Videomaker, Inc. is a lot more than just Videomaker magazine.

If you haven’t already noticed, we have up to six pages of advertising in this magazine promoting our other endeavors. We started with Videomaker magazine in 1985. In 1992, we began selling our own VHS tapes for videomaking. In 1993, we started promoting our workshops and our new TV show. In 1994, things really became active here–it was that year that we began promoting our Videomaker Conferences, a newsletter and the Videomaker Expo. This year we began advertising our Internet Web site. We are now contemplating a theme cruise, where we teach video production techniques on a cruise in the Caribbean. Some people have seen our expansion and ask the question, why?

The mission of Videomaker, Inc. is to democratize and enrich television by educating, informing and inspiring people about its use. Toward this end, we deliver high-quality, up-to-date information about video production and distribution. We teach through print, videotape, television, digital media and events such as expositions and workshops.

Most magazines come from companies that produce several types of magazines. Once the basic infrastructure to publish a magazine is in place, publishers often take advantage of the economies of scale. It’s a simple matter of operating expenses versus profit: you can publish two magazines with not quite double the number of people on staff, or publish four magazines with just three times as many people. Video magazine, for example, is published by Hachette, a company which publishes dozens of other magazines including Popular Photography and Car & Driver.

Here at Videomaker, we’ve taken a different route. Our mission statement says it all–we are committed to this endeavor, and if we find a niche in the market that helps us achieve that mission, we’ll fill it.

The enrichment and democratization of television is of utmost importance to me. It’s my personal mission, what I was meant to do. On the side of enrichment, I feel that TV has a tremendous amount of untapped potential. Nearly 97% of American homes have a television, and it’s on for over eight hours a day. I see TV as an information faucet spilling data, ideas and influence into the minds of almost everyone in our country.

And what do we have to show for it? I feel there’s been far too much shallow entertainment, and not enough information that will allow us to prosper and grow. Newton Minnow was the Federal Communications Commissioner in the 1960s, when he said, “TV is a vast wasteland.” I have to agree.

Certainly, there are some programs that have been very beneficial to our society. “Sesame Street” has gotten many toddlers off to a good start by making learning fun. It seems ironic that Congress is now considering eliminating funding for programs like those from the Children’s Television Workshop. I personally enjoyed programs like “Roots,” which chronicled the struggle of Black Americans. Certainly, the Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel are full of beneficial programs.

However, by and large, TV is not living up to its potential. I believe this is due to the small number of TV channels available to date. I anxiously await the 500-channel universe, because I think TV producers have been under pressure to draw as large an audience as possible. Consequently, they need to aim their programs at the lowest common denominator (John Q. Public). To play it safe, TV producers often aim even a little lower than that. Hence comedy, drama, variety and game shows have been the staple of American TV for decades.

I feel the democratization of TV goes hand-in-hand with enrichment. To get more information and more diverse programming, we’ll need producers with new ideas and fresh outlooks. It’s about time that Americans express their first amendment rights of free expression on TV. We’ve left the task of TV expression up to a very small number of people that live in New York City and Hollywood. We’ll all live in a better world when more people can transmit more ideas on the information superhighway.

Here at Videomaker, we strive to teach as many people to make video as possible. Education is at the very center of all of our efforts. We also work behind the scenes, trying to influence hardware manufacturers. It’s our desire that they would include features that make video production an easier task, so that non-technical people can express themselves without having to hire an expert.

Videomaker Inc. is proud to offer numerous endeavors that teach videomaking. We hope you find the one that’s right for you.

Matt York is Videomaker‘s publisher/editor.

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