I was the general office person at Videowest, as admin assistant to Jeffrey and Fabrice, and did a lot of word processing. I have the dubious distinction of being the last Videowest employee (I have a Zippy Award to prove it.) My most fun job I had after leaving VW was working for Beserkley Records in both of its incarnations. Now I’m semi-retired, living in Fairfax.
I produced segments for VW and won a Zippy for a rock piece on Gary Neuman. Since those wonderful days, I moved to the British Virgin Islands. On Tortola, I worked as Executive News Producer for ZBVI Radio and as a stringer for the BBC Caribbean Report. After six years, I returned to Ohio and went to college to be an R.N. and worked in a hospital for several years. Now, I'm an activist working for social justice and to get Dems elected all over America
I was working on my MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute when I found Videowest. Apparently nobody had seen a lighting kit before and Fab took notice. I mostly did lighting, camera and some producing. Late nights in the drippy basement shooting Los Microwaves, flashy shoots at The Old Waldorf, moody pieces in North Beach. Then I got a call to work in editing for real pay ($185/week) and never looked back: The Wonder Years, Arrested Development, The Office, Scrubs, Pushing Dailies, 32 years of Hollywood glitz, Primetime Emmy and ACE Eddie.
I volunteered in 1981 for the fun and practical workshops, and ended up as a segment/series producer. It was a GREAT time in my life. Concerts, clubbing. Sunday morning show assemblies with Marcus and Bud at One Pass. Hardcore with Harold. Learning how to interview/edit/produce from Michael/Eric. My blundering with Nash. Hanging out with Terri/Jay, and even getting to travel cross-country and Canada with big Mike and Brad. Thanks to other VW transplants, I had an easy transition to LA (Gracie Films, New World Video). After seven years, I abandoned my career. Moved to Esalen, worked in a vineyard, lived in Russia, came back to Oregon House and found a beautiful, wild property to be my home and farm.
At its peak, The Alex Bennett Show was one of the top-rated morning radio shows in San Francisco, and the “King of Comedy” was known for his influence on the local scene. During this time, Alex also hosted and provided voice-overs for a number of VW productions. He experimented with web-based TV shows and journalism and voiced the Starbase Commander character in the video game Star Control 2. He returned to NY in 2003 to host a morning show on Sirius Radio, and then started "GABNet,” an innovative approach to phone-in talk radio with what he calls Citizen Panels, where he still is. In 2008 Bennett was inducted into the San Francisco Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame. Wikipedia.
Nancy Bennett (Callister)
Lead actress and key player in many of Videowest’s most popular comedy pieces including Park-O-Matic, Moldy Oldies (Every Song Every Recorded in the 50’s), Swiss Army Tube, Food Fighters, Socket To Me, and Attack Trained Children. Nancy directed the music video WACS in Slacks, and also worked on Bob. She is a talented artist who also contributed to props and sets, and made her living for many years after Videowest doing caricatures at Fisherman’s Wharf, and after moving to Florida, at Gatorland and Disney World where she met and married fellow artist Marvin Bennett. They live in Orlando, where they have a watery garden filled with dozens of turtles.
Gerry has appeared uncredited as an extra in countless corporate video programs. As a longtime production sound mixer, he has lived up to his company name, “Necessary Evil”…and traveled to lots of places, both on the clock and off. For better or for worse, he says, “Videowest helped give me the foundation and skills to spend my working life being part of a creative process. Thanks to all who were involved along the way!” Facebook
At 17, I was one of those over the top kids who adopted a mantel of screechy high camp and gravitated towards punk clubs. Best decision to make at the time. One day I was in that netherworld between North Beach and Sansome St. and spotted a camera and what looked like a proffered microphone. I darted over and started jabbering. Timmy Spence and I starred in Beach Blanket Armeggedon. I mostly remember being asked to run on sand in pumps. I’ve remained a counter culture talky type, and have had some books published - Modern English (a rendy illustrated slang dictionary). Got an MFA in Fiction from Columbia, and recently put out an album - She’s Got The Weirdness. I live in NYC and visit the East Bay.
Michael began his career as a freelance journalist of pop culture and then moved to television. At Videowest, he produced innovative music videos, 900 music news stories for MTV, and cutting-edge programming for several major television channels. In 1986, Michael started at GRB Entertainment where he wrote and produced programs for Fox, Discovery, and TLC, among others. He was part of the production team that launched a television genre in 2005, when he co-executive produced the critically acclaimed series, Intervention. The series recently delivered its 180th episode to A&E. Michael is currently an Executive Producer at Happy Trails Productions. IMDB
I'm the recipient of a Videowest Zippy Award for Token Producer, and Landmark Film & Video festival honorable mention for my segment on the adult film and video industry. Currently working as video tech and massage therapist, launching soon an assessment project for providing better bodywork. Doing a bit of the "physician heal thyself" routine on my injured ankle and looking forward to seeing you and the rest of the Videowest alumni at the celebration. As FLOTUS says, "be best!"
Robin Acker Bush
Editor/Post Production Manager
I was an editor and post production manager at Videowest where I cut MTV spots, Rock-On, and Take-Off shows. Those were the days. Since then, I have run my own environmental video production company. My company, Voices of the Earth, reproduces my underwater images into materials for interior design. Concurrently, to support my community, I also do print and media production as Outreach Director for Island Senior Resources, a nonprofit serving seniors, adults with disabilities, and those who care for them. Bio and Ted Profile.
Yes and No Man
Mongolian beef at Hunan’s before going up the mountain. Reading the credits on air as the tape rolled. Phones lighting up with volunteers. Frankie sweeping floors on Battery Street so she could learn to operate a camera. Kim directing our first home-grown music video on the roof. Scoring Harrison Street for $750/month and wondering how we would pay for it. Ham hocks and beans at Lena’s. Sunset Sam. Video killed the radio star. The God-given right to park whenever and wherever. Explaining why Joe O was asleep in the vault. Chooglin’ through 40 years of writing, producing, and editing books, videos, websites, live events, and activism. Fighting for my funky houseboat community In Redwood City. Moving my last houseboat to San Rafael where AceDawg and I live when not at Lilley’s in Half Moon Bay.
April joined Videowest in 1979 as maintenance contractor Applied Video Engineering Steve Calou, now April Calou. She received the Zippy Award for “Saved our Ass Again.” April worked at GESI, engineering partner Video Arts Inc, and Sony. She is currently at NBCUniversal in Centennial Colorado as a Project Engineering Specialist.
My first directing experience was the weekly talk/variety show Went Like it Came on SF and Oakland cable, which led to a directing job at KQED on the national PBS show Over Easy in 1977. Every year when Over Easy went on hiatus, I worked at Videowest. I got to direct the show at the Hotel Utah bar where we mixed tape segments (on the monitor and full screen) with live segments shot in the bar blurring the line between real and fiction TV.
Eric had a long career with ABC, first as program director of KGO-FM and KSFX (1970), then with ABC Television (1974) as Arts & Entertainment Producer and later Sports Producer for ABC 7. In 1977 he produced and directed A Day On The Green, a concert film, for Bill Graham Presents. At Videowest, Eric produced many features for Backstage Pass and the pilot for Behind the Screens, a backstage pass for movies. He also wrote and produced several shorts including Giant Record, Swiss Army Tube, Jack La Strange. After retiring from ABC 7 in 2007, Eric began a new career in independent filmmaking with The Trips Festival, The Cover Story-Album Art, and Korla.
A young, impressionable dork interested in music discovered Videowest and started as an intern, graduating to working on interview segments (and getting paid!!) and then music videos. Was lucky to have great mentors like Becky, Juanita, Joe D., Mike F. and Andrea G., all looking out for me! Left Videowest to go work at Beserkley Records/VTA talent agency, which also was a tremendous learning experience. What a great time to be young and dumb in the bay area! Occasionally find something around the house (Monty Hoffman face plaster!) which will remind me of what an incredibly fun experience Videowest was
Reportedly the natural father of actor Perry King (if never acknowledged by King), Frederick was a talented author and actor in his own right, with a novel and short stories to his credit, and had a child with his much younger girlfriend in his 60s. At Videowest, he played the part of a mad boss who sawed Greg Kihn’s guitar in half, the frustrated commander who sent out the troops to stop the cars rebellion in Motor Psycho, and the priest in the Scorpions video.
Anything for a Buck
Producer/Asst. Series Producer
Tim was a voiceover producer, logistics arranger, press relations manager, and consciousness alterer at Videowest, and co-producer of a special on jazz great Dave Brubeck which aired on the ABC Arts Channel. He returned to Memphis in 2005 where he was an archivist for the Center for Southern Folklore till 2010, and supervised digitizing films and recordings of the Rev. L.O. Taylor for the Library of Congress. Now retired, he claims he can almost pass for sane.