I took care of whatever Fabrice and Lee needed to be done each week, often the things other people didn’t want to do. I also was show producer of four themed shows: AmeriCult with Lee; Sex: The Coming Thing; All that Jazz. I wrote, did interviews and worked with Art and Harvey.
Kim’s introduction to VW was driving the edited show and car-less producers up the long, winding road to the top of San Bruno Mountain where it was broadcast in the early days. She produced VW’s first rock video followed by many others before and after leaving to form her own production company, VAMP. She moved to LA and then NY where she has had a distinguished career directing and producing commercials for cosmetic companies. Recently, she has added writer to her tool box, creating media events and important programs on social issues like human trafficking and others, and winning festival nominations for her screen plays. KimDempster.com
I read an article about Fabrice at Videowest and decided to knock on that door to get involved in video production. As I came in the Harrison St. building, Kathy and Joe asked me to be an extra for a John Cale musical clip in a graveyard. Pretending to play trumpet, dressed as an inmate and false scars on my face was definitely a fun way to start working in production! Back in France a year later, the VW experience helped me get a job as a production manager and today, almost 40 years later, I can say I owe a lot to the VW spirit!
The Last Volunteer
Long time partner in crime with Joe Dea, premier composer Tom “One Step Too Far” Disher graciously volunteered to play piano for the Videowest 20th & 40th reunions. Tom has volunteered to perform again for VW Centennial Celebrations, this time with full orchestra. Learn more.
Camera/Director of Photography
On my first day shooting at Videowest, I met Art Freyer who helped with lighting and this started our careers in television. Eventually I became the Videowest “gear guy,” as I was more interested in technology than the other partners. And I helped train others to use our gear and shoot our shows. With some of the connections I made at Videowest, I started shooting freelance for local corporate and broadcast TV shows, and ultimately shows in Los Angeles and elsewhere. To this day, as a director of photography, I still work with connections made through Videowest.
I have always considered Videowest my real education in video and editing - a great family to join. A bunch of creative people all with their own styles and ways of working and I was a sponge soaking it all up. I was an editor, maintained the library, and even produced a few stories. After Videowest, I edited at a few post houses and freelanced, a few times for Fabrice on Apple projects. I returned to Houston in 1992 where I’ve been editing ever since at South Coast Film & Video.
GEORGE EVELYN was one of Videowest’s many visual artists, called upon to draw cartoons or build props to support the wild and subversive skits, shorts or broadcast I.D.s as well as producing the occasional advertising promotion. His happy sojourn at Videowest was his first foray into the television medium (he’d always worked in the print realm previously) and he liked it so much he spent the next forty years making animated cartoons for MTV, Warner Brothers, Disney, Nickelodeon, and myriad commercials and music videos. Currently he’s an assistant professor at California College of the Arts, breezily pontificating on character animation and storyboarding.
Juanita Diana Feeney
I worked at Videowest from November 1982 to January 1985. I started as an intern answering phones on Sundays. My first job was to roll joints for the crew going out on a shoot. I moved up to working in the office with Jeffrey getting ratings numbers from my day job at KPIX. I worked as an editor, segment producer, and show producer for Test Tube and Take Off. I met a really cute guy and eventually married him after living together for 19 years. I am currently a post-production producer on the Netflix series Raising Dion (drops in October 2019). I’ve worked in Los Angeles in post-production for HBO, Netflix, AMC and CBS.
For almost four years, Videowest was my graduate school, from Tuesday night volunteer to segment producer to a show producer. I learned about editing, writing, interviewing, production and management (?) as the staff representative at the board meetings on Jeff’s houseboat. It was an amazing post-college experience due to the variety of folks I met at Videowest. I have since worked at HBO, Brillstein-Grey, and am now at AMC Network overseeing their scripted series. Thanks for the start.
I founded Videowest in the 70’s because I was fascinated by California's counterculture and wanted to create “TV for the rest of us.” I started as a producer, director, writer and editor -- and ended up managing our independent TV studio. I went on to pioneer interactive multimedia at Apple and Wikipedia, where my work reached millions of people around the world. But it was at Videowest that I learned the basics of storytelling -- and I still use them today to make the world a better place. I now help people fight climate change at GreenChange.net. Learn more about Fabrice.
Phyllis Uppman Florin
My main work at Videowest was to provide sustenance and support to Fabrice so he could live his dream. I remember the drives up the San Bruno mountain with Lee (whose car didn’t have a passenger window) and Fab, hurriedly putting the credits on slides right before airtime. I appeared in a few sketches and as an extra in a couple music videos. I retired from my executive assistant job at an investment banking firm in 2012 and now write, sing and do digital art.
I produced a few Videowest pieces--Beauty (with the estimable BJ McAllister)--and others less memorable. For several years, I was a sound editor at Skywalker Ranch and Fantasy Studios working on an assortment of great films (Unbearable Lightness of Being, Mosquito Coast, The Black Stallion, Quiz Show, et al.). I moved to NY around 1990 and made feature docs (two for KQED) which I still do. My latest is The Cat Rescuers, opening at The Roxie on August 5th. Before that, Sweet Dreams, Moving Stories, Sister Helen, et al. It's been a fun ride, but damn, I'm getting tired. My latest venture is raising a two-year-old!
During a Seussian nightcap, I provided floor space so Fabrice, Erik, Michael and Joe could rest their heads and dream up a New York office. VW gave me an opportunity to document stories from the streets of the Big Apple for MTV where I got to interact with some of my favorite bands, The Ramones, Blondie, and The Clash. My unsuccessful pitches for fashion and boutique storIes guided me from VW to CNN. There I traveled the world, dodging skirts not bullets, to produce and direct the breakthrough fashion show, “Style with Elsa Klensch.” Today, I live in the city I love with the love of my life, my wife Kelly Ryan, a fashion designer!
I came in to Videowest as a volunteer and practically lived there for the subsequent year. I did a little of everything (including bringing office supplies from my day job to support VW) but found my calling as an editor, under the tutelage of Evelyn. Post VW I was a news editor at CNN, KPIX and CBS News before moving to Los Angeles to continue in editorial. I transitioned to the services side of the business in the 1980’s and still work in that capacity. Yup, livin’ the dream.
While doing news at KSAN, I voiced pieces at Videowest for MTV-Music Television and produced a couple of stories, including one that featured actress Jill Clayburgh. Since then, I spent about a decade at KFRC producing features and anchoring the news, filled in as a talk show host at KNBR and KGO, wrote and produced corporate and nonprofit videos and podcasts, ran programs at the Marin JCC, and am currently writing a memoir entitled By Accident. More on my site, on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Griffith created Zippy "Are we having fun yet?" the Pinhead who materialized as a live character (played by Jim Turner) on Videowest. The clown-suited philosopher with the non-linear brain seemed to embody the hordes of wannabe TV producers who trekked through its doors. Griffith wrote the scripts for the VW miniseries and also did the original artwork for the Zippy awards. The first Zippy strip appeared in Real Pulp #1 in 1970, the year Griffith came to SF. Zippy appeared in the pages of the National Lampoon and High Times, and in 1986 the strip went national. Griffith's graphic memoir "Invisible Ink" won an Eisner Award. His new graphic bio is Nobody's Fool: The Like and Times of Schlitzie the Pinhead. Griffith presently lives in East Haddam, CT. Wikipedia
VIdeowest was a labor of love and fun! Thank god I also had a job working for Hewlett Packard or I might have starved! I wanted to design an album cover like what Milton Glaser created for Bob Dylan...and then Videowest appeared. I had a blast art directing the shoots, collecting graphics from Tower Records, Amoeba, and other awesome venues, of my favorite bands and comedians. I have worked as an Art Director for Parenting Magazine, PC World, Landor Associates, Oracle, Bank of America, and designed forensic graphics for litigation. Since surviving lymphoma, I try to work as little as possible and travel and or paint as much as possible!