This is an interview that appeared in Issue 2 of Big Time Music Trade Magazine, July 1997.
Interview with Jim Stiles.
Jim Stiles Video Production's.
BIG TIME : Jim can you give us a little of your technical background?
: I attended a technical school for two years in video
production's. I think the most information came from picking
people's brains, networking, I went to the library a lot. Bill
Dunn ( Producer ) was my junior high school science teacher way back
when at Hodgkin's. He referred me to a lot of good reference
book's on video and the business.
worked part time at the local television station, Ch, 9. There I
really was able to structure myself around knowledgeable people.
Later I went independent and started my own video production
business. I started doing work for Sugarloaf U.S.A., Gold's
Gym. At this time I wear a lot of different hat's. I work
part time at the University of Maine-Augusta, ( Audio Visual
Dept.) Going to school for my degree in Library and Information
Science and do video production work. My most steady work besides
the university has been producing wedding video's. I like doing
wedding's because there is always high energy and every one is in a
good mood. Wedding's give me a chance to be creative. i've
never seen two wedding's come out the same, there almost like making a
tie-die T- shirt.
BIG TIME : What kind of Equipment is involved with video production?
: When people look at having a wedding video taped, they can
choose between a one camera shoot or a two camera shoot. i don't
like to use a lot of lighting equipment when I produce wedding's.
I don't like me to noticed that much. I know of some
who like to build it up big, with a lot of fancy lighting ( to
impress), I just don't think that's necessary, big lighting takes away
form the event. I do use Panasonic S-VHS format cameras and
editing equipment. I also provide a duplication service, so
people can get multiple copies at once. All copies are provided
with labeling and cases. I meet with people down town Augusta and
my office is in Gardiner, this is where I handle most of my
BIG TIME : What got you interested in video production's?
: I love movies and I must admit that I am a visual
learner. Some people can read about the Egyptian Pyramids
and get the whole geometric information. Me, I need to see
them. I always learned better from watching the 16mm films in
school. I remember starting on the 8 mm film camera when I was 12
years old, making short films. I started making music video's in
high school. I was in a garage band.
BIG TIME : What instrument did you play?
: Keyboards. I couldn't play very well but the band in my
neighborhood needed keyboards, so I picked up a Korg DW 6000,
synthesizer and volunteered to play in the band. We knew three
songs and played them over and over again, I drove my dad nut's.
I think the fact that I was the only kid with a garage helped also.
: Say if the local cable companies in our four counties
decided to run an hour or two program for local bands. How much
would you say that would help?
: That's a good question. I knew Fox 51 was doing something
like that. I think it's a great idea. Augusta now has
Ch 7. The local vocational station. I would think they
would want to do something to promote school bands, garage bands.
If local access showed local bands, it would let people know that they
are not just making noise. They are in fact musicians.
BIG TIME : What is your experience working with bands?
: I've never made a big Bon Jovi video. And I really don't
think bands can afford a few hundred thousand, just to look
good. Some times I shoot bands or musicians who sound good to
me. I produced Justine Crouse's wedding. He played a few
tunes at the reception and blew me away. He wasn't playing to get
paid or look good, he was doing it because he loved it. And maybe
having the experience on video was a good thing. We spoke about
doing a video at the tavern in Gardiner. What I provide bands, is
a professional video with professional sound. The two must
be related. They can market themselves with the tape or sell them
after the show. Some bands like the visual aspects but do not
like to be in the video's. I remember talking to Bob Caldwell,
with the Boneheads. I was going to make a short film
and asked him if he would be interested in doing the background
music. He ws excited, he thought that would be great. I
asked him if he wanted a video of the band and I would make it for him,
but he did not want that. He wanted to be behind the
scenes. He really did not have a need for a video.
BIG TIME : How can technology increase the exposure for bands?
: I'd say the Internet. The Internet has great sound
and video. It's really not that difficult to get your band on the
Internet. If that isn't exposure, I don't know what is.
People can view a video of the band that they want to check out via the
Internet. There are a lot of sites like this on the Internet.
BIG TIME : What would you say to a band wanting a video?
: Always start with the end in mind first. Make sure
you have a clear visual idea of what it is you want the video to be
used for. Plan, Plan, Plan, consult with people. Get all
your ducks in a row before you head into production.
Production can be expensive, but if you plan well it can be fun.
BIG TIME : So if a band had a video made, you could also provide multiple copies?
: Certainly, I could provide copies to anyone with a
tape. I can duplicate 5 to 5,000 copies. When I
produce a wedding there are always extra copies for the parents,
grandparents, wedding party, etc.. It's just one less step people
have to worry about. If a band wanted a video made we could
handle the production and the distribution of tapes.