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November 21, 2013     Beverly Hills Weekly
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people l00profiles Ben Parnassi World of Video and Audio President brought in hi-definition underwater cam- era and had a media wall underwater and out of water to take pictures and video underneath. At the same time, we had live feed going to multiple LED TV's, and on the rooftop marble wall, which is 10 and a half by 14 feet. There was a lot of stuff involved from different switchers, projec- tors, cabling and lighting to bring that event to life. How long has World of Video and Audio been a part of Beverly Hills? Since 1982. You took over the family business. How did it get started? My father, about 30 years ago, opened up an electronic super store and movie rental company in Beverly Hills. We sold high-end electronics and rented videos to the general public and celebrities of the Beverly Hills area. That business transformed into a post-production and rental business of electronic equipment to all of the major hotels in the city. A few clients of ours now include The Beverly Hills Hotel, Sony, CAA, William Morris Endeavor, Paradigm, and The Peninsula. Can you expand on your relationship with the hotels? For example, guests from all over the world stay at different hotels in L.A. or Beverly Hills and the concierge would call us to request multisystem DVD players, laptops, or office equipment for the guests staying at the hotel. What motivated you to take over the family business? I've been going to work with my dad since a very young age and being around technology always fascinated me. I always wanted to learn about different gadgets and be ahead of the curve with technology and the industry in general. Being around it and having the family business -- my uncle is also in a similar industry--made me want to stay and grow in this industry and take over the family business as I got older. What does your uncle do? My uncle owns a video and audio cen- ter. They're in four different locations. They are high end electronic super store that competes directly with Best Buy. What do you fike about running the business? I love running the different aspects of the business. I love business overall from getting the clientele, taking care of their needs, and finding solutions to their prob- lems. [I enjoy] bringing people together, executing the job, and making the clients happy with our services. Tell us how World of Video and Audio Can you tell us an example of how you would put on an event or provide services at the City's major hotels? The hotels have events nonstop and anytime they need anything technology related they give us a call. The hotels introduce us to client and we take care of what's needed for their event. Sometimes, its pretty interesting piece because some- times its starts from a very basic con- cept [and] from the experience that we have, we recommend the newest, latest and greatest technology like projectors or LED lighting to help them create that suc- cessful event. Can you give us an example of an event that you've done? One event that we recently did was for the new Sony tablet at the rooftop of the Thompson Hotel. It was a partnership with Urban Daddy and Sony, where we Worm of Audio and Video is unique. WOVA is now two different divisions. One is World of Media, which is a post- production company, which takes care of transfers, conversions, duplicating, editing, and color correction. The other division is World of Events, which specializes in audio-visual and lighting for special events for hotels, restaurants and event venues. What makes us unique is I think we're the only company that exists that has those two divisions under one main parent company and we're the only company that does what we do in the Beverly Hills area. It makes it very convenient for a lot of our clients who live and work in the area to work with us. Do you have an example of a celebrity or someone in the industry that has used your services? One example, in regards to our post- production division, that stands out is Mel Stewart. He's the director of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He was referred to us by one of our other clients and he came here for the first time a few years ago. Ever since he came [the first time], he came back once every few months minimum to get work done. What's new at World of Video and Audio? In our post-production division, we have a new company coming out this week. It's called www.transferninjas.com. It's a plat- form we have developed so that anyone in the U.S. can log in and purchase the differ- ent services that we offer [such as] trans- ferring home movies, audiocassettes, film, and photos to digital. They'll ship it over to us and we would process the order and ship it back to them. It's all done online. Basically, it specializes in converting trea- sured family memories into digital formats that can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere. What gave you the idea to move your services online? World of Media, our post-production company, is more professional-based. We do a lot of editing, transfers and con- versions for broadcast, agencies, produc- tion companies, and different companies throughout Southern California. We do get a lot of clients sending their home movies and family videos from around the area to us. We said, we're already doing this type of service. Why not put a new division with a different name that focuses on the con- sumers who live in the area and around the U.S.? It gives them a user-friendly experi- ence going to www.transferninjas.com that just focuses on transferring home movies and family videos. You went live this week? Yes. We're working with Google Adwords currently with our different com- panies in regards to paid search. We're doing the same thing now with www. transferninjas.com in partnering with [Google Adwords] to show up in paid sponsored ads. With WOVA, we have been on Groupon, Living Social, Amazon Deals and many other deal sites, so we'll be working with them as well for www. transferninjas.com. You grew up in Beverly Hills. Tell us about that. I was born and raised here the majority of my life. I have three sisters: two older, one younger. I was the only boy in the fam- ily. I went to E1 Rodeo, Beverly, USC for nndergrad, and Pepperdine for my MBA. The business has been open since 1982. Did you imagine the business would become this successful and would expand to online services? Five years ago, I didn't know where this business would take me, but being involved every single day has opened up my eyes to different opportunities. At the end of the day, it's not what I want in business, but finding out what your clients needs are and making them happier by finding a solution. It's been an exciting journey so far. I can't see where it's going to take us in the next five or 10 years, but just in the past five years, when I officially took over, we've rebranded, launched new websites, hired new staff, remodeled our 5,000 square foot facility and acquired a new company in 2009. We acquired Betasp2dvd.com in 2009 and rebranded and re-launched it in 2010. I bought it from one of the major editors of Curious George. What does betasp2dvd.com do? www.Betasp2dvd.com focuses on trans- ferring, digitizing and converting broadcast formats to files, DVDs, and hard drives. This is part of the World of Media division. Under WOVA media, we have two new companies. One is www.betasp2DVD.com and then www.transferninjas.com. So we have a unique website that accommodates a different end user from the general pub- lic for family videos and production/post production professionals that are in the industry. Worm of Video and Audio assisted in con- verting archives of Beverly High musicals into digital files. Worm of Video and Audio is located at 8717 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills. They can be reached at (310) 659- 5959. November 21- November 27, 2013 Page 7 :' ' ',. : " ., " 7 ,"  .? -i). "