INTERNATIONAL VIDEO PROJECTS

INTERNATIONAL VIDEO PROJECTS

BY JON SALM

David Clarke began his career in video production with a part time job at ABC affiliate WLBW Channel 10 in Miami. Clarke, then a student at the University of Miami, was studying to become a dentist. Two weeks later, Clarke had dropped out of school and started working at WLBW full time.

“I was working the switchboard and one of the guys tossed me the keys to his car,” Clarke remembers of one of his first days at the station. “He asked me to go park it. It was a Ford Fairlane 500 and it was just the greatest car ever. I parked his car, walked back to the office, and realized that I wanted to have his job someday. I knew what I wanted to do.”

Arthur Murray crew GOLD SYLLABUS shot in Tampa 2012

Clarke quickly rose through the ranks at WLBW and directed both the 6 o’clock and 11 o’clock evening news. After more than 20 years in the television industry, Clarke decided to break out on his own and founded International Video Projects in 1986. Clarke led a crew of 11 as the company produced videos, not only in Miami and Florida, but all around the world.

“We produced videos in Spain, Peru, and all over the world for the Air Force. We did one in Ethiopia for famine relief, too,” Clarke said.

While working out of Miami, Clarke traveled to Lakeland in 1988 where he met a schoolteacher named Patsy, which “changed the world” for him. The two were married in 1989 and had a son, Cody, in 1992. Clarke relocated to Lakeland while continuing to run International Video Projects out of Miami. He would travel back and forth between Miami and Lakeland throughout the 90s.

Jason Teston editing on MAC27 with Final Cut X

In 2002, Clarke sold the business in Miami, but negotiated the sale in order to keep the International Video Projects name, and moved the business to Lakeland. Working out of Lakeland allowed Clarke to spend more time with his family and raise his son. “I was missing too many soccer games that I didn’t want to miss,” Clarke said of the company’s move to Lakeland.

Clarke’s 11-man operation became a one-man shop and International Video Projects moved into an office on South Florida Avenue near Christina, complete with a lakeside view. The group has since expanded to include writer and narrator Gordon Stevens, Vice President Jason Teston, and a host of professional freelance cameramen, audio engineers and video engineers. Cody Clarke, now a 20-year-old engineering major at UCF, doubles as one of his dad’s freelancers.

While International Video Projects offers full production services from concept to production, some of Clarke’s favorite projects have focused on the history of Florida – from Miami to Lakeland and beyond.

In the early 90s, Clarke befriended Totch Brown, a lifelong Everglades native who Clarke calls “the essence of Old Florida.” Clarke and Brown produced three hourlong documentaries about the Everglades that can often be found playing on PBS. 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the first documentary, “Totch Brown’s tales of the Everglades and 10,000 Islands.”

David C and Dan Kirstner directing in Miami

Closer to home, Clarke produced “The Lake Mirror Story” after getting in touch with Jean Bunch of Historic Lakeland, a nonprofit organization.

“Jean Bunch came to us with the idea to do this project and brought us old films and old pictures. We edited together ‘The Lake Mirror Story’ and it turned out absolutely beautiful. It’s about what Lake Mirror was and what it has become.”

Despite nicknaming himself and his crew “the oldest video crew in Lakeland,” Clarke has no plans to slow down. International Video Projects is located at 6700 South Florida Avenue, Suite #28, can be reached by email at IVPlknd@aol.com, or by phone at (863) 647– 2234.

BAHAMAS PRIDE PSA Nassau 1989

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