I also have run into a problem where the DVD-R (and I've tried two major brands) turn into coasters after the burning phase fails. I tried a DVD-RW (same as one of the brands of DVD-R) and it burned without a problem.
During the burning the status pane reads (I'm paraphrasing as I don't remember the exact wording):
"writing lead in"
"writing disk content"
"Write failure during burning phase"
I've burned data DVDs and had luck with the DVD-RW for one of the video burns so I don;t think my DVD burner is at fault.
Any suggestions? (I am totally new to digital video)