The RETV Story: Part 1 – “The Next Big Thing”

Posted in News by Resource Magazine on March 18, 2011

Alex, Aurelie and Adam of Resource Magazine

By Adam Sherwin

This is the story of how one man with no budget, begged and borrowed (but never stole!) from the entire photo industry and beyond to help him on his quest to create the ‘next big thing’ in the photo world.

Little did I know, when I walked into the office of Resource Magazine, that I was about to embark on a journey that would bring everything I had, from relationships to sanity, to the brink. The second the word RETV came out of my mouth, everything changed.

After five years as a successful Digital Tech and running a small digital rental company for my friends and partners of ten years, I moved back to NY from LA to run their new photo studio. Several months later, a falling out over a difference of opinion, I had no choice but  to move on. Left with little savings and a complete disgust for the work-a-day grind of a file jockey, I was left with few options.

While working at the studio, I had the idea to create a multimedia website highlighting the day-to-day operations and general goings-on around the studio. I thought it would be interesting window into the life of New York City photo studio dwellers.

One day, I noticed a woman in a slim black blazer over a hoodie, tight black jeans, black leather boots and aviator glasses walking confidently into the studio. She wanted to sell me an ad in a new magazine she had founded, Resource. Her name was Alex Niki. For those of you who don’t know her, this girl could sell sand at the beach, so she pretty much had me at hello. Of course, I bought the ad.

After agreeing to buy the ad space, the studio owners reneged when the bill came due. I decided the only course of action was to pay for the advertisement out of my own pocket. I couldn’t let down one of the few people in New York that had extended me a welcoming hand and tried to help me put the new studio on the map. Little did I know that, by buying this ad, I’d be winning the trust and admiration of my future partners.

I still remember walking into the small, windowless office of Resource with my tail between my legs and meeting, not just with Alex, but also her partner, Aurelie Jezequel. They both sat facing the door behind a large, long desk, judge-like, as I took a solitary seat in front of them. If ever I was intimidated, it was this moment. But, to my surprise, they were incredibly understanding of the situation and cut me a mercifully good deal.

Only a few weeks later, I left the studio I’d been working at. With a dearth of options I decided to approach Alex and Aurelie and discuss how we could work together.

They had been kicking around the idea of some sort of video content but, with a successful magazine to run, they needed someone to spearhead the initiative. I leaped at the opportunity, not only to work with what I considered an amazing company, but I realized this was my shot at pursuing the abandoned video project from the studio.

For Resource, the vision of comprehensive industry coverage matched the editorial mission of the equally wide-ranging magazine. The writing was on the wall: the industry needed a source to bridge the gap between stills and motion – a place for photographers and cinematographers to come and share stories and information. A place where people in our industry could watch content, not just from Resource Magazine but from photo and motion industries around the world. Manufacturers, suppliers, agencies and individuals could use RETV as a hub to send their content out to the world, making it a ‘one-stop shop’ for everyone in the industry, in whatever degree, drawing in not only existing customers but reaching new customers as well. And with that, Resource Television was born.

Coming soon: Part 2 – Making great videos is hard. Making a great video website is even harder.

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