Video Kitchen

By Paul Moffett

Until recently, if you shot a music video (or any other video) and then tried to find somewhere to edit it into a usable product, you would have run into the same problem Carlile Crutcher did -- there were no available editing stations for rent, and the rates the professionals charge to handle that editing can be prohibitive.

It's a problem no more. Enter the Video Kitchen, Crutcher's answer to his -- and your -- editing problem.

At the Video Kitchen, located at 2323 Bardstown Road, video editing equipment can be rented at rates beginning at $9 per hour. Crutcher compares the Video Kitchen to Kinko's copy shop.

"It's not as easy as pushing that green copier button," he said, "but it is easier than learning to drive a car."

He began the journey to opening the Video Kitchen when he and his wife Louise took a video camera along on a trip to China. On their return, he went in search of a means of editing down the six or seven hours of tapes. It proved to be a lengthy search.

Crutcher talked with local video stores and video production companies, but the rates were too high for what he wanted to do. The major shops ran as high as $100 an hour and were not particularly willing to wade through six hours of tape even at that price.

He tried hooking up his camera to his home VCR, with less than satisfactory results.

After more struggle, he began to see an opportunity for a business. A trip to the West Coast allowed him to educate himself about what kind of equipment was available. He wound up buying locally, so he could have technical support close by.

He and his wife assembled a business plan, figured out how many stations they needed, bought the equipment and opened the store just before Christmas.

"The music community has been strong," Crutcher noted, admitting that he had not really thought about musicians as a major source of business. He also acknowledged that he hadn't realized that the Video Toaster would attract as much business as it has.

The Video Toaster is the gadget that does a lot of the neat stuff on music videos -- cut and paste, spins, zoom, rolls, and on and on. It's the device that kids go straight for, according to Crutcher.

The staff provides basic instruction in how to use the equipment and assistance as needed. The uses to which it's put are limited by the imagination of the user.

"We have a genealogist who uses our equipment to scan in photographs and output them as WordPerfect files," remarked Crutcher, "and he's tickled to death" with the resulting half-tones which he places directly into a book he's writing.

"We can time-code videos as well," he said, making it possible to synchronize music and video to within hundredths of a second. He said that the Video Kitchen has MIDI capability but not SMPTE.

In addition to the basic editing stations, the Video Kitchen has a conversion station, a studio with a camera, a PC /Video interface and the Video Toaster. Rates range from $9 an hour to $29 an hour.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. The telephone number is (502) 458-4411.

Crutcher pointed out one other outstanding reason for utilizing the Video Kitchen's equipment:

"It's fun."