In the beginning…
It all started in Florida in 1979, when fitness veteran Arthur Jones’ hired David Liskin and began building a massive new television complex. This gigantic, 5-stage facility was truly of historic proportions. It was home to the largest number of video tape recorders in a single facility, in the world. Cameras, switchers, audio equipment, all of it was first class. There were well over 100 employees, and such an installation could accommodate any conceivable television project.
David founded LMA in 1983. From 1983 – 1986, he lead a small team of dedicated professionals as they participated in creating the then-new industry of consumer video programming for end users. People were starting to get VCRs, as they were the first “video on demand” medium in existence. The industry was still relatively new, and the potential for consumers and professionals to receive training, information and entertainment seemed endless. The exacting skills he honed at Nautilus were just what his clients needed to take full advantage of this new art, in contrast to the sea of “cheap video” startups who had not yet mastered it.
1986 saw the relocation of the company to the San Francisco Bay area. For years we had been favoring west coast production facilities for our projects, and the move out of Florida seemed natural. We prospered through the 80’s and into the turn of the decade.
By 1990, our business model had a very clear direction. We were becoming a “darling” producer for the high tech industry, particularly the many medical device companies, sports medicine and those in the pharmaceutical industry. There were many reasons they relied so heavily on us.
These companies were trailblazers. Often, their product (or even their company) was little more than an idea. Our ability to harness the new world of 3D computer animation to explain how these companies’ devices and concepts would actually work, was the stuff of magic. We had the innate ability explain very complex processes in the most comprehensive manner possible. Our video productions gave industry a new way to sell a product, raise capital, or even take their company to Wallstreet. At the same time, they knew their secrets were safe with LMA.
The proprietary nature of so many of our projects made us begin to think about the wisdom of continuing to operate in the less secure atmosphere of outside production facilities. We were always cautious about the security of intellectual property and had built our reputation on strict confidentiality. We had to admit to ourselves that it would therefore be best to build our own studio, reducing the likelihood of project interruptions and creating the safest possible environment.
This new initiative came to fruition in 1991, when parallel efforts were coincidentally underway by another television professional. The legendary football coach and sports announcer John Madden was considering building a video stage to serve as a location for fulfilling his ever growing duties as a broadcaster and corporate sponsor. His “team” for this new entity was not yet complete. He already had Doug Mann, his engineer from Livermore CA for his “Ace Sports Quiz” and ”John Madden’s Sports Calendar” syndicated radio shows. Both of them were seeking an existing video company to make the new studio complete, in order to avoid putting together the whole video department from scratch. Fate was satisfied when Madden found LMA Film and Video searching for roughly the same thing. On November 1 1991, the studio was finally open for business in Pleasanton.
The following months were a period heavy of activity. The 3,000 square foot shooting stage was the largest in the east bay. It was outfitted with 75 feet of cyclorama, a 16.5 foot lighting grid, and a massive 1,200 amps of power. A state of the art television control room was installed to accommodate the full breadth of needs from live TV, to advanced component video editing, audio sweetening, graphics, and anything else that a full service production facility would be required to provide. Plenty of whisper quiet air conditioning was added to complement the famous coach’s affinity for cold weather. LMA with Goalline, (the production company for the “All Madden Team”) began a new era of technology and sports television production on a solid footing.
LMA and Goal Line both resided here as independent but cooperative production entities. LMA brought our years of experience in sports medicine, music, medical and pharmaceutical video production capabilities, along with a cherry-picked team of tradesmen. Joe Madden (John’s son) managed Goal Line, and leveraged the “All Madden Team” and the stage’s new capabilities to expand into new territories.
In 2010 LMA relocated to Carmel California. We opened a media boutique that specializes in creating original content. Some things have changed, but the most important thing stays the same. We thank our customers for every opportunity we have had to engage in quality work, well intended, and well executed.