Wednesday, March 15, 2006

2 links to pursue re: getting cheap UPC labels for DVDs

I will be duplicating & packaging Date Number One DVDs myself & will be getting them ready for retail sale (w/ someone like Disc Makers in mind as a potential back up solution in case doing it myself does not work out too well), and one of the things I will need is a UPC bar code/label for my DVDs. Fellow filmmaker & Indie Features 06 blogger Amir Motlagh called me last night & told me about needing cheap UPC labels for his DVDs (normally it would cost $700-$800 I think for 100 unique labels/for 100 items, directly from the UPC issuing authority, check link 1 below for more on that) so I did some quick research. Here are two perhaps useful finds:

1. From Kevin Kelly's "Cool Tool: How to sell your Book, CD, or DVD on Amazon" page :

" For DVDs: The official way to get a UPC is to become a member of the UCC (Uniform Code Council). You register online as a company here, and they issue you a company number which then becomes part of your UPC codes. The minimum membership fee is $750 for a block of 100 codes, plus an annual renewal of $150. This is obviously unacceptable for most self-publishers, so there is a gray market alternative. You can buy a UPC code from a reseller. Subdivisions caters to small-time entrepreneurs, inventors, artists and musicians. You can purchase a UPC for $35 (after a one-time $75 registration fee). "

Read the rest of the info. here.

2. The Subdivisions page w/ info. on $75 registration + $35 for 1 UPC label is here.

I am assuming that there is no limit to the number of copies of one item (like, 2000 DVDs of Date Number One) for which one UPC label can be used. If I find out otherwise, I'll let ya know.

If anyone out there has more tips on solving the "getting cheap UPC labels" problem, do share.

Thanks.

Sujewa
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9 comments:

Josh Boelter said...

I'm confused. On Discmakers web site, it looks like they take care of the UPC label, so if you use them, you wouldn't need to get the UPC yourself, right? Or am I missing something?

Sujewa [Blog Admin] said...

Hey Josh,

Yeah, if u use Disc Makers services you will not need to get a UPC label on your own, they will take care of it - according to the lovely sales literature that they just sent.

For me Disc Makers is the back up plan initially. I want to have the ability to run different numbers of DVDs as I need them and being able to make my own DVDs means I can update the cover art w/ new quotes/press stuff as they become available. Also I can add extra material to the DVD whenever I want. Most likely I'll release a no-extras DVD in Spring as screenings/theatrical play begins & then down the road, after theatrical, maybe in 1-2 years, I'll release another version of the DVD w/ extras on it. All strategic interests aside, it will be very cool to have the ability to make like 500 DVDs whenever I want :) Also, I may be able to hook other filmmakers up w/ short DVD runs once I have the duplicating gear.

But as Blake pointed out, what I will be doing is Duplicating, what Disc Maker does is Replicating - some people think that is a better process, produces a better product.
As long as all my DVDs play in most US DVD players & other playback devices, and are of comparable quality to most retail DVDs, I am happy.

I think Disc Makers offers an awesome number of excellent services. I may use them for certain projects, or even for the current project down the road.
Most likely I'll buy my DVD duplicating machine from them.

Sujewa
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Josh Boelter said...

Hey Sujewa,

Thanks for the clarification. I don't start production on my feature for a couple months, so this post-production work is way down the road for me. But I do want to know what my options are if I don't find distribution (which most don't). So I appreciate all the information.

Cheers,

Josh

Sujewa [Blog Admin] said...

Cool deal Josh. Good luck with getting the movie made & finding distribution. Fortunately for me I live & operate in a world where self-distribution is the preferred distribution choice & collaborating with another distributor is perhaps a necessary but not wholly desired complication at some distant point for wider coverage of the land/world. That whole approach makes my life easier. I'll probably post here & @ Filmmaking/Poor more details of my Date Number One self-distro adventures as they happen in the next few months.

Sujewa
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Josh Boelter said...

Great, can't wait to hear more about the movie. Are you also looking at the online rental markets such as Netflix and Greencine?

Sujewa [Blog Admin] said...

Hey Josh,

All the info. any sexy person needs on Date Number One can be (or soon should be) found at:
http://www.wilddiner.com
the film has an official blog (link at wilddiner site), and I'll blog at that blog lots & lots & lots as soon as the film is out (April/May).

Re: Netflix, etc., I am mostly interested in the theatrical experience first, so, from '06 to '08 I will be working on taking the movie from a very, very limited DIY/low/"no" budget theatrical screening/distro stage to a wider theatrical distribution stage, coupled w/ limited DVD availability. After theatrical is completely done, I will work on wider DVD release & all other distro options: VOD, on-line rental/Netflix/GreenCine type options, etc. But I want to use the film to create a fun live event (i am gonna do Q&A at as many screenings as possible, and there will be other live attractions to go along w/ the film in most cases), a good reason to hang out, the way indie rock bands use live shows. Other distro options will be of slightly secondary value. Thanks for the interest in the project.

Sujewa
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Blake Calhoun said...

I'm going to post a link to Truly Indie on the main page. I'm sure Sujewa you've heard of it, but if not it might be a good alternative for those of you seeking "theatrical" exposure via self-distibution. It does costs you money, and you have to be accepted, but it looks like an interesting concept.

Oh, and btw, if you replicate with most DVD houses - again, that's replicate - they GIVE you a UPC Code or it only costs $50.00. You have to have one to sell DVDs on Amazon, etc. But, if you are just selling them yourself via PayPal or similar on the web you don't need a UPC.

And another place you might check out is CustomFlix.com. They are an "on demand" DVD duplicator for self distributors. A great way to make as many or few copies as you want without a big upfront cost and get some exposure (they sell them too).

-Blake

Sujewa [Blog Admin] said...

Thanks for the ideas Blake. This blog is turning out to be a good source for helpful info. re:many of the tasks I am tackling right now.

Sujewa
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unspeakable said...

I just got my dvds from diskmakers today and they are incredible. Of all the hassles of making independent film, this was the only thing that didn't require compromise. (No, I don't work for them...but I'm gonna sound like it by the time I finish!)
Seriously...they were really nice and I have 1000 dvds and 300 posters for under 2 thousand dollars including shipping! It looks super pro...upc codes, plastic wrapped, etc.

CustomFlix.com is okay, but they are now createspace...run by amazon. I recommend indieflix.com. They give you a better deal and you don;t have to put up any money. They make your films on demand BUT the drwabacks are: they are dvd-r, so you can't really sell them retail and the people there couldn't explain how their upc codes worked. (ie...is it specific to my title or a generic upc code for your company)

I chose to put in the investment because my film "Unspeakable: The Life & Art of Reverend Steven Johnson Leyba" played in 6 film festivals. DO NOT invest 2 grand if there is no buzz for your film. Be reasonable!