WNK: Did you always plan to make a career of fitness? How did you get
GT: Yes, but had no experience in video production. My degree is
in Exercise Physiology. My initial idea for my company was to service aerobic instructors with new moves on video. I knew the concept would work an I took a chance and shot my first video, CIA 1001 in 1988. From there I started learning more about video production and quickly started filming more videos for
WNK: In the early years of fitness videos, the name Greg Twombly was in the credits of nearly all of them. How did you become such a pioneer in fitness video production?
GT: I can actually take the credit for being the
pioneer of "Instructional Videos for
Aerobic Instructors". By putting out my instructional videos, this led
into advanced consumer workout
videos with some of the best instructors in the US. The demand for good
moves and choreography was at a
all time high in the late eighties for instructors. This made it easy for
me to choose the best people for my
videos. The videos not only were good for instructors but made great hard
workouts for the consumer
WNK: How did CIA (the company) get started?
GT: I attented my first fitness conventions in 1986 and 1987. It was impossible to write all the choreography down and remember what was being taught
by the instructors. So I had to find out away to put these instructors
and their moves on video. I then used my own money and a great pre-selling concept to start Creative Instructors Aerobics. I took out two ads in
magazines and raised enough money to pay for the production of CIA 1001.
WNK: Tell me about the first fitness video you ever filmed.
GT: The video was
CIA 1001. I knew nothing about production and it took me 2 days to film four 25 minute segments. I used one camera and shot things twice.
It seemed very time consuming to do things this way. I quickly learned
the tricks of the trade about video
production and learned how to film exercise videos very fast. Time is
money in production work.
WNK: Do you own your studio and equipment?
GT: No I rent all of my production equipment, studio, and staff. I
have different clients who have different needs. I do own my own aerobic
WNK: How many videos (CIA and other) do you produce each year, on average?
GT: 10-20 videos, demos, and small infomercials.
How do you select the instructors for your CIA videos?
GT: We select them by
their popularity in the instructor
training market. If the instructors are out there presenting all the time,
they can sell videos. This helps
promote CIA. We also select local people and unknown people and turn them
into stars. Most of the CIA
Instuctors have gone on to star in fitness TV shows.
WNK: Are CIA instructors typically full time fitness professionals or do they
have "day jobs?" How hard is it to make a living in the fitness
GT: More then half the instructors are full time fitness
consultants and presenters. The others are
great instructors in their city who also work as private trainers,
directors, and club owners. Most of the local
talent I use are part time instructors and full time moms. Its really not
hard to make a living in fitness, if you
are good and can market yourself, you can make some money.
WNK: Which has been your best selling CIA video?
GT: The best selling CIA
Video to date is 9809. The
kickboxing craze has made this happen. It is also the best one. I have
had alot of successful videos because
I try to stay ahead of everyone. If I see something that is in demand, I
will put it on video faster than anyone.