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VideoFest Looking Back, Looking Forward: Steve Alford

by Anne Bothwell 28 Sep 2012 5:06 PM

Steve Alford is the founder of Alford Media. But he’s also spent lots of time behind the scenes at VideoFest, and helped develop the 24 Hour Video Race.


To mark the 25th anniversary of Dallas VideoFest, festival veterans are sharing their memories. The series continues with Steve Alford.

I love the Video Association of Dallas.  As a college student many, many years ago, I immersed myself in creative film and video opportunities.  If I wasn’t producing something myself, I was attending film premieres, lecture series, and the like.  I moved to Dallas in 1978 and my career quickly migrated to Corporate Event Staging.  I found myself less and less involved in the “creative” side of productions.  When I met Bart Weiss over twenty years ago, became aware of the Dallas VideoFest, and joined the VAD, I found a group through which I could vicariously nurture my creative side.  Over the years the VideoFest was THE DALLAS FESTIVAL where you could see amazing visual work that would not be showing on your local (or even cable) television stations, and certainly would not be playing at your local theaters.  The VideoFest was also innovative in its embracing and showing of new forms of visual media.

My company excels at providing staging services, and we have been first to the market with much of the new audio-visual technologies over the years.  I was pleased to be in a position to assist Bart with providing the equipment necessary to display some cutting edge visual productions over the years.  My reward was not only seeing some amazing productions, but seeing students and artists of all ages and from all walks of life getting their fifteen minutes of fame.

One VideoFest moment I will never forget was when Steve Allen was recognized as the Ernie Kovacs winner.  I took my then elementary-aged son to the Dallas Museum of Art.  We watched old black and white comedy clips, and then heard Mr. Allen talk about the Golden Age of Television.  An accomplished music composer as well, Mr. Allen wrote and performed songs as audience members would shout out subjects and lines of dialogue.  I was entertained and my son was impressed and amazed.  To this day one of us will throw out a topic and the other will break out in song – albeit not nearly as well as Mr. Allen did.  Another year I volunteered to pick up Ernie Kovac’s widow, the late and great Edie Adams, and drive her to the Festival.  Her sincere appreciation for the honor posthumously given to Ernie by the Dallas Video Association will not soon be forgotten.

In 2001 Bart and Laura Neitzel approached me about helping with a new VAD event, the Dallas 24-Hour Video Race.  As Chairman of the annual event for its first 10 years, I was honored to be a part of its growth and success.  Videographers of all ages come together to compete as they create and produce a five-minute video using a common prop, location and line of dialogue all around the same general theme.  Many have used the experience to catapult their careers while others just enjoy the weekend experience and seeing what they and a group of friends can do together.

The VideoFest and the Dallas 24-Hour Video Race are the result of the vision and devotion of Bart Weiss and the Video Association of Dallas.  Long may they live!