Art director John Romeo began a video production company in his spare time that lends its services to weddings, theatre productions, and corporate events in Richmond, VA. Inspired by his grandfather’s films, John started his show in February 2006 as a platform to produce and screen short films, which have a difficult time finding an outlet. His grandfather, Paul Kimaid, was a member of a group of early cinephiles in 1950’s Buffalo, NY, who created home movies to share with each other for their own entertainment. John’s films are different in quality and content from their work, but the website’s idea is the same as his grandfather’s club: self-creation, sharing, and entertainment.
Listed blog-style on the main page, John’s videos and the user-submitted pieces follow a simple format: John introduces the piece, cuts to a featurette (always less than 5 minutes long), gives a few minutes of directorial comments (usually regarding unused footage or the use of special effects), then concludes and rolls the credits, which are often followed by a funny outtake from the film. There’s also the occasional Romeo Theater extra, including a beautifully shot film taken in John’s backyard of a mother bird feeding its two babies, simple and unembellished. But for the most part, his films are sleek and heavily edited, lacking all the trappings of amateur filmmaking. John’s wife BethAnn stars in an episode involving a conversation about the size of their office’s free candy bars. In another, John takes us back in time to 1997, when he shot a very low-budget film in the laundry room of his dormitory called “Kung Fu Laundry”.
One of the first films John published on the site was an edit of “Short Pants,” an old film shot by his grandfather. He dug up the footage, which contains a soundtrack even though sound and film had not been yet been combined on the technology his grandfather had used, gave it a digital transfer, synced the audio with the video, added transitions, and edited down some content, all to create something better than the original. John spends most of the video explaining the technology involved and culture of the period when the brief piece was created, providing some interesting commentary alongside the film.