By Paula Moss




UMA Productions
Have you ever wanted to "do" Tai Chi, but didn't know how or where to start? Well, this 45-minute video might just be the place. Tai Chi is a 2,500-year-old system of moving meditation that encompasses the yin and yang of the universe: positive, negative, male, female, firmness, softness, light, dark, activity and inactivity. Described as energy flow, it engages the body, mind and inner flow of force.

Inspired by the natural movements of animals it is graceful and serene. Building on the principles of relaxed breathing, gentle movement, and empty mind, it is both relaxing and energizing.

This video makes a complex discipline easier by breaking the instructions down to upper body warm-ups, lower body stances and stepping, and then combines both to begin the techniques of the movements and finally displays the forms. The video encourages those who are interested to find a class or person to learn from. I would say it is necessary. Tai Chi is truly an awe-inspiring form of "exercise" but is complex and deserves to be done correctly.

This is by far the best video on the subject that I have seen to date, but it is asking a lot of a video to be the only instruction. Still, it will give you some basics and help your coordination and confidence. If you are having difficulty following along when facing the television, try putting a full-length mirror next to the screen to make your movements in; it may help.

This video can be ordered from Superior Video Promotions at (847) 381-0909.


Miramar Productions
The video box bills it as "a breathtaking visual tour through some of America's most beautiful National Parks", and it is. This is a thirty-six minute journey with a backdrop of background music by various instrumental recording artists, but does not contain narration or titles. The parks are listed on the back of the video box, but there is no mention of them in the actual video. Furthermore, the box does not list the states in which they are located, so you had better know your geography!

Nevertheless, the tour consists of the Grand Canyon, Ranier National Park and the Pacific Northwest, White Sands National Monument, Yellow-stone, the Southwests' arches, can-yonlands and Bryce Canyon, the Carlsbad Caverns and Olympic National Park ‹ seven treasures in all.

Regardless of the breeze-through tour, it is breathtaking. The photography is top-notch and the musical selections well thought out. This would make a great accompanying video for an exercise session or a meditation, especially since it is a forty-minute timeframe. I also think this would be a great help in deciding travel plans, as it covers seven places. Actually it is just a beautiful video of some of the most incredible nature scenes, and a good reminder that we are privileged to have these resources and should strive to ensure they remain for future generations to enjoy!

This video can be ordered from Superior Video Promotions at (847) 381-0909.


An American Visions Presentation
Talk about purple mountains majesty! The photograph on the video box is just that, purple mist-covered mountains, and that is just the box. Inside the box is a 60-minute video presentation of four of America's national treasures. Washington state's rugged Olympic Park, the fearsome Great Smoky Mountains, Maine's picturesque Acadia and the truly incredible, colossal Grand Canyon are the chosen four. The opening credits ascribe the video to the artists, landscape photographers, musicians and film makers who worked on the project making it a "collection of inspired art", I would say an inspired collection of moving art.

The video is narrated in an almost poetic style, sparse and subdued; it is conducive to meditation, stress relief, or as an ideal background video for an office waiting room! (Much better choice than those soap operas) The video photography is superb and the background musical selections, composed and performed by recording artist Jackson Berkey, are in keeping with the tone of the presentation. I found it relaxing to watch.

Peppered with facts, it was informative and educational in a subtle way. I am not sure how helpful it would be for travel planning because it only shows four parks, but it doesn't take away from its usefulness. Great video for the photography lover.

This video can be ordered from Superior Video Promotions at (847) 381-0909.


A Close Encounter with Nature

"Secrets" is a 60-minute video produced by Skyfire. The visit is narrated in story fashion by Jim Mitchell. The video photography of this wild beautiful area is an interesting divergence of camera angles, scored by a melange of musical selections. The video scans through rivers, beaches and pictorial bridges that interlace in and around the Pacific Coast of Oregon and the glorious redwood forests of California.

The ocean "Secrets" are revealed through indigenous birds and harbor seals, lighthouses, sand dunes ‹ a living, everchanging landscape. There is an interview with fisherman Fred Taylor, regarding the maritime industry. There is even a shipwreck story.

The "Secret" ends with the sun setting into a resplendent night scene and the ensuing fog-enshrouded dawn. The style of this video would lend itself exceptionally well to educational purposes. The storytelling format would be ideal for holding the interest of children. It would also be a help in travel planning, as it mentions several specific river and bridge locations along the Pacific Coast.

Following the end of the video are a few coming-attraction-style introductions to other videos in the Skyfire family. Any one of them would be suitable for painlessly educating children about a subject. Well produced and directed, they are quality videos.

This video can be ordered from Superior Video Promotions at (847) 381-0909.

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