Seeking a pre-internet company called "Training Media Services"
December 27, 2017 3:30 AM   Subscribe

The inventor of the Newton household robot from the 80s is my uncle, and as the CEO of his now-folded company, he gave me permission to publish the super cornball promo video, but I am trying to do my due diligence to see whether the production company of the video might still have some rights to it, if it even still exists.

My best lead is simply "Training Media Services" which as a corny computer-blippy logo at the end of the above video, at (linked to time) 7:15. I am in the process of contacting my uncle for input directly as to whether he remembers, but I'd like to still verify it independently.

I'm looking specifically for contact details about any current or previous owner of "Training Media Services" who might somehow still have licensing documentation, such as whether the music/etc is or was fully owned by SynPet or merely licensed to them for promotional use.

Note: A different company called Synpet Technologies has popped up recently in New York, that is unrelated to my uncle's work. I have a custom google search that sends me any new occurrences of "SynPet" whenever they arise, and they've been pinging my radar lately, complicating the search.
posted by Quarter Pincher to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: The promo video is dated ~1989, so the company would need to have existed at or prior to that, naturally..
posted by Quarter Pincher at 3:32 AM on December 27, 2017

Hmm, I think maybe you could start by looking at marketing trade magazines of the era (if they were a larger company) or local directories (if they were a smaller company). I think if it were me, I'd go to the local library and get their opinions on where you could start your search. I doubt they have yellow pages in the archives but there might be something equivalent, like an index of advertisers, or a BBB/Chamber of Commerce directory. Maybe find out if there's a local meetup or trade group of video production people who could help you brainstorm. Or, just call the local TV station and ask some of their video production staff for advice. I used to work in a tiny shop with a couple of video production guys and they would have loved to get a chance to research and/or reminisce. (I also used to work for a media company where my desk phone was frequently mistaken for Editorial and consequently I took a lot of random calls, and I would have been all over figuring out how we could help you out. Mysteries are way more fun than work.)
posted by sldownard at 5:13 AM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I figured that it was a local company, so the city and state of Synpet was relevant. There's an abandoned trademark for SYNPET (for use with robots) from a company called Synpet, Inc. from Boise, ID. So I added Boise to the search.

I got one useful hit from a Boise State University publication dating back to 1996:

"WILLIAM JOSEPH BOGAN, BBA, marketing, '84, is executive director of Training Media Services, a video production firm in Boise."
posted by NormieP at 5:25 AM on December 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

Check your memail. I found a bit more information on a possible successor company.
posted by NormieP at 5:44 AM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all; I'll update with any progress =)
posted by Quarter Pincher at 8:19 AM on December 30, 2017

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