Border Collie Fact Sheets

Producing my first video – Starting a Border Collie


StartingYourBorderCollie 211x300 Producing my first video – Starting a Border Collie

In 1981 I was competing in a sheepdog trial in Saskatchewan. The local school in Carnduff had recently bought a video camera and one of the students recorded the whole event. After the trial we all went to the school and watched our runs on their TV.. This was the first video camera I had seen and I was just amazed at the possibilities especially as I had always been a very keen photographer. I now dreamt of owning my own video camera, but they were expensive at that time.

Through this time I had often been asked to write the odd article about training Border Collies. These articles were always well received and so in 1983 I decided that “it was time to take the plunge” and make up a video on starting Border Collies. So I proceeded to buy my first camera. With a friend’s help, I wrote out a plan and then went and filmed the pieces I needed for the video. Editing was out of the question as the quality loss editing with VHS was so great that by the 3rd generation I would have little left to show the viewer. So I shot, rewound, checked the footage, reshot again and so the process continued. I eventually ended up with a 2 hour video called Starting a Border Collie.

When I started this project my intentions for the use of this final program was as a training guide for my puppy buyers. I had no further intentions than that. At that time, there were no other commercially available video programs offered on training Border Collies anywhere, whether in the UK or North America, and the idea of a wide distribution hadn’t really occurred to me. After I had finished the video, a neighboring sheep farmer, to where we lived in Nova Scotia, asked me what plans I had for the video now that I had finished it. I told him that if I managed to sell 25 copies at $40 each I would retrieve much of my investment in my camera, and I would be happy at that. I remember him laughing, “You’ll never sell 25 copies of a video on training Border Collies. Who do you think will buy it?”. Soon afterwards a fellow in Ontario saw a copy of the tape. Following that, a visitor to Nova Scotia, from Florida, borrowed a tape that I had given to a friend. Both wrote to me telling me to advertise the video as it was a great idea. So I did. The response over the next few years was overwhelming.

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