User Groups

Existing Groups

North County Videomakers
1438 Archwood Place
Escondido, CA 92026-2749
Contact: Tom Turney
Phone: 760-432-0141
Meetings: Third Wednesday monthly, Arts & Crafts room, San Marcos Community Services building


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Dallas/Ft. Worth Professional Videographers Association
8470 Cripple Creek Dr.
Frisco, TX 75034
Contact: Kim Kennedy
Phone: 972-226-3161
Meetings: Bi-monthly, various locations in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area

Creative Television of Rhode Island
P.O. Box 1265
Newport, RI 02840
Contact: Dennis K. Evans
Phone: 401-846-9803
Meetings: Time and location vary

Seeking Group or Will Organize

Dave Cockley
2898 Kingsley Rd.
Cleveland, OH 44122

Vince Radigan
4912 Grace Rd.
No. Olmsted, OH 44070

Ronald DeMartino
859 E. Jeffery St., Apt. 715
Boca Raton, FL 33487

User Groups: let us know you’re out there. For inclusion in our listing, submit your request to “User Groups,” c/o Videomaker, P.O. Box 4591, Chico, CA 95927. Seeking a User Group? For a list of existing user groups and/or video enthusiasts seeking or willing to organize a group in your area, send an SASE to the same address.

Web Watch

A Simplified Guide to the NTSC Video Signal

This page describes the basics of the television signal, how to analyze it on a waveform monitor or vectorscope and how to calibrate a monitor using color bars.

Entry Deadlines

U.S. Super 8mm Film/Video Festival

The Rutgers Film Co-op and New Jersey Media Arts Center is calling for entries in their 10th annual festival. The Festival encourages any genre and the work must have originated predominantly on Super 8mm film or 8mm video. In addition to cash prizes, the winners will have their works screened at the Festival in February. For more entry information, write to The Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC, Program in Cinema Studies, 108 Ruth Adams Bldg-Douglass Campus, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 or call 908-932-8482. Send e-mail to Entries must be received by January 23.

Anti Film Festival

Creating a forum for short films and videos that most mainstream festivals ignore, the Alliance Film Video Cooperative is again calling for entries. The Festival seeks out work that is subversive, low-budget, just plain weird and under 30 minutes. The Anti Film Festival takes place in February in Miami Beach, Florida. Only 16mm and Super-8 film and S-VHS and VHS video will be accepted. For entry forms and more information, contact AFVC, 924 Lincoln Rd., Suite 208, Miami Beach, FL 33139. 305-538-8242. Entry deadline is January 15.

Quick Focus

JVC Introduces Next Generation DV Camcorder

Looking a lot like the GR-DVM1, JVCs newest entry in the pocket-sized DV camcorder market is the GR-DVX. This model, like its predecessor, has manual white balance, shutter speed, exposure (iris) and focus controls; Random Assemble Editing, a built-in IR edit controller that works with JVC VCRs; and it retails for a suggested $2799.

The optional GV-DS2 docking station allows the user to control the camcorder with JVCs JLIP protocol but FireWire in/out is not available. Composite audio/video and S-video jacks are included.

Whats new on this model is a 180,000-pixel polycrystalline-silicon TFT LCD monitor and a second, smaller color viewfinder. JVC has also added an auto-flash feature which improves digital stills. The option menu is accessed with a unique Function Navigator Dial. Simply turn the dial until the option you want appears in the viewfinder or monitor and push the dial to activate the option. The GR-DVXs Power Pack holds two battery packs for up to 90 minutes of recording.

JVC will continue to market both the original GR-DVM1 ($2599) and the GR-DV1 ($2399) digital camcorders, although the company will begin phasing out the GR-DVM1 around the middle of 1998.

When Cars Attack

A California production company is looking for strange and humorous video footage. According to Bob Stagnaro, the footage coordinator, the ABC special called When Cars Attack is a mocumentary in the spirit of Spinal Tap, the mock rock documentary from the early 1980s.

“The whole reality-video genre, like Cops and When Animals Attack has really run its course. Were making fun of it,” says Producer Stephen Chao.

”Were looking for any video, any format, that shows funny, strange or bizarre car behavior, especially runaway cars without drivers,” says Stagnaro. The company will pay a license fee to the originator for any video that ends up in the final edit. When Cars Attack will air on ABC during the February sweeps. Call 310-998-0099 or send e-mail to for more information.

How to Win an Emmy by Using Consumer Video Equipment

When a Virginia Beach, VA television station wanted to videotape the interior of a car sinking into the muck of a local creek, they called on a local video producer and his trusty Hi8 camcorder to do the “dirty” work. The resulting footage won the TV station an Emmy award for Specialty Reporting.

Diver/cameraman David Mims of Video Atlantic Teleproductions rode shotgun as reporter Andy Fox steered a compact station wagon (stripped of its gas tank) off a boat ramp and into 25 feet of water. Fox wanted to show his audience the best way to escape from a submerged car by riding it to the bottom while a cameraman captured the effort on videotape.

While the BetaCams rolled (and police and fire personnel waited) on the shore of Owls Creek, Mims sat with his back to the dashboard on the passenger side. His Sony TR-500 camcorder, equipped with a wide-angle lens and external mike, was enclosed in an Amphibico DiveBuddy housing. Because of the shallow depth and sunlight, he didnt need any lights, which would have been useless anyway on the muddy bottom.

Since he was sitting on the floor, Mims head went underwater first, but he held the camera high to continue to record Foxs dialogue. When the car settled on the bottom, visibility went to zero and Mims had to feel his way out of the car that was now pointing nose-down into the muck of the creek bottom. Both reporter and cameraman made it safely to the surface and Fox credits his Emmy award in no small part to Mims effort.

Consumer Electronics Manufacturers and Retailers Meet to Combat “Random” Product Returns

The Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) recently hosted a cross-industry event to try to solve a $7.0 billion product-return problem. According to Gary Shapiro, president of CEMA, “Consumers have become indiscriminant in their product choices because they have no risk.” Panelists included representatives from Cobra Electronics, Target, Crutchfield, Panasonic, Canon, Lucent Technologies and Kenwood. Representatives from major retailers, including Best Buy, Circuit City, Lowes and Radio Shack were in attendance. Manufacturers such as Sharp and Intel were also present.

Panelists and attendees reached a series of conclusions. First was the need for manufacturers and retailers to become allies in solving the problem and that together they can teach consumers that its not “socially acceptable to randomly return a product.” Retailers need to develop better training programs for floor personnel and develop an “intercept” strategy to question the consumer about a product before he wants to return it without explanation. Finally, manufacturers need to develop packaging that describes product features and benefits clearly and concisely.

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