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.
Lighting / Camera / Producer
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.
Director / Camera
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.
Producer /Ass 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.
Writer / Producer
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.
Production / Talent
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!
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.
Juanita Diana Feeney
Producer / Editor
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.
Flounder / Executive Producer
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. Learn more.
Goddess / Talent
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.
Producer / Voiceovers
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.
As a volunteer in 1979, I passed out Videowest show flyers on Market Street. I rose through the ranks, as it were, from production assistant to receptionist to segment producer. I went on to found a successful digital marketing company, EdgewireMedia and now advocate for medical cannabis as founder of Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group. Learn more.
I did graphics for Videowest, mostly fake packages for commercials. The Librarians in Bondage poster. Ai caramba! I continued doing graphics until 1999 when I moved to Raleigh, NC for a graduate degree in Industrial Design. I now work for the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at North Carolina State University. I’m on Facebook and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a production assistant, Videowest was my clubhouse. After leaving Bill Etra, I curated video/computer graphics, art exhibitions and started Diaquest, a computer animation controller company. I remarried, and have a wonderful daughter, Hannah. The next 20+ years in Silicon Valley, I worked on M&E products, workflows and cloud services. My current interests include accelerating cultural and scientific film restoration.
B.J. McAllister Martin
Producer / Talent
BJ McAllister worked at Videowest in 1979-81, as talent in music videos and comic segments, and as producer/director of “The Beauty Show,” the Emmy-nominated VW exposé of the SF beauty business. After VW, she produced live fashion events, design-award ceremonies and videos, and fashion video catalogs. After beginning a family, she produced fundraisers for her sons’ schools, and founded a women’s choral group in Marin, where her best times are spent singing, reading and growing vegetables with her husband.
Writer / Producer
I am a Los Angeles-based, freelance entertainment and lifestyle journalist and photographer. Prior to digital journalism and content production, I worked in film marketing and international film distribution. At Videowest, I began as a volunteer and production assistant and moved up to segment producer, contributing dozens of music and lifestyle segments. I can still wrap cables like a pro. Learn more.
Production / Photographer
Mother of the Bronze-a-Bye Baby
I discovered Videowest between jobs as Music Research Director for KFRC radio and Producer for KYA. I mostly worked (78-82) on the sidelines helping the crew and being the in-house photographer thanks to Mike Feeney and Rich Weiss who turned a bathroom into a darkroom. Since then, I’ve worked with the former head of Arbitron, AGB Television (a European ratings company) and as a Regional Manager for AMC Networks. I now work for Beta Research on Long Island producing seven annual syndicated studies purchased by cable networks, and I also moderate focus groups.
Editor / Producer
Evelyn Messinger says she was the "best editor" during the early years of Videowest. President of the nonprofit InterAct, she is a television and Internet producer who has worked for PBS, CBS News, the BBC, CNN and other news outlets. She produced the Link TV series Global Pulse, the interactive election series Digital Citizen 2012 and the Webby Award-winning news literacy interactive website KnowTheNews. Evelyn is currently producing the web video series on climate change and energy innovation, This Planet.
I was the first intern at Videowest, where I produced several videos and was a production assistant on many more. I have been a location scout for over twenty years working on many feature films and TV shows including Matrix Reloaded, Blue Jasmine, Bumblebee and the Netflix shows The OA Season Two and 13 Reasons Why. I also directed the Camper Van Beethoven music video, Take The Skinheads Bowling and a happy hour length docudramedy on the Martini called Olive or Twist that played at film festivals across the country.
Introduced to Videowest in 1982 by Art Fryer, I worked under Wes Dorman in tech support until he left (handed the baton while tarring the roof on a Saturday). Worked up until the demise in ’84. Currently managing media and entertainment systems projects all over the US from my home in Fremont.
I joined Videowest in an unusual way, although I was at the time only minimally involved. Fab started putting my name up at the end of shows as EXECUTIVE PRODUCER. The Executive Producer is the person responsible for getting the money to fund the shows...which I proceeded to do to the best of my ability. After VW, I spent 35 years at CBS Television in New York. I was the first person from a U.S. Network to get programming on in Russia, China and Brazil. For the last 25 years, my boss and I were responsible for every aspect of the release of over 100 DVD CBS movies and series per year around the world.
Producer / Director
Larry began his career as a news producer/director at the CBS-TV affiliate in San Francisco. As a music video producer/director, he helped develop the “rock video” format. Since then, he has produced documentaries, commercials and entertainment specials that have won several Emmy nominations, including the award-winning film, “Michael Jackson: A Case for Innocence.” He is the founder of The International Student Film Festival which features award-winning young filmmakers from such diverse places as Belarus, Zimbabwe and China. Nimmer has a weekly Man on the Street column in Carpinteria’s Coastal View News, and for the last 13 years, has performed a “Dance for Peace” from Carpinteria to Santa Barbara on New Year’s Day. Recent projects include a series of films shot on location in Vietnam, documenting and promoting sustainable fishing practices. More at Nimmer.net and NimmerArt.net.
Wes 'Scoop’ Nisker
Scoop “News You Can Dance To” Nisker, was the “Man on the Street” at VW. Now recognized as a Buddhist meditation teacher, author and performer, Wes worked in radio for nearly 40 years winning several top awards for excellence in FM radio programming, and was recently inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame. These days, Wes will sometimes answer the radio muse’s call with a rant or commentary for the Pacifica radio network called “The Occasional Scoop.” He is the author of The Big Bang, The Buddha and the Baby Boom, Buddha’s Nature, and Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again! and the founder and co-editor of “Inquiring Mind,” an international Buddhist journal. Wes has studied Buddhist meditation for over three decades and for the past 15 years has been leading his own retreats and workshops in meditation and philosophy. He is a senior teacher at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, Ca.
Comedy Writer / Talent
I was merely a ragamuffin pantaloon shanghaied by Videowest to write and perform in disreputable and ribald interstitial programming. It was the most fun I ever had making no money. To my utter horror, I have since become a semi-reputable writer for themed entertainment venues and museums (including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library!!!) The Themed Entertainment Association even gave me their "Master of the Craft" award last year. Luckily, they've never seen "Mr. Wine." Please don't tell them.
At VW provided children when needed (trafficker?); writer/producer—marijuana, Jonestown-CIA, KiddeoWest, presidential debate with Zippy and others, beauty seen by feminists, pollution in the Bay, Lawrence Livermore Lab, news show, et al (a pattern here?). Post VW: magazine and book editor, book packager, ghostwriter. Have been living in Paris since 2000, teaching at university, writing, editing, trying to stop imperialist wars and injustices (not been very successful here…), enjoying living in a different culture and language. How does one get 40 years into 50 words? Thank goodness for memory lapses…
Talent / Exploited Child Labor
I came to VW as a child actor, having memorable roles in Attack Trained Children, Sock-it-to-me and Beach Blanket Armageddon (roles acquired through nepotism as my mother was a producer on the show). VW proved to be the peak of my professional acting career, though seeing as I was only paid in Twinkies, I am not sure it actually constituted a professional career. I went on to receive a BA in Classics. I worked in film advertising and publicity, then moved to London, where I started a career in packaging, working on DVD and BluRay packaging. I live in Burbank and manage all toy packaging for the Disney stores.
Writer / Producer / Props Artist
I made props for the likes of Leila & the Snakes, the Swiss Army tube, and Beach Blanket Armageddon. I also wrote some sketches that Joe Dea directed (U.S. Cadaver Corps, Orifice Perfume), and produced "The Death Show." When our first kid came along, I had to figure out how to make some money, so it was goodbye VW, and computers and real estate from then on. I recently went through a binder of stuff from VW that was a time capsule -- old phone lists, video production rate cards and promo sheets, upcoming schedules, and lots of half-baked ideas for comedy sketches. It brought back the anarchic sense of frenzy and fun that made those days so seductive. I feel lucky to have been a small part of it.
Writer / Producer
I learned to create video at Videowest, the greatest training ground in the world. That led to five years as a producer at KPIX TV, which landed me a local Emmy. Then, in pursuit of a French beauty, it was off to Paris where I started producing babies. I became a screenwriter, working five seasons for the Highlander TV series as well as others. Co-developed French sitcom Une Famille Pour Deux. In 1997, I returned to SF to work at IFusion in an attempt to stream video, a tad too early. Old habits die hard. I co-wrote a French feature film, Pars Vite Et Reviens Tard. Currently living the life in Provence while hocking my feature film script, I See London, I See France, and adapting the French play, L’Heritage d’Ana into English for the London stage next year. Thank you Videowest! I couldn’t have done it without you. Lawrence Shore IMDB