I forgot to mention; when I created the file in Premiere it was synced up just fine on the timeline but after exporting the file then importing it back into Premiere, that's when I spotted the problem.. Amazon is the one who told me the CC was out of sync but I didn't know why until I imported the CC file back in and actually saw the problem on the time line.. That's when I decided to place a blank caption at the very beginning of the movie to act as a reference point... I did that then exported the file. I Imported it back into Premiere and found that the sync was fine... I re-submitted the files to Amazon and they accepted them.. Once the movie was published on Amazon I watched it with the CC on and yeah, the captions were in sync
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
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...after exporting the file then importing it back into Premiere, that's when I spotted the problem.
Did you import the file back into Premiere because you wanted to double check the sync?
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