Audiovisual & Staging Pioneers

STAGING PIONEERS PRESENT: THE SIXTIES

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For many of us The Sixties isn’t about the early 1960s of JFK, the British Invasion, go-go boots, or the Vietnam War.  For me, The Sixties, is the time when several audiovisual entrepreneurs got their start.  It is also the time of tremendous technology advances. We put a man on the moon!

Those days were unlike any our generation had heard of before, much less experienced. And it all sprang up so quickly.

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Highlights:

  • The birth of Sports Marketing
  • The first laser
  • The Kodak Carousel projector
  • STAGING TECHNIQUES
  • CLAIR BROTHERS
  • The audio cassette
  • The inception of hotel AV commissions (only 15% equipment only!)
  • The plasma display
  • The LCD projector
  • Par 64
  • Wynne AV (later AVW, now Freeman AV)
  • Slide programming
  • Shure SM57 and SM58
  • JACK ROOT enters the AV business
  • STAGE SOUND a.k.a. AUDIO VISUAL AMERICA (later Bauer, TAVS, Caribiner, et. al., now PSAV Phoenix)
  • COMMUNICO (later Maritz Communications)
  • AUDIO VISUAL SYSTEMS, INC. (AVS-Chicago)
  • Christian music influences the audiovisual industry (or perhaps it is the other way around)
  • ¾” U-matic video tape machines
  • The term “multi-media” is coined

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Press play to watch the 18-minute “Sixties” history of Audiovisual and Staging Pioneers:

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Come back in the Fall of 2013 to see the 1970s history of our great industry!

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JUNE 2000: AUDIO VISUAL SERVICES CORPORATION IS BORN

JACK ROOT INTERVIEW – PART 5

Do you sometimes feel like your AV business is not growing fast enough?  Why are others winning larger events and you’re stuck with tiny projects?

Young entrepreneurs should not lose heart. 

In this episode Jack Root, founder of Audio Visual Headquarters (once the country’s largest staging company and after whom most existing national AV companies are modeled), jokes about his meager beginnings. Building AVHQ took many years, long hours, and hard work.

Jack’s business did not grow overnight.    First he needed quality people to establish a reputation and then he had to convince the all-powerful Eastman Kodak Company that he was a serious player.

And if you’re still delivering equipment in your car, well … you’re following in the footsteps of the greatest AV pioneer that ever was.

Click on the icon to hear the 2-minute interview:

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Jack Root passed away in November 2011.  RIP.

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About us: Audiovisual and Staging Pioneers is an assembly of industry groundbreakers whose sole purpose is to gather information on the history of corporate audiovisual and staging.

You can find us on LinkedIn. It is a closed group. To be a member you must be able to provide documented proof that you were employed by an audiovisual production or rental company prior to 1988. You must also be available for a series of interviews and provide any photographs of historic events that you have produced.

JACK ROOT INTERVIEW – PART 4

Building a quality audiovisual company requires the pursuit of top talent.  Jack possessed the business, sales, and organizational skills, but building a world-class staging company meant that an unorthodox recruitment strategy would be necessary to lure the finest technological brainpower in the industry.  Where do you find such people? 

LISTEN TO PART 4 OF THE AUDIO SERIES:

DOUG HUNT INTERVIEW – PART 1

We are taking a short break from the Jack Root series.  We will resume Jack’s interview after he gets the opportunity to review the latest audio clips.

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In March of 2009, we began conducting interviews for the Audiovisual and Staging Pioneers history project.  One of the first pioneers to show an interest was Doug Hunt.  I met Doug at Starbucks one bright and sunny morning in 2009, notebook in hand.  Little did I know, Doug had a recorder in his pocket.  He sent me the recording soon after the interview to help with the writing of the article. It now seems better to publish the recordings of the interviews rather than lengthy articles.

 In Part 1 Doug discusses the inception of multi-image programming. As far as we know, slide projector programming began in the mid 1960s. Staging Techniques would retrofit the Kodak 550 projector to higher light output. It could accept commands from a programming device. Eventually programming advanced to give birth to a company called AVL … and ultimately widescreen productions.

 Listen to part 1 of the Doug Hunt interview:

NOTE: PLEASE PARDON THE POOR AUDIO QUALITY.  I DID NOT KNOW AT THE TIME WE WOULD BE USING A POCKET RECORDER.  THE CONTENT IS EXCELLENT; THEREFORE I DECIDED TO GO FORWARD WITH THE ORIGINAL.  I DID MY BEST TO CLEAN IT UP USING SONY SOUNDFORGE SOFTWARE.

JACK ROOT INTERVIEW – PART 3

Jack is tired of traveling and looks to the future.  He searches for a new career in business communications. When asked what prepared him to go out on his own, he points to a variety of things: reading the Wall Street Journal, growing up in an entrepreneurial family, and a love for photography. He had learnt promotions and design and how to lead a sales organization from his former employer.  But serving in the U.S. Marine Corps is where he found the most important skill of all …

LISTEN TO PART 3 OF THE AUDIO SERIES:

JACK ROOT INTERVIEW – PART 2

Jack Root ponders how the furniture industry could use presentation technology. He catches the AV bug, changes career at age 44, and jumps in full time by acquiring Audio Photo Services in 1967.  Along with the package come three hotel contracts: The Los Angeles Biltmore, the Century Plaza, and the Beverly Hilton. The commission rate paid at the time is …

LISTEN TO PART 2 OF THE AUDIO SERIES:

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