Video production was the main subject on the lips of a gathering of about 25 people last night in the little town of Chico California, home to Videomaker magazine and most of its staff. One of the biggest problems with being independent producers is the independence. Producers usually work alone, have an office set up in their own homes, and dont know the other producers in their area. We thought it would be a nice idea to host a party and invite as many local producers as we could find for a meet & greet night at Videomaker Headquarters. (And we had the party catered by the most awesome Smokin' Mo's, a local Bar-B-Que feedbag, so who could resist?) Were hoping to get some of the producers we met last night involved in a few different areas of the local production we do, whether its writing reviews, shooting or editing our training DVDs, or conducting one of our many workshops, and we met a lot of great prospects. We often talk about the problem of the solo producer when it comes to needing assistance. You might find you have need of a second shooter, an editor with animation skills, or just need to pass on some work that you are unable to fulfill due to other commitments. Hosting a party like this one, or a "user's group", to meet other producers in your area is a good idea. Dont think of them as competition as much as your "extended staff. We gave every producer a gift from our gear closet, played some of our vidcasts, showed off our studio and some of the great gear we have in house right now, either waiting to be reviewed, or are in the process of being reviewed, like Sony's FX7, Canon's HV10, Primera's Bravo duplicator and Manfrotto's 560B monopod. Perhaps if youre interested in hosting a similar party in your hometown, you might invite some of the producers to bring along a short (5-minute) funny video that theyve put together, maybe a collection of their bloopers or some funny clips from their "good videos gone bad projects. Pass around a contact signup, and keep the relationship alive by having an annual gathering. Youll find you really arent alone out there!

Jennifer O’Rourke is an Emmy award-winning videographer & editor.