“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to be kind to others.”


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This screen shows the first page of a 4-page Vocational Info Sheet to assist high school students in making career choices.

BRIEFLY: The camera communicates in language far more emotional than most oral utterances. It telescopes pain and joy, piercing viewers with them. John Prin, video producer, scripts and directs educational videos for businesses, churches, and social agencies. Then, he lets the camera work its magic to move audiences to action.

John Shoots to Live: The Sky's the Limit For Educational Videos

"When I started my own business, I made a huge leap," John Prin says. "It was like jumping out of an airplane at 20,000 feet without a parachute!"
That leap eight years ago turned out well for him. John (49) is owner of JP Mediaworks, Inc., a company that he operates from his home in Minneapolis, Minn. A video scriptwriter, producer, and director, John creates videos for educational purposes. His clients include family counselors, teachers, and persons working for churches, libraries, and the armed forces.

"In my job, the sky is the limit. My own inner barriers and assumptions are my main obstacles to overcome," John says. "When I worked for someone else, the work load was always there when I walked in the door. But, when I own my own company, I must create my work load. If people don't hire me, I don't work or get paid."

John started his company in 1986, setting up JP Mediaworks in the family room of his home. He invested approximately $100,000 in equipment, marketing efforts, support staff, and consulting fees. He bought two computer systems, a copier, and a fax machine; remodeled and rewired his work space; and installed a two-line phone system. He developed a brochure and produced a video drama as a sample of his work. "I also hired advisers to tell me what I was doing wrong or what I could do better," he says.

John Preparing Scene

John (center), cast, and crew prepare to shoot a scene for "Between Planes and Parents" at the airport.

To build his business, John called everybody he knew in business to ask about their video and communication needs. His first job as owner of JP Mediaworks was as a free-lance writer and consultant for a large corporation at which he had previously been employed. "Then, I began working for some smaller companies, and I enjoyed that work a lot more," he says. "I was working directly with the person in charge rather than with layers of management."

Marketing his services to potential clients continues to be a big part of John's work. He finds clients, assesses their needs, and draws up cost estimates of proposed projects. When a client hires him, he writes, produces, directs, and edits videos. Some of the videos John creates portray social issues, for example, family violence or the effects of divorce on children. He also designs marketing and training films for corporations throughout the United States.

Published in 1993