Hobby turns into thriving service

BELMONT-Taking a look at what was lacking in local services prompted Mike Wallace of Belmont to turn a hobby into a business. “I’ve always been into computers,” and Wallace says his interest in video and production has grown steadily over the years.

After the market research, Wallace and wife Kristen purchased a franchise with Home Video Studio, opened in May and now provide video tape transfers to DVD, help clients organize and edit home movies and produce videos for training, events and Web sites.

“We have video services for everybody,” said Kristen, who added that bringing one tape to transfer is okay. HVS is equipped to work on one tape as well as boxes of tapes. The computer system is state-of-the-art with HVS proprietary software that automatically detects scene and tape changes and creates a corresponding thumbnail and chapter index. Viewers can select chapters or watch the complete DVD.

Other products HVS offers include legal videos, “Family Time” videos, “This is Your LifeTime” videos, Mac/PC conversions and converting DVDs to international formats.

Duplicating and enhancing surveillance tapes, or editing them to show only the relevant clips are part of the legal video services, as are filming depositions for court.

Many “Family Time” videos have a theme that links all or parts of family movies together. For instance parents may group videos for each child on separate DVDs; a family may consolidate several videos and clips from a reunion onto one DVD; clips from a child’s sports videos can be assembled.

A “LifeTime” video is done in documentary style incorporating photos, slides and movies of a person’s history. The featured person or another narrator talks about the photos and the people in them. Wallace recommends this for grandparents or family members who want future generations to know about the family history.

With high definition cameras, wireless microphones and lighting, HVS helps small businesses produce training videos, commercials, videos for Web sites and videos documenting events or conferences. HVS is also part of a network of more than 70 studios in the United States, Canada and Europe, so for large productions Wallace can call on other trained videographers to assist. He also creates looping DVDs for trade shows.

Wallace says that some clients are specific about how their projects are done, and others give him license to use his judgment. Still others know how they want the end product to appear but don’t know how to get there. He says he’s comfortable with any scenario, though it’s nice to work with some input on direction.

Most of all, the Wallaces don’t want people to think this type of service is too expensive to preserve the family memories. While slides, film and tape deteriorate and fade with time, all videos are loaded onto 100 year archival DVDs, the best quality on the market. Some customers also archive important documents such as deeds, insurance papers and birth certificates, since the DVDs are water and heat resistant. “People might think the process is difficult or time consuming, but we’re here to make it not difficult or time consuming.”

Tape transfer prices are posted online at www.homevideostudio.com. One tape transfer begins at $19.95, but prices decrease with quantity and with duplicate DVDs. Wallace can quote other services specific to the project.

New products include school application videos incorporating not just sports, but arts, music and other activities. HVS will be offering a new more durable platinum archival DVD next month, and Wallace said he’ll be offering “green screen” production soon.

Their location off Interstate 70 eastbound exit 208, in the Bel-Morr Market (which he and Kristen own,) brings in clients who travel through the area regularly, dropping off then picking up when traveling through again. HVS also offers its own local pick-up/drop-off service to Wheeling and the St. Clairsville to Barnesville area.

The Web site describes a complete list of services, but Wallace can answer questions at 740-782-1910 or toll-free 855-498-4336 and email at mike.w@homevideostudio.com. The office is located at 66440 Belmont Morristown Road.

Valenti can be reached at gvalenti@timesleaderonline.com.