Reader Profile - Shannon Newby

Name: Shannon Newby

Cameras: Two Panasonic AG-DVX100A

Editing System: Laird Telemedia Dvora

Editing Platform:Avid Xpress DV 3.5

Microphone: Sennheiser ME66 (Shotgun Mic) Sennheiser Wireless Transmitter Ew100 and Lavalieres

Support Gear: Bogen Manfrotto Tripod, Glidecam 2000

According to my mother, I saw my first movie at the age of three. It was a Godzillapicture and my mom says from the moment the movie started I was hooked, and when I discovered what a movie director was at nine years old, my career path was chosen.

I got my first job in the business when I was 13 years old. I assisted a producer of video church programs. I lugged endless amounts of equipment from his station wagon to the church, including a Ikegami camera that weighed about as much as a Buick. In 1988, when I was 15, my father bought his first VHS video camera by Panasonic. It wasn’t long before I started making my own movies and editing them using two VCRs. At 18, I took my first video production course at the Community College of Philadelphia and learned the fundamentals of video production using a Sony Hi8 camera.

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I’m now 36 years old and own a film and television production company. I have been experiencing the evolution of video technology first hand for more than two decades. For me to stay current with the abundance of new technology on the market, I rely on Videomaker magazine as my most valuable tool. I first started reading Videomaker magazine in 2002. It’s created by video geeks for video geeks who actually go out and clock hours with the goods.

I started my company Out the House Motion Pictures, in 1995, producing the science fiction public television series Heavy Sedation shown on 42 stations in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

I was always a filmmaker and people who knew me as such started asking me to videotape weddings, birthday parties, and other events. As the years went on, request for my services became more in demand and before I knew it I was running my own company full time. I hire free lancers on an as needed basis.

I have worked on productions for Johnson and Higgins Insurance Firm. Keystone Mercy Health Plan, the School district of Philadelphia and have worked with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter several times.

As my television series continues to grow I am looking to stop all other production work and focus solely on my artistic endeavors.

Out the House Motion Pictures was born late one night in 1995 as a joke. I was 22 years old and all the aspiring filmmakers I knew in Philadelphia had their own production companies. None of them had an office, a script, a finished video, or a clue, but they all had business cards claiming to be ‘CEO’ of a production company. I thought that was funny, until I got one of my most memorable lessons about being in the business of video and film production.

About 1:00AM one summer night, production just wrapped on a 16-millimeter student feature film in which I worked as director of photography, first assistant director and about 100 other jobs on the movie. I was sitting with the director, having a passionate conversation about how much I loved filmmaking and how frustrated I felt because it seemed that as hard as I was working I wasn’t getting as far as some of my fellow filmmakers. She asked me when was I going to start my own production company? I told her when I was ready to do it right. I didn’t want a ‘fake’ company like everybody else. She told me, that I have more knowledge and talent than any other filmmaker she knows, but no one is going to take me seriously until I have a production company. “Just get some cards”. I reluctantly agreed, but I needed a name for the company and a recurring joke came to mind.

As a young broke man with lofty artistic dreams living at home with his parents, I endured an ongoing barrage of yelling from my mother. All I wanted to do was go out and work on film and video projects and I neglected many of my chores at home because of it. So everyday, my mother would threaten me with homelessness in the most colorful ways. She wouldn’t care who was around when she did it. It seemed that anytime someone from the crew was at my house or would call, like clockwork my mother would yell and threaten to put me out in the street. It became the running joke of the production.

I quipped to the director, “I’m going to call my company Out the House Productions.” And here I am.

I realized, as video producers, we are in a presentation business. People rarely look beyond a bad first impression. If you are on the fringe as a hobby or artistic video producer and want your video production company to grow into a solid business, as arbitrary as it sounds often times the first thing you need to do is treat your business, like a business. To succeed in this business talent is not enough. You have to be a business person. It’s not selling out, it’s you selling yourself.

Shannon Newby, Living my Dream

Sidebar: About This Series

Video creation is sometimes a singular business, but video producers are a social lot. Our curiosity about our readers has inspired us to create this new column to introduce you to your fellow video producers.

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