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Not Ready for Prime Time - Pan Trinbago’s 2010 DVD of Trinidad & Tobago Panorama


Global - ....Bad lighting, bad editing, bad audio and a host of other production issues. Maybe it is time that Pan Trinbago step back and review the products that are released in its name. In a forum thread that was supposed to be focused on the availability of the 2010 DVD produced by Advanced Dynamics for Pan Trinbago - steelpan music aficionados, specialists and collectors slammed the low grade production, and callous attitude and portrayal depicted by the DVDs, of Trinidad and Tobago’s national panorama competition.

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Why are we trashing this effort? Sure it's far from perfect but it's still better than what I've seen come out of NY. Some of the WIADCA DVDs are absolutely unwatchable.
So Noah, is WIADCA the new standard? In the year that AVATAR was released yo the world, and technology is in everybody's hands -- in the home of pan we can do better. Don't you think so? Or are you inferring that the people of Trinidad and Tobago are so feeble-minded and technically incompetent that they can't do any better?

bugs
Wow... what? Speechless... "feeble-minded and technically incompetent" ok partner, whatever... come on Bugs, I respect your opinion, don't insult me with that obvious bait...
No Noah. This was not meant as an insult. Nothing personal. I value your opinion. It was unfair to throw that at you. This is simply what we are facing today in 2010. Do we as pan people deserve the best?

bugs
We do, of course. The problem is, as I outlined in my other post to Jojo, is that we are a pretty small market with limited dollars. The movie AVATAR is a stretch of a comparison to make because it was a massive blockbuster, to an enormously mainstream audience. So they have the market, and as a result the funding, to pull out all the stops... now ask any panman who uses his music for his living in T&T and he'll tell you it's a difficult market to make money in. That's what Pan Trinbago is working with when they're budgeting for production of a DVD. It's a small market to begin with, and is hurt more by piracy and such. The same technology that makes quality production easier, also makes it easier to take control of the product's distribution out of Pan Trinbago's hands. So they have fewer returns, and less desire to invest in higher production levels, broader distribution, etc.

An important point - and this is the Catch 22 of it all - is that a major source of revenue is tourists/vistors dollars. And Pan Trinbago is rushing to get that money before it leaves the country, so post-production of the DVD is hustled so it can be available at Rhyner's at the airport on Ash Wednesday when the majority of these people start to leave. That means that decisions on shots used are done on the fly; the titling, etc. looks amateurish (such as the regrettable mixup of All Stars/Renegades on the 2009 DVD); and even the packaging is less than spectacular. That's because they're working with a turnaround time, from shooting to release, of just a few days... now I'm not trying to make excuses here, but simply pointing out the paradox of the thing. Could serve the viewer better, and make more money, by offering a superior product; but in order to snag the majority of those viewers and their money, the product has to be rushed through...
Let's not make excuses. Once we go down that road there is no backing out.

And maybe that's is exactly the problem - the people involved in panorama don't have an Avatar mindset or perspective. They are not building an industry or trying to expand their base. They are trying to pick up a quick buck at the airport.

Noah, it is obvious Pan Trinbago has been going about it the wrong way. Royce Russel who sells this DVD says he sold 40 panorama DVDs last year. That's incredible. And sad.

As I was watching my Gladiator DVD last evening on my 5.1 system - I was thinking of what it would be like to have a panorama DVD with that type of audio and video production. There are few true pan lovers who would not pay 100 dollars or more for that experience.

To expand your market you must have a quality product.

bugs
I bet for every DVD Royce Russel sold, there were 5 pirate copies sold...

But see it's not a matter of a quick buck, it's simply that the most lucrative market is those who pass through Piarco on or around Ash Wednesday - tourists, expats visiting home for carnival, even foreign panists who want a document of their work. As it stands now, THAT is the primary market! Advance could take two months and then release a perfect DVD with audio mixed in from WACK, camera shots meticulously picked out in the editing room, special features and a professional interface. I'd LOVE to see that. But by then, it's April or May and the majority of their market is not only no longer in Trinidad, but spread out all over the globe - USA, England, Japan, Sweden, Canada, etc. And a lot of those potential customers (casual tourists with a vacation budget) probably wouldn't be as interested as the novelty of their trip is over, and even for those who still were, plus the expats, panists, etc. where would they purchase it? There's no true international distribution system. They'd have to pay massive shipping charges and wait to receive it from the few distribution points in T&T and the US, or wait for the following year, if they decide to travel to T&T again. So you see, they aren't just trying to make a quick buck. They're desperate to snag their primary market before they lose them for the year. Because for the rest of the year there is no real market for pan. This isn't an excuse, but a financial reality.
Again Noah I say expand your market outside of your home base. The NBA did it. Kellog's Corn Flakes has done it. Nestle's (condensed milk etc.) did it. Beyonce did it.

Pirates exist. They are part of the new business reality.
bugs
OK, I agree, so how do we expand our market? I think that goes well beyond the quality of a DVD.
Noah,

This is in response to your most recent post (for some reason the "Reply to This" link is missing so I'll respond to it here.).

To expand your market you can create a database of all people who attend Panorama, all you need is their name and email address. When the DVD is finished (not rushed) and it is a quality product, you can then notify pan-jumbies via email and direct them to Pan Trinbago's website (or Rhyner's website) where they can order the DVD online.

It is inexcusable to distribute a inferior product and I did see the mix up of All Stars/Renegades on the 2009 DVD and I was disgusted by it, seriously.

My suggestion is to take your time and put out a quality product...it's what we all want...why should we spend good money for sloppy work, after a while folks will stop buying the DVD and just buy the CD.

When a movie comes out (like AVATAR and others) their related DVD's are not available for sale until sometime afterward, but...when they release the DVD's or Blue Rays, they still make the sales because folks know they're going to get a quality product.

If you have a good product and you market it well, it will sell.
Noah asked - How do we expand our market?

Yes Noah expanding the market goes beyond quality DVD. However it is a big part of it. To produce a quality DVD of panorama means that everyone is on the same page. It also means everyone involved in this process takes panorama and their jobs seriously. It means everyone has to behave like professionals and treat the product with respect (players, officials, government etc,). It means everyone is good at their job. It means quality will not be comprised. And moreover, it means you intend to make money. That may sound strange, but this really the issue. This years DVD is a joke and insulting if we are talking about expanding markets and generating profits. The head of Pan Trinbago should be furious right now at this DVD - because this DVD should have scuttled all his marketing plans if had any for 2010.

Imagine what your attitude would be if next year when you took the stage in the Savannah the photographers were forced to treat the panorama as the Grammys or Oscars and behave in a corresponding manner. Just that simple change expands your marketability because you can now go from a product that is a chaotic joke with photographers heads in the shots to something you can put on an HBO, VH1 and the likes.

Expanding the market place is not that hard. Send Renegades, Phase II or Desperadoes to China with a full panorama size band to tour that country and watch what happens to panorama the following year. This is no different than when the NBA or NFL hold pre season games in other countries. Kids will wake up dreaming about these musicians just like they do for Koby Byrant.

Sell the broadcasting rights to a company outside of Trinidad and Tobago (Verizon FIOS, HBO, Showtime).

If Trinidad and Tobago is going invest countless millions over the next few in Carnival and Panorama, then why not take out a 30 to 60 second ad during the Super Bowl next year on panorama? I bet you that will shake the marketplace up. Imaging the interest and intrigue that would generate? Pan Trinbago officials would be invited to Good Morning America within a week. LOL

Put a 5 year plan in place to make every single person on the planet aware of Panorama. It really not that difficult given the internet reach.

bugs
Bugs, everything you've said makes good sense. In fact, when I called Verizon FIOS and I asked them about a Caribbean station, they wanted to know why they're getting so many calls about it and I told them it was probably due to the Panorama Competition in Trinidad. Now, they are actively working on setting up a Caribbean station to satisfy that need because there is a demand for it. I am also aware of the fact that DirectTV already has two new Caribbean stations and one of them covered the Pan Jazz show in Trinidad, so it shouldn't be a big stretch of imagination to have them broadcast the Panorama.

The five year plan you suggested is a very reasonable target.

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