It was the summer of 1971 in Dallas, Texas, where I was reeling from the collapse of my 1-year old catering business The Little Danish. Both of my previous startups - Hawaiian Swim School and The Pizza Inn - had also quickly failed since at that time I did not know that the two essential functions of a business are innovation AND MARKETING.
I felt I had to get out of Texas and, because I'd become intrigued by a new thing called 'Video,' I should move to Manhattan or San Francisco, where this new medium was flourishing. A college friend now lived in Sausalito and offered me a place to stay until I got my feet on the ground.
Shortly after arriving in Sausalito, I got my hands on one of the early portable cameras arriving from Japan and fell in with the Bay Area's community of 'video freaks.' Because I was now 'following my bliss' instead of trying to be the person others wanted me to become, the Universe seemed to be cooperating with me personally. Doors opened, I met the people I wanted to know, and good luck followed me everywhere. Best of all, I had fallen head over heels in love with the video camera.
Sometimes a breakdown can unexpectedly become a breakthrough.
As a freelancer during my entire career, I've been blessed to have the time, support, and good health to help raise a child, produce five documentaries, write three books, and grow four companies.
My documentary work has focused on extraordinary people - Staying Alive, The 5 Keys to Mastery, Amazing Place - and dimly lit corners of society - Life Without and Hotel Macedonia. I've been able to produce three books - The Laws of Camerawork, Video Rules, and The Mastery Class and a line of video accessories - SteadyBag, PickupStix, LensEnd, and GelFile – used by video and photo professionals worldwide.
I continue to love living in Oakland, California with the wonderful Susan Burgess-Lent, making Neapolitan-ish pizza, sniping for gold in the Sierra Nevada, cooking for my extraordinary daughter Nikole, and being a doting grandpa to Rocco, her pup. Susan and I also enjoy supplying supplemental meals to 14 species of birds at our window feeders. (Below is a male Junco)
That's 2024 Dave on the right with my co-producer/director Troy Jones. We're developing a 10 episode television series to help Americans understand and appreciate the importance and urgency of Reparations for descendants of enslaved Africans.
John Antonelli, Owner, Mill Valley Film Group email@example.com 415.225.3909
Jackie Hunt-Willis, Co-Founder, Jion Academy
Celia Peacock, public health professional firstname.lastname@example.org 301.792.8549