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Allen Zagel
Allen Zagel
ASX Media Group
Elgin, Illinois USA
Elgin, Illinois USA

My first foray into video/film was back in 1961 when my father bought me a wind-up 8mm camera to take overseas in the Air Force.  Still got a lot of that old 'film' I hope to get on DVD sometime.  Then in 1976 or so I got one of the first portable VHS cameras, a Zenith VM7030 which I still have.  That was one of the first "all-in-one" portable VHS cameras.  Got 20 minutes on the batteries.  I guess in those days it was destructive editing and I never got involved with that.

Never got into film/video much more than just shooting film.  After the Air Force in 1964 I went to work for the transit company in Chicago driving subway trains and stayed there until 1971 working my way up to supervisor.  Then in 1973 went to work on the then Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, known as "The Milwaukee Road".  A short stint as a brakeman and then into the engine training as an engineer. Stayed there as a locomotive engineer until I retired in August 2007, having done  a few years as a supervisor.  Chicago's Metra came into being around 2001 after the Milwaukee Road was sold to the then Soo Line and later the CP. 

Married in 1971 to a wonderful gal and had a daughter.  But my wife died in 1995.  Met and married another wonderful lady in China in 1999. She was a widow also and had a son 13.

Fast forward in time to 2002.  Sony was coming out with a new digital MiniDV camera, a TRS (or TSR) 20.  Highly anticipated.  I decided to wait though as we were going back to Shanghai for a visit with a stop to change planes in Tokyo.  So I thought I'd get that camera cheaper either in China or Tokyo.  Didn't work out that way because in Tokyo it was much more expensive and China wasn't into digital yet.  So when we got back in August 2002 I bought that camera and that started me in video.  I don't remember but I think a free version of Vegas came with that camera.  I met Video Guy's about that time and bought the Pinnacle DV500+ box that came with Premiere 5 if I remember right.  Moved up to Sonic Fondry's Vegas 5 months later, and been with Vegas ever since.

Produced 2 videos on China in 2002; a "Family tour of Shanghai" and a "China Trains in Shanghai".  Recently conmbined into 1 DVD and still selling.  Now working on another China Tour video as well as some DVD's on Europe.  Started doing technical video work for the railroad back about that time also.  I had also moved up to a Sony VX2000 camera. Still using Vegas and found the Cow forums and have been living here ever since.

Recently certified as a Certified Legal Video Specialist and bought a Sony DSR-250.  The full size DVCAM feature is great and 85% of me technical and legal video work still goes to MPEG-1 on CD's.  Maybe one day I'll have to move up to HD/HDV.

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