Posted on January 27 2022
50 Years of Keeping It Reel # 3
Changing of the Guard: Phil Vigeant becomes President of Super8 Sound
In 1979, Super8 Sound™ employee and staff accountant Philip Vigeant had the opportunity to purchase the company from Bob Doyle, who founded the company in 1972. Vigeant had first started working for Super8 Sound in 1977 as an accounting intern when he was still a student at Bentley College in Boston. As he saw some of the companies financial struggles during that time, he left the company to pursue other career opportunities in accounting, only to be invited back a few years later by the interim management team trying to keep the company afloat.
After several rounds of negotiations, Phil ended up owning the company. He took the company through bankruptcy to absolve bad debts created by the current management, keeping the name, address, phone number, client lists and most of the products in the catalog. The “interim management,” formed their own company while at Super 8 Sound called Dakota Inc. They were developing cassette recorders that would keep sync with a Super 8 Film Cameras.
In the year that followed Phil asked his girlfriend, Rhonda Schuster to take a leap of faith with him, quit her job in Executive Search and Placement to help rebuild Super8 Sound.
The young couple found a camera tech, Murray Michaels who had grown up with his father Bernies Super 8 Film equipment. The trio worked endlessly in those early years to improve the quality of the equipment and build a customer base.
Many of the old the college and university accounts that had been the pillar of Super8 Sounds business in the early years went on to bring video into their programs, loosing interest in film. But yet, the phone was ringing and independent filmmakers were not ready to trade in their love of shooting real super 8 film.
In the years that followed, Vigeant bought out other small companies in the Boston area including a film lab and a camera repair shop, adding their services to Super8 Sound’s™. Eventually they added film to digital scanning company to the evolving work flow.
One of Rhonda’s first big projects was to start a small magazine called The Independent Producer. Coming from a background in higher education and knowing nothing about film, she reached out to clients and other vendors as be contributing authors. Read about this in our next blog!
(c) Pro8mm 2022. -written by Rhonda Vigeant