Your Dog Can Sing Jingle Bells!
It's true. You can
have your dog sing Jingle Bells on home video this season.
If you videotape your own dog and send me the footage, and I'll have him singing in a matter of minutes.
This makes a great gift as a video greetings or just a special treat for the family.
Click here to visit the Jinglebarks gallery
What is the product exactly?
The product is a high quality 3-minute video of your dog, 'singing' Jingle bells. The Jingle Bells tune plays in the background, and your Dog barks out the notes in the song. There are opening and closing titles, which you can write yourself, so you can turn it into a Season's Greetings that you can give to your loved ones, or the Dog's loved ones, for a virtual message for the Holiday
Is it the actual audio and video of my dog?
Yes. All dog's have their own unique sounds they make. I take the actual sound of your dog, and manipulate the pitch to simulate the different notes in the Jingle Bells chorus. It is very similar to the Cat food commercials where the cat 'sings' the product's name in meows.
There is some video manipulation that takes place in order to create the illusion, but I keep the alterations as minimal as possible, so at least 75% of the time, it is the actual, unaltered motion of your dog.
How do we arrange the filming of the dog?
If you live in or near Dutchess County, NY, you can come to my studio at an arranged time with your dog, for a 10 minute session of filming. If you live in the Philadelphia area, we can arrange a time when I am in town to give your home a visit to do the recording. There will be a travel expense that will vary depending on your location, but is usually not more than an additional $25. If you are in some other part of the country, you can film the dog yourself and send me the raw footage of the dog, and I'll send you back a DVD or mpeg file of the final product. I will also put a version up on Youtube and your dog will live forever in the Jinglebarks gallery online.
Can I just use my phone to film it and send you the footage directly from the phone?.
Yes, and this is probably the simplest way to do it these days. The only issue is, the phone cannot be hand-held! The camera must be completely stationary and/or locked down somehow so it doesn't move at all while you film. Then you an email the footage to me. But contact me first with any questions.
I don't have a camera, and/or I cannot make it to your studio. Will you come over and videotape the dog for me.
If you live in either Philadelphia, or Dutchess County, NY, I will be making house calls all this season. For an additional $25.00, I will come to your house, with all my own equipment, and with your guidance, I will do the recording. If you are not local (I consider local within a half an hour of travel time) then you can videotape the dog and email me the footage (or transfer via dropbox, or I can get it off of Youtube, or whatever we arrange). Call me at the number below to work out the details.
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My video camera is a little old, does that matter?
No. You can use just about any video camera. The image quality of the video I receive, is virtually the same image quality you will get back, and I am set up to handle all formats of video and HD files. What matters most is the specifications for when you do the recording, as listed below;
How should I do the recording?
There are three simple things to remember during videotaping in order for the affect to work
1 - The dog needs to
be the only thing in the frame that moves. If it is hand-held, or otherwise
moving, zooming, or changing framing, or things moving in an out of shadows,
or reflections in mirrors or windows, the illusion could be compromised. use
a tripod or sturdy platform to keep the camera stable, and do not zoom in or
out during the actual recording.
2 - The dog needs to be facing the camera, or at least in a profile shot. (but facing the camera is best)
3 - There should be no other sounds in the background that can compete with the audio of the dog.
Here are a few additional "videography 101" tips
for getting the best video image;
- Make sure a good light source is in front of the dog, next to, or behind the camera.
- Make sure there aren't any bright sources of light behind the dog creating a 'silhouette' of the dog. (Some examples would be a bright lamp, or a bright window in an otherwise dark room, behind the dog). This will help you to see more facial expression. Just look in the viewfinder, If you are happy with the lighting on the dog, so am I).
- Put the camera on manual focus. Then zoom in all the way and focus on the dog's face. Then you can zoom out to the desired framing.
- When you set up the camera, put the camera at the eye level of the dog. He or she will look more proportional this way.
- Take several takes. Video is cheap. I'll use the best footage. (but try to keep it under five minutes, so I don't have screen a half an hour of footage, for just a few good seconds). Two or three good barks is really enough.
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How do I keep my dog still?
There are several ways I have learned to do this. Every dog is raised differently of course, so ultimately, you, or the dog's owner will best know how to control him. For exceptionally hyper dogs, I have found that putting him on a leash, and attaching the leash to an immovable object (tree, stake in the ground, etc.) works best. Then, get the dog to bark in the direction of the camera, and most likely, he will pull the slack tight on the leash. The leash will then be behind him so that the leash will not be in the way of the video.
Now my dog is sitting still, but I'm having trouble getting him/her to bark.
There are several ways to handle this. Some dog's don't really bark well, but if they make some kind of loud, clear noise ('woof', 'howl', 'yipe' etc.) it will work. Also, if he moves his mouth enough, but doesn't make a clear bark at that particular point in time, you can get him to bark later, and I can take the good audio in one shot, and mix it with the good video of the dog moving. I've done this quite frequently. Jenna Vegas Cash and Tiki are good examples of these.
Can I send you my favorite picture with the video of the dog to put in with the credits??
Absolutely. Just keep it to one picture, and give me specifics as to where you want it. I will scan it and put it in with the titles or credits. (If you wanted to put a series of pictures, and get more creative with your video, I can do just about anything
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Can I get extra copies?
Of course. Extra copies are only $5.00 each. Shipping costs vary depending on how many copies and/or how soon you want them. And speaking of extra copies;
What about on CDROMS, Mpeg files, youtube uploads, etc.?
Yes. You get one format of your choice, and then any additional format is just $5 more.
How long does the entire process take?
Starting December 1st, turnaround time is about one week. If you want the file/disk by December 25th, I must receive the footage by December 15th.
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What is your payment policy?
You can mail a check along with your raw footage, or I can transfer the footage via the internet (via ftp or some other upload service like "transferbigfiles.com") or I can do a credit card payment over the phone. If there is a problem with your video, or I am unable to work with the raw footage for some reason, you will receive a complete refund. You can always contact me personally at any time to find out the status of your project.
Do you do Cats too?
I did a cat one year for an internet commercial for the North Shore Animal League, but it was just the audio, and it alternated between a cat and a dog, and it was animated. click here to listen Though I cannot guarantee the results, I'm up for the challenge. Contact me to discuss it
the Jinglebarks Gallery:
you for choosing A Cappella Productions
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