Digital Video Techniques - How to Make a DVD for Speaking Events

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One of the most commonly produced kinds of DVDs are those for lectures and speaking events. If you are trying to put together one for a conference or lectures series then there are a variety of issues that you have to keep in mind.


Once you have all of your footage from the lectures you need to begin the capture and edit process. This may seem simple, but it can be the most difficult part of whole process. If you have multiple angles for each presentation then you will need to set one video as the base, and then cut over to the other angles throughout. This base clip should be the one you recorded the master audio to, which was done either through a special microphone or by being connected directly into the live sound mixing. Input that clip into the editing program and lay it down into a sequence. Then place each other angle over that base clip, matching up the audio tracks. Once they are matched up you delete the audio track from the alternate angle because you are only going to be using the single audio track that was recorded with more attention. Once all the other angles are laid over you need to go through every segment of the lecture or presentation and choose the correct angle for the moment. Try to include reactions from the audience, as well as visuals around the room. Make sure to maintain continuity as much as possible with the speakers. Once you have done this you can decide whether or not you would like to include title cards for the speakers, outside footage, or transitions at the beginning and end of the presentation. It is advisable to put audio transitions at the beginning and end because there will most likely be quite a bit of room noise and it is best to ease the audience into this kind of sound environment.

DVD Menus

Once you have done this with all of the presentations you need to export and compress for the DVD authoring program. When building the DVD menus try to get as many pieces of video, audio, or photos that you possibly can. Use these in the menu systems to add a little bit of character. Depending on your ability to create great, interactive menus yourself, it may be best to just use a template to give it a more professional feel. Make sure to not have any of the menu media or templates overshadow the content of the DVD. The base menu should include a video or photo of the location that the event was held, and each additional menu should include media that represents either the speakers or the topic of their discussion.

Setting Up Video Tracks

When putting the videos into tracks in the DVD authoring program, try to put the entire speech on a single track, and then set chapter points in between each individual speaker. Then create a menu for the speech all together, with options to play the speech entirely or go to a chapter menu where the speakers are listed individually. If you would like to cut out a speaker entirely you should make sure to cut around them and only include the correct number of speakers in the DVD copy of the presentation.

Event Information

Make sure to include some information both about the event and the speakers themselves. It would be best to include a separate menu or series of menus strictly for this purpose. Try to include as many photos as you can in this portion, and it would be best to place the DVD credits right here.

Size Problem

One major problem with doing this kind of DVD is that there usually are many separate speeches or presentations, all taking a significant amount of time. Since you will be exporting them as long, complete video files, they will take up significant room on the DVD. The average DVD only allows 4.7 GB of material, and this will only allow for a few hours of footage. Know how many you will have ahead of time and you may have to burn it onto Blu-Ray, a dual layer DVD, or several DVDs.

For Sale?

The most important thing you need to know when putting together a DVD is whether or not it will be used for purchase. If it is not you can use any bit of photographic or video footage you can find, not to mention music. If it is then you cannot use material that has a copyright, so try to produce your own or mine public domain archives.

Get Your Rythm

Once you get the hang of how these work it can be a fairly easy and fun process. If you enjoyed the content of the presentations then you should also like putting together the DVD copy.

This post is part of the series: DVD Authoring

Learn about the different elements in DVD authoring.

  1. DVD Authoring Tips
  2. Adobe Encore: The Next Generation in DVD Authoring
  3. Professional DVD Authoring Features
  4. Things to Consider Before Exporting Your Video Project for DVD Authoring
  5. Guide to DVD Authoring in Final Cut Pro
  6. Blu-ray Disc Authoring
  7. The Different Elements of a DVD
  8. Putting Together A DVD For a Speaking Event
  9. Things to Always Include on Your DVDs
  10. Freeware DVD Authoring Software
  11. Putting Special Features on Your DVD