Preserving Your Memories for a Lifetime

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which photos should I choose to include in my video?
You may already know the exact pictures you'd like to include in your DVD Slide Show, but here are some additional tips that may help.

  • Choose pictures that are candid and show character.
  • Choose a mix between close ups and group photos Choose photos that show the most important stages in someone's life
  • Choose more horizontal shots than vertical shots. The reason for this is that TV screens are wider than they are high, so horizontal shots fill the screen and look much better. Vertical shots will appear on the TV screen with black borders on each side (or will need dramatic cropping). There's not a problem with the borders, but too many vertical shots one after the other won't be as pleasing to look at as horizontal ones.
  • Stay away from photos that are too small or out of focus

What are special effect transitions?
Special effect transitions are the way the slide show moves from one picture to the next. The song you choose typically dictates which transition effect you'll use. With a slower song, a simple fade in/fade out usually looks the best. For an up-tempo song, a little more livelier transitions may go well. If you don't specify which you'd like, we will choose which looks the best.

How many photos do I need to make up a 5, 10 or 20 minute production?
• 50 photos result approximately in a 6 to 8 minute production.
• 100 photos result approximately in a 8 to 12 minute production.
• 150 photos can be 12 to 14 minutes long.
• 500 photos…about an hour
• 1000 photos…two hours

What size pictures can I send?
We can work with any size pictures up to 8x10's.

Can I scan the pictures myself and send them to you?
You sure can! You may scan them and burn them to a CD and mail it to us, or if you'd like, you may upload them to our web server. Contact us for further instructions.

If you are scanning the photos yourself, please keep the following in mind. The higher the resolution, the better your photos will look on the screen, so up to 600 pixels/inch is great. Unfortunately, less than 150 pixels/inch will result in a very grainy picture. You need the save the images as JPEGS, please give them an identifying name or number.

Should the photos I send be vertical or horizontal?
Horizontal photographs or landscape photos will look the best on a TV screen. Vertical photos still look good, but there is a black border around the photos when shown on the TV. It's usually best to space your vertical photos throughout the show if possible.

Can I send photos to you still in their frames or scrapbooks?
Please remove photos from the frames or scrapbooks prior to sending to us.

Will you digitally crop my photos?
Typically we will not crop each of the photos unless it makes sense to for a better viewing experience

How should I choose the order for my photos?
We will prepare your project in the exact order that you send the photos to us. You can choose to organize them in two different ways.

For wedding Slide Shows, most people will show pictures of the groom growing up, pictures of the bride growing up, and then pictures of them together.

For other pictures you could do:
1. Chronologically, for example: baby pictures, childhood pictures, high school, college, dating.
or
2. By theme eg: eating, moving, vacationing, Mother's side of the family, Father's side of the family, cars he has owned, fancy dresses she has worn etc

How long will each photo appear on the screen?
Each photo will appear for between 4-6 seconds, 6 seconds is normally the most suitable but this can vary depending on the nature of the photos, the tempo of the music and the special effect transitions we're using.

How should I choose my start and end photos?
Make these your very best shots, as often they will appear in the screen the longest, or will have titles overlaid on them.

I'm worried about sending my photos, how do I know you will return my photos in the same condition as you received them?
We can understand why you would be worried, because we know how important your photos are. It's because we know how irreplaceable photos and the memories they evoke are that we treat your photos as if they are our own. To this day, we have never damaged or lost any photo entrusted to us. We guarantee your photos will be returned to you in the same condition as we received them, unless something catastrophic happens that is out of our control.

To put you further at ease, we employ all manner of precautions in our studios to protect your photos (including no liquids or food allowed in the work room).  For the duration your photos are at AllieCat Video, they are also stored in protective fire-proof safes. Due to the shipping process being totally outside our control, we do need to ask you to sign a waiver on our order form that absolves us of any responsibility for your materials during the shipping process.

How should I protect my photos while they're in transit?
Package your photos well using hard cardboard on all sides to provide a solid shell for your photos. We also recommend you use a plastic Ziploc bag to contain each section of photographs to protect them from any spillage during the delivery process.

Do I need to watch the DVD on a computer only?
No, the DVD that we create can be watched with a set-top DVD player or a computer equipped with a DVD-ROM drive. All you need to do is to insert the DVD disk into the DVD player and play to watch on the TV.

Do I have to manually forward the slides?
No, once you press play button on your DVD player, the slides will move through on their own like a movie.

Can I create sections in a DVD so I can watch selected sections?
Yes, we can create a menu that points to individual sections of the DVD. You can select the section that you want to watch, and play to watch it.

Can my old black and white photographs be transferred to DVD?
Certainly! We advice transferring as many of your old photographs to DVD to digitally archive them.

Will you return my photographs and photographs?
Yes, your original source material (music & photos) will be returned to you with your order.

I have some specific questions that I want answered. How can I go about it?
You can write to us at AllieCat Video, 4010 Jenkins CT, Alpharetta, GA 30004, call us at 404-455-7872, or email us at Sales@AllieCatVideo.com and we will be glad to answer all your questions.

How long will it take you to complete my project?
Our typically turn around time is 14 days from the arrival of your pictures.

How do I send in my photos and music?
Detailed information about submitting your materials can be found here: Order Information.

Is it safe to send you my photos and videos?
Yes! We will return your materials, packed safely using every precaution. We treat everything you send us as if it were our own..

What if I don't organize my materials?
Please try and organize your material before you send them as it will make for the best slide show. Only you know the order you'd like the photos shown. However, if you don't organize them, we'll try our best and generally will put them in chronological order.

Can’t I create my own DVD Slideshows at home?
Yes. Many people are interested in the art of home based videography and digital imaging. Most new computers today come with rudimentary tools that are capable of creating a digital video production of some type. However to produce the quality of production that you will receive from us, you would need to invest alot of time and expense that you may not wish to undertake.

What if my DVD doesn't play?
On average 98% of all players will play back our DVDs. You can check to see if your DVD player will support DVD-R at the www.vcdhelp.com web site. If your DVD does not play we will do everything we can to give you a solution that will work.

Will you keep a copy of my DVD?
We will keep the master of your DVD on file for 1 year, for purposes of re-ordering unless you specify that we don’t.

What about Photo Retouching?
We will do some minor photo retouching of digital images to enhance the DVD Photographs experience. This will include color correction, cropping, straightening, red-eye correction and enhancing the detail and lighting when needed. This will be done as part of the service to insure that your DVD Slideshow is a truly moving experience.

Can I pick my own music?
You can pick your own music for inclusion on the DVD. To include copyrighted music you must own the original recording to be used in your production. Use of the track will be covered under your fair use rights of ownership.

Can you work from negatives or slides as well as photographs?
Yes. We can work from any type of photographic materials such as prints, negatives or slides. We can also use other types of paper media that can be digitized on our flatbed scanners. This would include items such as invitations, announcements, newspaper articles, brochures, flyers, ticket stubs, cards and letters, licenses or just about anything you can imagine.
 

Can I order additional copies of my video?
Yes. At the time of purchase you can order additional copies of the DVD We will also keep products on file for 1 year and you may reorder any time during that period. The cost for additional DVD's is just $12.00 for the DVD and a full Jewel Case with graphics.  DVD with just disc labels are also available for $6.00.

Can I add voice messages to the video production?
Yes. You will need to provide us with the recording and instructions on how to use the recording. You can provide us this recording in any format that you like (CD, Audio Tape, .MP3, .WAV). Please contact us for additional information if you would like to do this.

 

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