Videomaker's Silver Anniversary

Videomaker by Jennifer O'Rourke

"It's a magazine about a powerful tool and how you can use it effectively in many situations, some of which have yet to be discovered." Matt York, Viewfinder column - Videomaker Vol. I, Number 1, June 1986.

More than 25 years ago, Matt and Patrice York had an idea of sharing their love of video technology with like-minded people, to teach and encourage users of those new-fangled video machines how to make their home movies better. They wanted to democratize the elusive world of video creation, to bring the elitist process of video production to the masses. The hard work was soon to escalate in June 1986 with the launch of Videomaker magazine. There were other video-centric magazines such as Video and Video Review, but these were for people who "watch" video, not "make" it. Occasionally these magazines had "How To" articles about video techniques, but it was a small part of their content. There were a few publications for professionals in Hollywood, but Videomaker was the first of its kind dedicated to every-day video enthusiasts.

25 Years ago - 1986: Format Wars

Videomaker's early years focused on three challenges that we felt were the biggest hurdles video enthusiasts were going to have to overcome. Camcorders able to record images of a high enough quality that would attract audiences; the skills and gear needed to edit the video in proper sequences with good audio, titles, and effects; and an easy method of distributing the video to an audience.

In its infancy, Videomaker tackled such subjects as making entertaining wedding videos, using a computer to edit, (very advanced concept at the time!), audio syncing, video terminology, and primers on homemade titles that would have today's electronic graphic artists laughing at the simplicity. Because 8mm film was still very much in use for home movie enthusiasts at the time, Videomaker's first few years had continuing features for making the transition from film to video and technical explanations, as well as the good vs. bad to both (video: instant access and easy to view; film: clearer images and better color, etc.). Our first issue included a "Charter Member" subscription offering six issues for $9.97 - what a bargain! I wonder if any charter members are still reading us today. read more...

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