Readers Share Memories for Videomaker's 25th Anniversary

Happy 25th Anniversary, Videomaker!

To help us celebrate 25 years of teaching video techniques, we created a forums page called “How Videomaker Helped Me”. Below are a few comments we’ve received.

VM helped my Career Succeed

Even when Videomaker Magazine was brand-spanking new it was a fount of information and knowledge about producing video that I was overjoyed and amazed to discover. Shortly after my first venture into video as a hobby, I attended a small gathering of people in the Orange County, California area who wanted to share a bit of their frustration, and production knowledge (snicker, snicker) with each other.

The best thing that came from that meeting was somebody had “found” this magazine that was chock full of great information for beginner video enthusiasts. I immediately subscribed. It was several years before I even thought about trying something without first checking to see what Videomaker Magazine had to say about it.

Today, after some 20 years in the business and more than 15 as a full time independent professional video services provider, here I am, given the opportunity to participate in the Videomaker forums and as a moderator, and writing for the magazine that did the most to boost me in the right direction,

The knowledge, encouragement and information Videomaker imparted has helped me be successful in my career.

– “EarlC”, Videomaker moderator and writer, Earl Chessher

Giving Back to the Video Community

I first ran across Videomaker in 1999. I had just gotten out of the service and despite having some hardcore experience in video production I couldn’t get a full-time gig. With my cash nearing ‘critical mass’, I grabbed as much research material available on both business and video production. Amidst that pile, was Videomaker Magazine.

In the following year, I was able to start my biz and though I was a professional, Videomaker was a real help particularly during that time when the ‘digital revolution’ was underway.

Now more than a decade later, I’ve had the opportunity to give back some of that knowledge and assistance through the forums and articles on VM’s site and magazine. This is the kind of hobby/business that is constantly evolving and VM has been very good at keeping up and making sure the rest of us do too!

– “Composite 1”, Videomaker moderator and writer, H. Wolfgang Porter

World Renowned Guitarist

In 2001, I arrived in London to start a new job, a new life with new challenges and opportunities. Coming from surf city Durban in South Africa, the change was a real wakeup call in many areas…including my passion in video art. As a mechanical design engineer, I made a reasonable living – as a part time guitar player I went places few get to visit – but as a video creator I was going nowhere fast!

Music was my first love and the possibilities to ‘make your own break’ using video as a means to that end became my passion. I have no idea when I found Videomaker online but it became my lifeline and continues even more so today.

In 2006, I started GuitaristTV.com. By that time, I had upgraded to a Canon XLS and was eating bread and water to pay for it, but in June ’06 I landed an interview with the most famous guitarist on the planet – Joe Satriani. Joe graciously launched my channel and the rest is history. The channel is now on every mobile device, on loads of set top boxes across the globe and streams live on the internet everyday. I’ve interviewed many great guitar players, worked with some very famous ones, including Dennis Stratton from Iron Maiden/Praying Mantis/Lionheart, Al Atkins from Judas Priest, Simon Lees from Budgie and more.

Would I be without Videomaker magazine? Not on your life, mate! This mag is gold to me and I thank the hardworking folk for continuing to produce the Ultimate Video Mag!

– Mike de Jager , Founder/Director of Guitarist TV Limited.


From Landscaper to Videographer

I started in video as a hobby, borrowing my father-in-law’s GE video cam that had a camera and separate VHS recording unit. After about a year, I purchased a VHS shoulder consumer cam and trudged along learning by trial and error. Later, I purchased a Digital 8 consumer cam and began to use a computer to edit, still learning by trial and error. I discovered Videomaker Magazine and my knowledge and video horizons expanded rapidly. I still consider myself a relative beginner, but with the help of the forums, blogs, webinars, training videos, etc. from Videomaker my video education is progressing rapidly. I would like to thank all the other contributors to the forums for sharing their knowledge and experience with the rest of us. My first paid gigs were at weddings (video on VHS shooting straight through adding titles and transitions on the fly, handing the couple their 2-hour tape at the end of the reception). Other paid jobs involved sport teams and graduation montages. Now I shoot in HD and my ever increasing ability to do this is due largely to what I have learned through Videomaker. I still have a full time landscape business, but as I am reaching my ‘golden years’ I hope to expand the video and decrease the physical work. I continue with Videomaker magazine and Videomaker Plus as I can think of no greater way to learn.

– “vid-e-o-man”, Videomaker Forums Member

International Film Festival Winner

I’d like to say I’m self-taught in my position today, but that’s not quite true. Over the years, there have been jobs and mentors that have taught and guided, but for the past six years Videomaker has been by my side. You helped me build my production studio at work so that every completed video has a small slice of Videomaker within it. You also helped my friend and I jump into a documentary film production, as producer, director, editor, writers and narrator of Into the Wind, that ended up being an Official Selection at the 21st Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, a Special Jury Remi Award winner at the 39th Annual Worldfest Houston International Film Festival and an Honorable Mention at the 6th Annual Krasnogorski International Sports Film Festival in Moscow, Russia. And, as Into the Wind 2 is about to be released next month, we have Videomaker to thank once again for the further refining of our skills. With your forums and tutorial videos, you helped make what I already knew better and provided a source to learn those things that I didn’t know, while keeping me on top of the latest trends and techniques. Each issue stays nearly within arm’s reach – until the next issue arrives.

– Dgorham, Videomaker Forums Member

VM Helped Launch Career

I am actually going to talk about my husband, Alan Naumann, who writes a column, Cradle to the Grave, – has authored two courses for videographers – Funeral Videography: The Complete Course, and Video Biographies: The Complete Course – and speaks at seminars all around the country, most recently WEVA and APH – Association of Personal Historians. The Miami Herald called him a “Pioneer” in funeral videography [and] he has written for many publications, including Videomaker, and delights in sharing his knowledge with fellow videographers.

He started his business, Memory Vision, in 1988. At that time there were few resources to help one get started – but one that he religiously followed from the very beginning was Videomaker. Thank you for helping us in establishing Memory Vision as a company that not only has a wonderful reputation in Minneapolis (we do all of the work for the Better Business Bureau’s Integrity Awards), but also in making an impact on the world-wide video community.

– Judy Naumann, Memory Vision


Shooting for the Outdoor Channel

I have been a subscriber to Videomaker Magazine for a handful of years, and I treat it like my very own little Bible. I truly feel I have grown and learned from it as a passionate videographer who takes pride in his work.

My wife and I were asked years ago to pro-staff for a local company [with] a hunting show on the Outdoor channel. Part of the program was to hunt and film and produce footage as a team. There were several pro-staffers on this team, some with a strong background in “filming” their hunts. I asked a lot of questions since we all have different goals we want to achieve. I decided to sign up for a couple of Videomaker Workshops that came to Ohio – talk about cramming a lot of information into a couple of days. My notes didn’t stop, and the questions were never-ending. The instructor was professional, as this was a basic class for new enthusiasts. Videomaker Magazine has helped us from basic articles about lighting, new technology, importance of audio, to continuity and every aspect of delivering great footage. I personally like to keep updated on new products since this industry is moving so fast.

In our field of hunting, lighting and audio are so important, as well as framing. Sunlight can change to clouds, the sound of a gun or rattling antlers can peak audio, or wading through a stream in Colorado chasing elk can make for a dirty lens. And a rutting buck chasing a hot doe could be tough trying to keep in frame. We have gained a lot of knowledge from Videomaker Magazine and I have saved every one of them, just in case I have to reference back to a certain article.

Thanks to your magazine, and the education it provides, I give you and your staff a round of applause for teaching us via the magazine, VM workshops and the forum. It’s an honor to be asked by the top professionals in the hunting industry to go on a once-in-a-lifetime hunting trip and film it. To me that says we are doing our jobs correctly as field producers. When most people ask me for advice I do my best to help and offer it, but as always in my conversations I ask them if they are familiar with Videomaker Magazine and suggest they subscribe.

– Tony Perillo, Videomaker Forums Member

I Learned from Videomaker

Videomaker had been an excellent resource for me and I’m glad I found this website. Since I was a kid I always liked doing video, mostly the technical stuff like camcorders, audio and editing. That was mostly a hobby, but in college I began to discover that video was something I really liked, so I started looking for information on the web.

As a newbie video producer, I knew almost nothing about video, so I started consuming Videomaker.com articles, reading the forum and I subscribe to the magazine, which I read religiously each month. The forum is what I like most about Videomaker and thanks to that I learned from other video producers that are willing to share their experience with the rest of us. I can honestly say that almost all the things I know about video, lighting, cameras, etc. Videomaker had something to do with it. I’m really glad Videomaker exists, for being there for me this last couple of years and for providing useful information.

– Sargehero, Videomaker Forums Member

A New Reader Responds

I am new to VM but have been involved in video for a few years already. I am currently reviewing VM’s past articles on equipment and techniques I’ve already purchased and tried, respectively, to see how competent my choices were. I’ve made a few documentaries that aired on public access cable channels and have just completed a feature-length romantic comedy that will privately screen at a local theater [this year]. I am an indie filmmaker with a very tight budget, using consumer level equipment, but believe I’ve achieved professional looking results. The link to my film’s IMDb page is www.imdb.com/title/tt1829003/ where there are a few stills from the film. What I’ve found most useful about VM is that it is perfect for the average video producer like me, and provides information, tips and techniques that average video producers can use to achieve greater than ordinary results. VM has, is, and will be an important part of helping me to learn and justify my filmmaking decisions today and in the years to come.

– Terrasleave129, Videomaker Forums Member


My First Resource

It could be the video tutorials and all the knowledge they provide, or the forums and feedback from VM members, or the product reviews, or perhaps the real world experience advice I find here. All I know is this is the first place I look when I have an issue that needs resolution. Keep up the good work VM staff and keep up the good questions all you fellow readers. I read a lot of video related blogs and I find the best and most competent and complete and balanced information here.

– Chuck Zoots, Videomaker Forums Member

Getting Back into the Vid Biz

My major was in Radio, TV, Film. I left that industry quite a while ago to pursue a successful software career. I have never, however, stopped doing video production as it is a real passion. Now, I am starting a video production company to give me two things: 1) additional income stream and 2) a potential career to pursue post-software. VM has already proven to be a good resource for reestablishing my fundamental video-legs and learning about the industry in general.

– Pshepard42, Videomaker Forums Member

Sold Out Performance

I started reading Videomaker in 2005 and rarely missed an issue. Through reading your magazine I bought my first editing software package and my first digital camera. I recently released a full length feature titled Small Change. It is a 97-minute film about an average guy who is fed up with office life and corporate jargon. He has a grim outlook on his future, uncovers a path of self discovery and new-found direction when he meets a figure from the past that encourages him to follow his dreams.

Small Change sold out every single seat (460 seat theater) two out of three nights at Celebration Cinema in Grand Rapids Michigan and was an official selection of the Michigan Film Festival. In addition, negotiations have began with a large distribution company. I wrote, directed, shot and edited Small Change and the entire production was made for under $20,000 which also reflects the purchase of additional equipment. I just wanted to say thank you for all the great articles and advice.

– Chris Penney

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