More on Production, Ideas
I am a film school graduate now attempting to get back into film and video production after being out of
the field for some time. The first thing I did to get myself back up to speed was to pick up Videomaker
magazine to help fill in the gaps. While I found the technical information in Videomaker interesting, I
could not help but notice the lack of emphasis on video production techniques and video idea
Videomaker magazine seems preoccupied with reviewing the latest cameras, mixers,
microphones and other hardware. Although the product reviews attempt to be objective, they come across
as mere extensions of the advertisements that laden your magazine.
What I find curious is the lack of actual accounts of someone making a video: what did they do?
Where did they get the idea? Where did they get the money? How did they market their video? Inquiring
minds want to know! After all, this is Videomaker magazine, isn’t it? Or is it? Having just read
your October ’94 issue, one might call your magazine Videoreview or Videomaintenance.
For example, you have an interesting profile of Gary Lico of Cable Ready Corp., which is about
two pages long, then an article on video distribution by William Ronat for a total of four pages. On the
other hand, Doug Polk gives five pages about the fine art of calibrating video gear, not to mention pages of
product reviews and technical Q & A.
There seems to be a disproportionate emphasis on hardware in Videomaker and a lack
of focus on the human ware: the people who run the hardware and produce the video, develop the content
and sell the ideas.
After all, it is the content, the idea, that makes video interesting. Acquiring and
developing a good video idea, be it a story, a documentary, or training film, is much more important than
purchasing and maintaining video gear. You can rent all the professionally maintained video equipment
you will ever need.
I say let the video techs at the rental house worry about calibration. As a videomaker, it is my job
to worry about content and getting an idea on video as clearly and as cleverly as possible. This is what
being a videomaker is all about, and I hope Videomaker magazine will focus on this in the issues
Sean G. Hoover
San Francisco, California
Small Corporate Video: No Mistake
Re: October ’94 issue, For Pros Only (Dave Laurence letter)
As owner and producer of a small video company in Florida, I hope I never get the chip on my
shoulder that Mr. Laurence has. I have worked at my business for eight years as a special events
videographer and have been doing corporate video for the past two years (an idea I got from Videomaker
magazine a few years ago).
My largest account is owned by a company in Holland. We have done their Florida factory and
one in Maryland. We have worked for producers in California and other out-of-state video companies.
My company is comprised of just myself. When I need help for the larger jobs, I work with other
Florida videographers and combine efforts, and we get the job done and done right.
I gather from Mr. Laurence’s letter that his real concern is that he’s loosing a great deal of business
to the small producers. I have made mistakes, but getting into the corporate video field isn’t one of them! I
make a good living from video and I owe a great deal to Videomaker for giving me new ideas
and educating myself on the video business.
Keep up the fine articles and letters from your subscribers. They are a great help. Oh, by the way,
why is Mr. Laurence reading Videomaker? He implied that he is a pro and
Videomaker is for the amateur consumer.
Palm Harbor, Florida
I would like to thank you for the way in which you responded to the so-called professional videographer
named Dave in your October ’94 issue.
It seems that all too often in many different professions, people who have attained success suffer
from amnesia. They forget how they got to where they are now. They will tell newcomers the horror stories
about the school of hard knocks, and in the same breath, they’ll discourage others from going into the same
line of work they are now in.
Why? Is it because for some reason they fear new competition? Do they fear a potential newcomer
who might take away bread from their plate? Whatever the reason, this kind of attitude shows that such
individuals lack confidence in their ability to produce quality services or products that will keep the client
from coming back and the competition from getting their foot in the door.
I have been in the building maintenance industry for the last 20 years–a very competitive
business. Recently at a conference in St. Louis, I was dining with an old acquaintance who was bemoaning
that the area they served was becoming saturated with people who put rags in their back pockets and called
themselves professional cleaning services. I could not help but remind him that is exactly the way in which
both he and myself started. Our zeal and dreams are what propelled both of us to the height which we
enjoy today. This is what will also propel potential new videomakers to the heights of the many avenues
that videomaking offers now and in the future.
When I read your response to Dave’s comment, it made me stand up and shout yes! Dave
does not have to worry about newcomers spoiling his take. If they do poor work, that client will just be
more selective the next time they hire a videomaker, and maybe that’s when the Daves of the video world
can show the stuff they are made of.
I am very selective about the journals I subscribe to as my time to read is limited. After reading
the comment to which I am referring, I realized that your staff consists of the type of friends I need in my
fledgling video production business. Enclosed you will find a check for my subscription to your
Again, many thanks and keep up the fine and encouraging work.
Craig S. Koepke
CEO/CCS Professional Cleaning Services
Video for the Schools
I am congratulating Stephen Jacobs for the great article he wrote in the September 1994 issue of
Videomaker magazine. I am an educator who strongly believes in the schools and was quite
enthused to see that other people are using video as a valuable teaching and learning tool. This article
motivated me to contact others who have experimented with programs for our children both at school and
through our community public access station, FCTV-13.
Thanks to Videomaker magazine for supporting the idea that video production is good
for the kids, too.
North Falmouth, Massachusetts