On Aug. 1, 1981 a new cable television channel went live. MTV began airing videos, and started with “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles. Thirty years ago that first video planted the seeds for the revolution that has become how we interact with the world. MTV has offices today in Santa Monica on Colorado Avenue and 26th Street and is a valued resource for jobs in our fair city.

Today, there are hundreds of cable and satellite channels that feed our voracious need for information. YouTube is a major player in the video world and is owned by Google, which has a Downtown Santa Monica office. Search on YouTube and you’ll find an array of videos from the comically amateurish to the professionally polished, on topics as bland as “How to Crochet” to the cringe inducing “How To Field Dress a Deer.”

The Internet has become more than an educational resource and Santa Monica has played a large role in that. For years we were the home base of a little company called Geocities. I worked there for a while in the business development department post law school, before they were bought out by Yahoo, which also has offices here across the street from the Water Garden on 26th Street and Olympic Boulevard.

The park at Yahoo! Center is a lovely place to relax or walk a dog. The gardens are designed to use as little water as possible, and there are tennis courts available. I go there on a semi-regular basis to walk the pooch, but he seems to prefer the water features and ducks across the street at The Water Garden.

As a focal point of media, Santa Monica has many of the resources necessary to enter into the fray. There are the production companies on Olympic, and post houses like SMV on 11th Street, and still others like Loyal Studios on 17th Street that provide turnkey videography, complete with green screen capabilities and craft services.

For a divorce and child custody lawyer to know all of this may seem odd. But there’s a reason. I’ve been developing my website, www.MensFamilyLaw.com with a blog, and books to sell. Those are the traditional ways in which the Internet is used to get people’s attention. Blogging is just writing in a shorter form, and usually quicker than writing a column for the paper, and certainly quicker than writing three books for men on the law.

But as I’ve grown my site, and studied the ways in which people are using the Internet for both entertainment and education, it has become a visual medium. People search for information by using keywords, but they watch videos to learn how the information can help them.

That is why I bought a Flip camera last week. It’s a cool, little high definition video camera that is so easy to use, even I can’t bollix it. The fun I had this weekend shooting extra video around town was invigorating. I shot video of the Santa Monica Pier, the beach, Montana Avenue, all over the city.

I’m going to be using my laptop and this Flip camera to make videos for my website. I had the opportunity to go shopping at Santa Monica Camera on Wilshire Boulevard and Seventh Street. It’s a great little shop, and I’m pretty sure they will be seeing more of me soon.

In my videos I’ll be answering questions, and doing a series on what is available for fathers to do with their kids on the weekend, highlighting all the activities we have in town.

Men generally are more visual and aural creatures, and would prefer to watch someone talking about an activity and showing them how to do something, rather than reading about it. That’s why I think it is important to have videos that showcase all that we have to offer dads. Dads are spending the precious little time they have with their children, and they need quality places to enjoy. By showing them what we have here, I hope to help their relationships.

The revolution started long ago at MTV, and continues today. We’re lucky that in our town, we have many resources to provide that information to the world.



David Pisarra is a family law attorney focusing on father’s rights and men’s Issues in the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or (310) 664-9969.


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