User Groups

Existing Groups

Desktop Video Special Interest Group

The Computer Room, 2760 S. Havana St.

Aurora, CO 80014

Phone: 303-696-8973

Contact: Don James

Meetings: Third Monday of every month; 7-9 p.m.


8 Tips for Making a Stellar First Video

Free eBook


8 Tips for Making a Stellar First Video

Free eBook


Thank you! Your free eBook will be sent to you via email

Buffalo Movie-Videomakers

P.O. Box 30

Buffalo, NY 14231-0030

Phone: 716-636-4777


Contact: John P. Weiksnar

Meetings: First non-holiday Friday, Sep.-June, 7:30 p.m.

Professional Videographers Assoc. of Connecticut

P.O. Box 73

New Canaan, CT 06840

Phone: 203-966-2300


Contact: Rick Richardson

Meetings: Second Tuesday monthly, North Haven Holiday Inn

Seeking Group or Will Organize

Dave Cockley

23330 Commerce Park Rd.

Beachwood, OH 44122

John D. Coulter

35 E. Fox Chase Rd.

Chester, NJ 07930

Bud Turner

P.O. Box 129

New Blaine, AR 72851

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

Pete’s TV WAVs Site

This site is a virtual cornucopia of sound bites (1,577 at last count) from
TV shows, commercials and movies. Insert classic lines, such as Homer Simpson’s
"Doh!" in the character’s original voice, in your personal videos.
Discussion areas and FAQs are available to help with downloads. You can
even subscribe to an e-mail service to have new WAVs sent to you.

Entry Deadlines

Video Shorts is an exhibition and competition of short noncommercial
works. Unlike most film and video competitions, judges will screen Video
Shorts entries in sessions open to the public and those in attendance are
encouraged to write comments to be returned to the producers. Entries are
showcased in a premiere showing and public exhibitions in Seattle and elsewhere.
Obtain entry forms from Video Shorts, P.O. Box 20369, Seattle WA 98102;
telephone 206-322-9010. Entry deadline is February 7.

The Retirement Research Foundation established the National Media Owl
Awards in 1984 as an annual competition to recognize excellence in recently
produced video and television programs for and about aging or aged people.
Categories include independent videos, non-fiction television, training
videos and community videos. Entry forms and information may be obtained
from The Retirement Research Foundation, 8765 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 401,
Chicago IL 60631-4107; telephone 773-714-8080; e-mail

Quick Focus

Ahead of His Time

We observed a moment of silence for Jerome Lemelson, a prolific inventor,
who in 1977 approached the U.S. Patent Office with the idea for a device
that incorporated both a videocassette recorder and a camera in a single,
portable unit. The Patent Office rejected his request on the grounds that
video recording equipment could never be miniaturized enough to be considered

Mr. Lemelson died on October 1, at the age of 74, with over 500 patents
credited to his name. He earned millions of dollars in lawsuits against
manufacturers that infringed his patents and used some of the money to setup
a charitable foundation to encourage invention in the United States.

Overzealous Videotaping Banned in Suburban Detroit

The Detroit News recently reported an odd video tale that might be comical
to onlookers but the main parties seem to be treating the matter with dry
solemnity. They’re so serious about alleged rampant videotaping that they’ve
taken their conflict to the city council.

The story involves two neighbors in southwest Warren, Illinois, who brought
their camcorder feud to the town’s City Council. Council President Jim Fouts
had asked the Council to "prohibit repeated videotaping of private
citizens against their will," by amending the city’s stalking law to
make such taping illegal.

Josie Kleiner and her neighbor, Hazel Pawlaczyk, prompted Fouts’ unusual
request. Kleiner claims that Pawlaczyk has pointed a video camera at Kleiner’s
front door for more than three years. "It’s harassment. I’m sick of
it. She’s recording every movement in my front yard," said Kleiner.
Pawlaczyk says that she’s simply using the camcorder as a security device–she’s
really taking video of her husband’s truck in their driveway. "He had
some tools stolen from it twice in three years. I’m not trying to see what’s
going on in [Kleiner’s] home. Their house is just in the way," Pawlaczyk

"The repeated use of a video camera violates an individual’s right
of privacy," Fouts says. "A video camera shouldn’t be used as
a weapon."


The Facts and Results, Non-Linear Broadcast Video for Under $10,000!

Method Video Productions (1997, MVP, 828 N. Third St., #102, Phoenix
AZ 85004, 88 min., $60)

If you dare to build a nonlinear system from the ground up–literally–using
off-the-shelf components and software, then this video is for you. Although
the producers claim that you can upgrade your existing system by watching
Non-Linear Broadcast Video for Under $10,000!, they make a point of recommending
that you not deviate from their recommended components or software. They
begin with the computer’s housing and show, with good-quality closeups and
meticulous explanation, how to install the motherboard, graphics card and
drives. Then the tape’s instruction moves on to partitioning the drives,
installing and configuring the operating system (Windows NT), before going
on to installing and using Video Action NT software. This video is a good
step-by-step guide for do-it-yourselfers looking to put together this particular
nonlinear editing system. 4

Wedding Videography for Ding Dongs

Kirk Thompson (1997, California Video Design, 20969 Ventura Blvd.,
Suite 230, Woodland Hills CA 91364,

103 pp., $40)

This handbook mimics the "… for Dummies" series of books by
Gordon McComb and Andy Rathbone, although the title is the only attribute
the two have in common. If you have the patience to slog through bad editing,
punctuation errors, smiley face icons and ego-polishing anecdotes, you can
mine a few useful tips from Wedding Videography for Ding Dongs. The author,
Kirk Thompson, has owned a successful wedding videography business for 14
years and his marketing advice is sound. However, it’s unfortunate that
he’s written this handbook exclusively for male videographers because, as
he writes, "It’s a man’s business, but by learning to be sensitive
to their needs, it’s not hard for a man to operate in a woman’s environment."
Thompson’s helpful tip here is to hire a woman to work in your wedding business
to rake in those reluctant brides. 1

Cross-Cultural Filmmaking

Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Taylor (1997, University of California Press,
2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley CA 94720, 555 pp., $25)

This guide for documentary film and video producers covers the practical,
technical and theoretical aspects of filming, from fundraising to exhibition.
Except where the context of a production demands precision, the authors
are not biased against the video medium and "film" is used throughout
Cross-Cultural Filmmaking as a shorthand for both media. Although the title
would set the reader up for a treatise on ethnographic filming techniques,
this handbook is not restricted to cross-cultural documentaries. The first
of three sections discusses filmmaking styles; the second section explains
the technical aspects, including how to select and use equipment, how to
shoot film and video, and the reasons for choosing one or the other. The
third section of the book outlines the process of filmmaking: preproduction,
production, post production and distribution.

Whether you’re out to shoot a feature-length movie about a foreign revolution
or simply hope to shoot a ten-minute video about your grandparents, this
handbook has the background information you need to create an expressive
film or video. 5

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.