Alum Kevin Comora Realizes
San Francisco Media Dream

6/08


The moment that alumnus Kevin Comora, founder and executive producer of San Francisco Television, set foot in MCCC's TV studio in 1972, he instinctively felt "at home."

The studio on the brand new West Windsor campus, just a few miles from his house, had all the sophisticated technical amenities that fascinated him. "It was fully equipped with lighting, switchers, video decks, monitors and everything a person would need to produce video," said Comora, a graduate of South Brunswick High School who once considered a career in mechanical engineering. "The only element missing was me. I made sure that was taken care of when I enrolled for the fall semester."

Two years later, Comora earned his associate degree in radio and television. According to Comora, MCCC not only provided a technical introduction to the field, it also broadened his critical thinking skills. "I had to learn how to learn," he said. "All of the new tools I was using had a purpose. I remember one of my professors at Mercer telling me that just because there is button or switch doesn't mean you have to use it."

Kevin Comora ('74) is founder and executive producer of San Francisco Television, which creates video tours for visitors to the Bay area.

Following graduation, Comora headed west -- all the way to San Francisco -- and earned his bachelor's degree in Broadcast Communications Arts from San Francisco State University. One of his professors there, Herb Zettl, wrote the book, "Sight Sound Motion," which Comora had used as a Mercer student.

Due to the competitive nature of the television industry and his determination to stay in the San Franscisco area, Comora first worked various odd jobs -- as a cab driver, a tour bus driver for Japanese tourists, a photo lab consultant in a photo processing lab and a house remodeler. In 1981, he purchased a video camera, video deck, lighting kit, microphone and tripod in 1981, and launched his first business venture, Paragon Productions."I produced a lot of consumer videos, everything from weddings and bar mitzvahs to living wills and insurance videos," Comora said. "My slogan was, 'The uses of video are limited only by the imagination.'"

The idea of producing video tours was the result of a brainstorming session with a friend. Their concept was to create a video tour and sell VHS tapes to people around the world who were planning to come to the city.

Today, Comora utilizes all of the knowledge and skills he has acquired over the years to produce programming for San Francisco Television (www.sftv.com), which he founded in 1984. His company, located in Cotati, Ca., a small town in Sonoma County, creates video tours of San Francisco and the Bay Area for guests to watch in their hotel rooms. According to the channel's website, the estimated viewership numbers more than 100,000 people monthly who stay in hotels in and around the city.

Comora oversees his company's entire operation, which includes selling airtime to clients, making sure that staff members address each client's needs, recording voice-overs, selecting music, directing final edits and presenting them to clients for approval. His team also creates and produces advertisements by writing scripts, shooting high-end digital video, and editing and encoding them for insertion on SFTV. The programs he creates are sponsored by advertisers who promote their restaurants, nightclubs, retail stores, transportation companies, attractions and other points of interest.

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