I think it's a good idea to be able to see the resume of someone you might hire. Resumes sound like bragging, and they really are, but I hope you will see mine as a simple list of some experiences and accomplishments. It is truly a joy when I meet with a client, and then quickly get behind that client's vision for their video, and apply my many years of professional experience to make it the best it can be.
The Early Years
I started making 8mm movies in the Chicago suburb of Villa Park when I was 12 years old. After making a dozen monster movies and such for a few years, I made a very serious film called "The Marble." The film is about a miracle. It won 1st Place out of the 167 films entered into the 1965 National Kodak Teenage Movie Contest - beating the 2nd and 3rd place 16mm films! This was the "miracle event" in my life that led me to pursue film making as a career. Some trivia: George Lucas won this same award in another year. For one year after high school and during the summers while attending Wisconsin State University at Stevens Point, I worked for Pilot Productions in Evanston, Illinois, as their gofer, slate guy and all around assistant. I even painted sets and did some filming. That experience was invaluable, and was partly the reason for The Marble's success. You can view a 4 minute video about "The Marble" below. You can view the entire 19 minute film here: THE MARBLE
John at 19 years old with the script for "The Marble" and his Eumig regular 8mm wind up camera.
JP Productions / Jerry Fairbanks / Sho-viz
In 1968 I began my professional career with a company called JP Productions in Hollywood, California. I spent 5 years in Hollywood shooting and editing 16mm corporate films for JP and a few other film production companies. I worked with stars Bob Cummings and John Forsythe, and filmed Henry Gibson of "Laugh-In" fame for an anti-littering PSA. I've tried to locate some of those JP Productions films I worked on, and the only company kind enough to reply to my request and look in their vault of old stuff was Vibra Screw. Yes - that's a real company that makes bottom bin vibrators and screw feeders. If you want to appreciate how much better industrial films have become, click on Materials on the Move.
After 3 years at JP Productions, and some time at the unemployment office, I was hired by two-time Oscar winner, Jerry Fairbanks, to do the negative cutting for a 1972 feature film called "The Legend of Amaluk." It was narrated by Lorne Greene. (Click on the movie poster to enlarge it and see part of the film) I also received a screen credit for the sound effects editing. Fairbanks kept me on after "Amaluk" was completed, but I left Jerry Fairbanks to work for a company called Sho-Viz. Bad decision. Sho-Viz folded within a year. Should have stayed with Jerry Fairbanks. Ah, Hollywood.
Lutheran Bible Translators
In 1974 I was invited to work for the Lutheran Bible Translators in Orange, CA. I moved to Orange County and spent 11 wonderful years working there, traveling to Africa and Papua New Guinea to produce 16mm documentary films about missionary work. Actors John Forsythe and Leif Erickson provided voice overs on two films. It was an amazing experience visiting cultures that hadn't changed for thousands of years, and documenting how their spoken language was analyzed. In addition to the 16mm films, I produced filmstrips and slide shows, and was the still photographer for their magazine. The organization relocated to Illinois in 1985.
During these years I also produced several films for the Good Shepherd Lutheran Home of the West, who serve the mentally handicapped. One was narrated by Michael Landon. I also produced a promotional film for the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) - some clips from those films are in the "Experience Counts" video below.
"And it was Good Soup!" was the best film I produced for the Lutheran Bible Translators. Click on the picture above to watch it.
Ford Aerospace / Loral / Lockheed Martin
Starting in June of 1985, I spent 12 very prolific years at the Aeronutronic Division of Ford Aerospace in Newport Beach, CA where I produced over 900 videos for marketing, training, engineering, and documentation. I worked with hundreds of internal customers, including most of the top brass. I spent all 12 years using a 3/4" A & B roll editing system. A training video about the Navy's F/A-18 FLIR Pod was hailed as the best training video which that Navy department had ever seen. The Aeronutronic division was sold to Loral Aerospace in 1990, and a few years later it was sold to Lockheed Martin. In 1997 Lockheed Martin relocated the Aeronutronic Division to Orlando, Florida, and about 3,000 of us lost our jobs. Click here to see a 1993 career day video about my job at Ford Aerospace.
Long Beach Fire Department
In November of 1997 I began working part-time at the Long Beach, CA Fire Department, using the Media 100 nonlinear system to edit training videos. I was also in charge of programming The Fire Channel, 63B, and provided many of the voice-overs. At the Long Beach Fire Department's February 2001 Meritorious Awards Luncheon, TV news anchor, Chuck Henry, was the guest announcer, and gave me special recognition for the video clips that were being shown. He said they were some of the best video stories he ever saw. The clips for that show were all edited at DV Post. Let me add that fire fighters are the most amazing human beings I've ever met.
I opened DV Post in June of 1999, using the newly introduced Final Cut Pro editing software. At last, I'm now in a place that isn't going to move out of California! By November of 2001, DV Post had developed enough business so that I was able to leave the part-time position with the fire department. DV Post is now my full-time business and the end result of my life long love of the film/video production process. I feel that being in business for yourself is much more interesting and a lot more challenging than working for an in-house department. Being an outside service means that your relationship with each client is on the line all of the time. You are now in competition with a lot of other good vendors, which makes you work harder and more creatively. It's better for everyone. I eagerly look forward to servicing the video needs of a wide range of clients.
Speaking of a wide range of clients, check out DV Post's Customer List page.
Here is a video that I made for my web site in 2005 or so, called "Experience Counts." It may be 15 years old as of 2020, but it still captures my early film and video making history in a short time. It's sort of a video resume for those who don't like to read.