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'Get it done right the first time'

Digital video producer: 'I'm responsible'

Mark T. Schnur, digital video producer
Mark T. Schnur: "Long video projects may take hours to render, and a mistake means redoing the whole thing. Thatís not fun and some clients donít understand."  


Mark T. Schnur


I'm a digital video producer. I own and operate an independent digital video and multimedia production company, Big Ring Productions LLC, in San Antonio, Texas.

We produce digital video and multimedia products for corporate training, marketing and special events. Our capabilities include shooting, editing and producing video, and delivering it on any medium, including Internet streaming video, CD, DVD and videotape.

We also produce multimedia products including computer-based training and marketing pieces. Big Ring Productions has been in business for seven years, and recently registered with the State of Texas as a limited liability corporation. Our primary market is corporate training and marketing, and we sometimes do special jobs such as sports events, things we enjoy. We have clients here in Texas and on the East Coast.

How long have you done this work?

For seven years.

Age and sign

graphic Mark Schnur talks about it being sometimes scary to be responsible for the success of his business. How good would you be -- or are you -- at running your own business?

Pretty good. I'm comfortable with the demands.
Not sure. I don't feel certain that I'm up to it.
Not for me. I'm just not the self-employed type.
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I'm 40, and a Scorpio.


I have a BS in sports science and an MS in parks and recreation, both from Indiana University. I wanted to be a park ranger but there were more jobs available in computers and IT (information technology).

How did you get your current job?

I used some graphics- and video-editing software in a previous job and taught myself to edit digital video and took off from there. I started the business myself after realizing that there's a market for digital videos. Being self-employed is great, but sometimes a little scary when I realize that I'm responsible for the success of the business.

How many hours do you work per week?

Ten to 100, depending on the client and the deadline. Sometimes work is slow, but when there's a tight deadline, we may work all day and all night. I try to work smart and get it done right the first time. Lately business has been good, and itís growing!

What's the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?

First I get coffee, then review any work the computers did overnight. Then I check e-mail, catch up on the news, return phone calls, work on projects and whatever else is hot.

What time do you have lunch? What do you usually eat?

Around noon, at the office. I like PBJs, vegetables and pretzels. On special days we go out for Mexican food. My favorite dish is chicken mole.

What time do things get tense around the office? What makes it that way?

When we have a project on deadline and the computers arenít cooperating. Long video projects may take hours to render, and a mistake means redoing the whole thing. Thatís not fun and some clients donít understand. I try to educate them on the video production process.

If you're having a good day at work, what is it that makes it good?

Delivering a great video project and watching the clients smile when they see it.

How much work, if any, do you take home?

I try to never do this. Home is for relaxing and spending time with my wife and my dog.

What does your work contribute to society?

I really enjoy projects that have social worth, not just the ones that make contributions to clients' bottom lines. We recently did a project for the cityís rape crisis center -- that was very rewarding. I think digital video has the potential to reinvent the way we communicate.

Do you expect to finish your working life in this career?

Mark Schnur mentions his interest in triathlons. A major in the U.S. Army Reserve, he lists among his events the Great Floridian Triathlon, 1998; Ironman Florida, 1998; and the Texas Hill Country Triathlons of 1991 and 1997. His training philosophy sounds a good bit like the way he approaches his work, in minimizing errors the first time: "Just get it done." And we met Schnur when he used our submission form to let us know about his work. Click here to propose your own "Day on the Job" for coverage here at

No, but I can always do it as a part-time job, even after retirement.

If you could have two more careers, what would they be?

I still want to be a park ranger. And if I had the ability, I'd be a professional athlete, perhaps a pro cyclist or triathlete.

Whatís an unforgivable trait in a colleague?

Dishonesty and laziness. Iím a Christian, so I believe in forgiveness.

What do you do to relieve stress?

Ride my bike, train for triathlons, rock climbing, anything outdoors.

What have you been reading lately?

A pictorial history of World War II -- Iím a U.S. Army reservist and like to know our military history. Also ďThe Best of Outside: The First 20 YearsĒ from the editors of Outside magazine (1998, Vintage Books), a collection of short stories.

When you have one of those days on which you don't think you can face the job again, what is it that gets you out the door in the morning and off to work?

Enjoying what I do for work. I really donít have days like that.


• Mark Schnur's Big Ring Productions LLC
• Indiana University

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