Going global on local video Film to attract businesses might be seen on Internet

September 10, 1997|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,SUN STAFF

A 12-minute Carroll County video may become a serial on the World Wide Web.

At least that's the hope of Cynthia M. Parr -- author, producer and director of the video, which is being produced by the county Economic Development Department.

Parr has written the script in such a way that the video, which portrays "Carroll County to someone who has never been here," can be viewed whole or in segments.

Airing videos in small bites is a necessity on the World Wide Web -- the graphics portion of the Internet -- because it takes so long to load them for viewing.

In most instances, a minute or more of waiting is required for each second of viewing. A half-hour wait to see a 30-second video is not unusual even with fast connections.

The video is divided into segments dealing with Carroll's quality of life, educational system, housing, recreational opportunities and work force.

Each month, the Economic Development Department might feature a different segment on the Web, Parr said.

"It takes a year to 18 months to develop a [business] prospect," she said. "Hopefully, a person considering Carroll as a business site would visit the [Web page] each month and see the next part of the video or ask for the whole tape."

Sharing the whole tape with prospective businesses is exactly what the Economic Development Department intends. It plans to make 250 copies for "distribution as needed." Copies will be available at local libraries and the video might air on local cable television stations, Parr said.

"A tape like this can be a valuable tool for residents," she said. "They can see what we're about -- trying to market the county and maintain a competitive edge."

She hopes local businesses will find the video compelling and that it will remind them why they chose Carroll County.

Despite the $12,500 cost of producing the tape -- "less than half what Frederick County spent on theirs" -- it is "totally professional," Parr said.

She said the music, graphics, special effects and taping equipment meet the "highest quality broadcast standards."

Parr, a former spokeswoman for the County Commissioners, is a former television producer for the NBC affiliate in her native Hagerstown.

She also wrote scripts and produced training tapes for the Navy while at Martin Marietta Corp.

Although she is chief author and producer of the economic development tape, the video is a joint effort.

Local business people play key roles, and members of the county Economic Development Commission "provided a variety of input before, during and after the script was written," she said.

Accordingly, the tape will have its "premiere" at the Economic Development Commission's fall retreat, she said.

Parr hopes that her film will strike an emotional chord among viewers.

Once people see it, "I'd like them to say, 'Gee, Carroll County's pretty cool!' " she said.

Pub Date: 9/09/97

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