Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tony & Lori Melendez Started a Video Production Company with Home Video Studio 14 Years Ago!

After fourteen years with Home Video Studio, Tony and Lori Melendez have advice for people looking into becoming a Home Video Studio owner: "This is a good time, for people, to go into business for themselves. If you have a passion for video,  Home Video Studio is the best way to do it."
Tony and Lori Melendez at 2016 Hanley Awards

Tony and Lori Melendez, Home Video Studio owners from Amherst, Ohio, reached a  milestone in their Home Video Studio career last spring. Tony puts it like this, "Robert (Hanley, founder and president of Home Video Studio) told us that the day we bought a Home Video Studio we'd never forget the date," says Tony, "and he was right! We decided to become studio owners on May 11, 2002 and we have always cherished that day."

That makes Tony and Lori fourteen year veterans with Home Video. 
Tony and Lori’s involvement with Home Video Studio came by way of a “happy accident.” Tony was a freelance videographer who picked up the phone looking for some advice.

Tony explains, "I had taken on a wedding job and was looking for some technical support and I happened to pick up a Videomaker magazine and saw an ad for Home Video Studio. I was hoping to reach a video expert and soon I was talking to a stranger named Robert Hanley who not only pointed me in the right direction for my technical problem but advised me on some pricing as well."

Of course Robert also advised him of the benefits of affiliating with Home Video Studio and after that call one thing led to another. Tony and Lori were attracted by the notion of being in business "for yourself, but not by yourself." They attended a "Show N Tell Saturday" in Indianapolis and on a red-letter day in May they became studio owners and have enjoyed the income, support, expertise and camaraderie that successful Home Video Studio owners enjoy ever since. 

“You have to have a vision, you have to have a picture of the future you want." 
- Tony Melendez

What are some of the keys that make for this success and longevity? If you're looking for secrets or shortcuts there are none (except for Home Video Studio itself). Tony and Lori simply exhibit that age-old traits that work:

“You have to have a vision,” says Melendez, who started his business in his home and operated out of it for nearly eleven years before moving into a studio store, “you have to have a picture of the future you want.”
Tony and Lori at Getaway 4 in 2004

Tony and Lori have worked as a team their entire married life. Tony spent his career as an educator - teaching and coaching – and, until 2011, ran his business alongside these demands, first on his own and then as a Home Video Studio owner. "A mentor told me when I first started teaching not to put all my eggs in one basket," says Tony. Some teachers paint or clean windows on the side. I liked video so I started my own video business and worked it in the evenings, on weekends and in the summer." Lori, who has a background in marketing and also ran a successful daycare, has partnered with him from the beginning.

Together Tony and Lori took the daily steps necessary to fulfill their dream. It wasn’t an accident.  It was planned and cultivated.

Tony and Lori have also won many Hanleys, international awards for creative excellence, at the HVS Annual Getaway held each year. Among these honors are Studio Owners of the Year, Rookies of the Year, Best Video Production, Best Wedding, Best High Concept Video, Best Sports Scholarship Video, Best of Show and Studio Store of the Year.  

Want to start your own Home Video Studio? Call 1-866-7141956 or go to

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Learning The Art of Video Editing...

Studio Owners David Cason and Scott Doelling
This week at Basic Training in Indianapolis... our two new students – David and Scott will be taking their first classes in video editing. Both David and Scott are a study in contrasts. Scott has been an award winning news videographer for the past thirty years. He has a keen understanding of the mechanics of both video production and editing.  David has always been interested in editing and production, but has yet to edit his first frame of video. David was in the Air Force for twenty years and then was a Pastor until he retired.  I imagine that most of you reading this are somewhere in between Scott and David as far as experience in video. It not your experience that counts, it is your desire to have the experience that makes the difference.

So how do we teach David and Scott editing? How will we teach you? Let me ask you some questions. Do you like learning? Are you a life-long learner? Do you have great anticipation of producing/directing and editing? If you answered yes then learning the process and techniques of video editing will be a fun and rewarding experience. You’ll find yourself really enjoying it. By the way, David is 62 and Scott is 48.

Home Video Studio has a very tried and true method of teaching video editing. We start first with the basics and the fundamentals of editing on a timeline. At Basic Training we will take you through our two-day course on Adobe Premiere Pro. If you are like Scott – you have some experience - then you will be refreshing yourself on editing, timelines, keyframing, etc and… learning the HVS method of post-production. We have a lot of tricks of the trade that we’ll share with you.  Now if you are like David, everything is going to be brand new.  It is going to be even more exciting. You may be apprehensive at first – a little nervous… but once you get the lay of the land, you will find that editing with Premiere Pro is a breeze.

I remember my first true editing experience. While I had edited some Super-8 projects in college, I hadn’t ever done any professional editing. My first editing job was editing job a fifteen-minute 16mm film which I edited on a Moviola flatbed editor. I read a few books and basically I taught myself film editing.  This was back when you had to literally cut and paste!

Learning to edit today with Adobe Premiere Pro is in one way very similar to my old Moviola flatbed days. First we teach you the mechanics of editing: how to import your video and audio; how to find a clip and place it on the timeline; how to make an insert edit, etc. You’ll make your first few practice projects and you’ll begin to understand the editing process. Eventually you’ll learn keyframing, color correction and other advanced techniques.

Once you have basically learned to fly… you can begin and finish a project and you understand the process; then you will start doing work for paying clients. What you will find when you are editing real projects for real people is that you will learn so much more quickly. Your understanding of editing and your editing capabilities will increase dramatically. You’ll be come a real editor!

The next part of our training on video editing comes into play after you have been running your studio for a while – usually three to six months.  You’ll attend a major training and take core classes on editing and post production.

Every March, Home Video Studio puts on a six-day training called Advanced Training.  When you attend Advanced Training you will move to the next levels of editing – hopefully mastering the all of the techniques we teach. You will also begin to integrate other Adobe programs – Photoshop, Audition and After Effects as well as plug-ins by other companies into your editing tool box. You’ll leave AT with a lot of new knowledge and go home to your studio where you will begin to use all of the new techniques that you have learned. Once again you’ll be editing real projects with real paying clients. Now your videos for these clients take on a new level of sophistication. Your projects become more professional. They present themselves on a new level. You the editor; are becoming an artist.

Artistry - learning the art of video editing is an interesting concept. This is what we teach at the Getaway in July. The Getaway is our five-day annual convention and training. Can we teach art? Yes. Can we teach you to be artistic? That depends on you. We can and do immerse you in both video editing and video production classes -  with a twist – you are now making your own projects with complete control – from concept to creation.  You’re working in the HVS backlot. You’re shooting and editing with no recipe. Professionals from around the world are teaching, guiding and helping you learn the “art” of editing. It is really fun and it really works. It’s total immersion. I have seen so many of our studios that started with zero editing experience become masters of the art after going through the HVS system.

So when I landed my first film project, I was both scared and excited! I had never even touched a 16mm camera! Secretly, I wondered if I would even like editing. And if I did like it, would I be good at it? Many of you reading this are thinking the same thing. Can I do it? Will it work? Will I enjoy the business and will I become great at it? Will I get a return on my investment? I had these same questions. What I found out was that once I was into the process of editing my first film, I began to feel comfortable. I liked it! I really enjoyed editing. Before I knew it, I was editing TV commercials, corporate films, my own feature film and a lot of other projects. I became a great editor. 
Denise & Robert Hanley
Then I became a great teacher.

I’d like to be your teacher – your mentor. We have a great teaching team at HVS. It’s not just me. There are many professionals who will teach you all facets of editing, production and running a studio. There’s a lot to Home Video Studio. That’s why we charge big bucks. Taking on a new studio is a huge responsibility. You’ll be a bit scared… up and until you sign your agreement. That's natural. After you come aboard everything changes because you have committed yourself to learning.  You are involved!  You are a studio owner and your are becoming a Producer/Director/Editor. You have a new career! You have a new chapter. 
Will you like editing? Will you enjoy the business? There is only one way to find out for sure.  You’ve got to make that first call to me and eventually you have to give yourself a chance to succeed. Life is for the living. We have a great group of studio owners who will help you succeed. Some of them will become your best friends. 

Call me anytime. We can chat about you and your dreams and making those dreams a reality. Let’s discuss film, movies and this wonderful business.  

Oh… I will keep you updated on Scott and David and their progress. Our next Basic Training starts in late October and we have another one in November. Join us. 

May be Force be with You. 

Robert Hanley
President & Founder Home Video Studio