The Hoffman Collection

Hoffman on Hoffman

I started making films at a time when hand-held, sync 16mm camera equipment was new - 2 years after Leacock and Pennybaker produced the first hand-held documentary film on President Kennedy. I've been making national television specials and series, doc style feature films, YouTube videos of all lengths sizes and subjects, educational films and short subjects ever since.

I have done most of my video work with a very select group of independent colleagues where I function as producer, director, cameraperson, sound person, writer, editor, and postproduction supervisor. Today, I work with HD and miniDV equipment, and create, produce, write, shoot, edit and complete my programs. My latest feature film, Sputnik Mania, for example, was made by just two people, me and my editor John Vincent Barrett.

I have always been fascinated by real people stories and by dramatizing those stories using real people as opposed to actors. I am fascinated by the stories and facial expressions and storytelling styles of what I call extraordinary/ordinary people. I have made some videos with or about famous people but most of my videos are about people you never heard of — people who I feel are dramatic enough, entertaining enough, powerful enough and articulate enough to draw an audience and hold their interest.

Music is one of my specialties as I was a professional musician (an oboist) before I began my filmmaking career.

I have also developed a specialty making videos about the activities of the U.S. military, aviation related videos, corporate culture and values videos, and with the coming of YouTube, user generated style videos.

I have won many awards. At one time or another, my programs have won top awards at every major film and video festival in the world.

Today, working with light weight, handheld (and low-cost) HD cameras and unobtrusive high quality ambient mics, I can capture television and feature film quality videos that are oftentimes presented to target audiences using YouTube. My recent work for Verizon Wireless for example, I am perfect in a "user generated" style where I, or the subject of a video, shoots the whole story in a half a day, edits clips of different lengths for target audiences in another half a day, so that I can put the resulting clips up on YouTube 24 hours after they were recorded.

For me, the explosion of YouTube as THE most effective and cost effective way to reach audiences plus my well researched understanding of how audiences are finding my videos through search, have given me and my clients an entirely new way to reach and motivate target some cases, I act as filmmaker creating YouTube videos. In other cases, I provoke 3rd parties, including amateurs, to send me unedited video which I then edit for clients into YouTube clip movies. I also use locally based professionals (by zip code) ) using the national Sagas videographer network.

My collection of programs, like the collection of any veteran documentary filmmaker, is the result of the work that people paid me to create. Not being independently wealthy, I make the programs that others pay forand then set about making each ofthem as entertaining, dramatic, and meaningful to search-based target audiences as I can.

I make programs using a set of communications principles -- rules that I follow:
  • Every video, regardless of length, should be created for a target audience and should tell a story.
  • The most convincing communicators are real people expressing genuine, deeply felt emotions.
  • Real people that can credibly tell stories need to be properly cast and clearly directed to speak to target audiences.
  • Video is better at eliciting emotion and compassion from an audience than at delivering information. Print is better for information.

To see David's currently available programs, click here.

Questions? Suggestions? Please send an email to David Hoffman.

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