What formats should the original video be in?
We request both the "source" video file and the Flash "streaming" video file.
The source video should be a separate video file in either high quality QuickTime (.mov) or
MPEG 2 (.mpg) file format.
The streaming video file should be in Adobe Flash Video format (.flv). You may need to make arrangements
for a video editor to do the conversion from the source video for you. The video editor is responsible to make sure there is no
pixelation, video artifacts, or lip-synching errors.
Please do not send .avi, .asf, .f4v, .mp4, or .wmv files. They may or may not work, and in our experience
we have seen worse quality on the conversions from those file formats. i.e. Pixelation, video artifacts, lip-synching errors,
What aspect ratio should video be in?
If the source video was recorded in wide screen (16:9 aspect ratio or wider), we want to keep it in that format. Ideally we would like video files
in the 16:9 or 1.85:1 aspect ratio — or wide screen format. If the source video was recorded full screen (4:3 aspect ratio), then use that format.
See the diagram to the right. More information at:
What size in pixels should video be in?
For wide screen video with a 16:9 aspect ratio or wider, and typically high definition, these video files should be
720 pixels wide, by the appropriate number of pixels high to keep the native aspect ratio. We have found that to be approximately
480 pixels high, but use that as a guideline only. Keep the video 720 pixels wide with the appropriate aspect ratio determining height.
Sample wide screen video.
For full screen video with a 4:3 aspect ratio, and typically standard definition, these video files should be
640 pixels wide, by the appropriate number of pixels high to keep the native aspect ratio. We have found that to be approximately
480 pixels high, but use that as a guideline only. Keep the video 640 pixels wide with the appropriate aspect ratio determining height.
Sample full screen video.
The video player controls will be added by us, and add an additional 40 pixels in height.
Should I remove the letterboxing or "black bars" around the video?
Definitely YES. We DO NOT WANT the first letterbox image on the right.
Letterboxing is the practice of transferring film shot in a widescreen aspect ratio to standard-width video
formats while preserving the film's original aspect ratio. The resulting videographic image has mattes
(black bars) above and below it, or for standard-width video going to widescreen, then black bars to the
left and right of it. These mattes are part of the image, each frame of the video signal, so they need to
be removed by your video editor. We want the video "cropped" to include just the video, and not any
We DO WANT the second "cropped" image on the right.
More information at:
Should video fade to black or have several seconds of black filler?
No. Unlike a movie or commercial where it's common to fade to black, on a website, the last frame of the video should be one that could stand alone as a static image. Once a visitor finishes watching, there is no "next show" - so the last frame needs to be something. It could be a copy of a title or a concluding frame, or a listing of the organization name, contact information, website, and any social networks.
What is your policy on credits?
We strongly believe that credit should be given where credit is due. If you decide you would like video credit, please limit yourself to one (1) credit at the end of the video only, and not the last frame. The last frame should have an image that is pertinent to the website. See previous FAQ question on Should video fade to black?
Do you have audio standards?
We are working on audio standards now with an audio professional.
Currently streaming video and audio have the practical issue of varying volumes — too loud or too soft in comparison to other media on the same website (annoying and distracting) or on the Internet at large (i.e. YouTube).
Wikipedia has an explanation of MP3 file compression here which may assist in explaining the audio file format.
An interesting explanation on why sound is getting louder at:
The reason we are in this mess is basically radio ... Every record executive wants their mix to sound "hot" on the radio... they want it to sound like it has more "punch" or "impact" than the next guys - so that people will buy the record. So, they tell that to the mastering engineers...and what do the engineers do? They use dynamics processing (compression, limiting, etcetera) and squeeze everything up into the top 1 or 2 dB. this makes the whole thing louder... "hotter" - at the same time it ruins the musical feeling.
How do I send the video? Do I email it?
No - please do NOT email it. Chances are our automatic file size detection programs will delete them.
See FAQ - Sending Big Files.
If you do not want to use the commercial uploading sites,
then please mail us a CD or DVD to:
Post Office Box 486
Sierra Madre, CA 91025