Safer at Home – Day Ten


April 12, 2020

The world was given a gift this Easter Sunday, compliments of Andrea Bocelli and YouTube. Kate and I, along with apparently 3.5 million others, watched as the internationally known Italian singer live-streamed a mini-concert from the incomparable setting of the Duomo di Milano.

In the concert, dubbed #MusicforHope, Bocelli sang a series of well known classical religious songs including Ave Maria, Sancta Maria, and Domine Deus standing near the altar of the empty cathedral. While he was singing, the camera often would cut away to street scenes from Milan, London, New York among others. Normally teeming with humanity, these cities showed streets virtually devoid of human life as the corona virus has forced people around the world to change their daily habits.

For his last song, Bocelli ventured out in front of the magnificent facade to sing Amazing Grace to a cathedral square where thousands would normally have been found.  This day, he was alone. And yet his voice was heard by millions who were touched and moved. It just goes to show… one man can make an impact… and a difference.

The Andrea Bocelli Fund is using this concert to help raise money for hospital emergency resources and protective gear. Italy has lost 19,500 citizens to this virus with over 150,000 confirmed cases.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.




April 8, 2020 

Today’s blog comes with a considerable amount of thankfulness. I, like many other small businesses out there, will not be able to survive this time in our country’s history without the patronage of our local communities. I happen to be more fortunate than some as I can continue to function during this “lock-down” with only minor concessions.

Even though I am “quarantining” at home, I have the benefit of owning a small business that is located in a home-like environment. So while I am staying at home most of the time, when the need arises, I can get in my car, drive about five minutes to the little stand-alone 1920s cottage that serves as my studio where my wife and I are the only employees, and “meet” people who make appointments to either drop off or pick up orders. During this time, we are operating under a strict “no contact” rule. They leave the order for me to collect or I leave the finished product for them to pick up once the order is completed. All correspondence or financial transactions are made electronically or over the phone. For the time being, we have decided to keep each other safe by eliminating all person to person contact. But even with these precautions, business has reduced… understandably so.

The government makes great promises about providing financial assistance to small businesses during this time. But quite frankly, that assistance is slow in coming… if it ever will. Our main support will come from the same place it always has… the communities we serve. Without that support, we cease to exist. So I am thankful for the clients who continue to bring me work.

Today I received an order that will help support me through this trying time. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to provide the services I can render to them. I trust they will value the product I will deliver back to them as much as I value their trusting me with the memories they left at my door.

Keep yourselves safe. Support your local small business entities. When all this is over, you’ll be glad you did.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives, and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.

Safer at Home

April 2, 2020 – the eve
Our statewide initiative of “safer at home” because of the COVID-19 virus begins at midnight tonight and ends April 30 so I thought I would document our activities for the next 30 days.  We’ll see how long I can keep it up without getting a little buggy. 
bni zoom.jpg
This morning, I “met” with my BNI (Business Networking International) chapter using a Zoom account. It feels good to still be connected to others even while we are preparing to disconnect and operate from home during this time. I have a feeling we will all become teleconferencing experts before this is all over. But meeting with them did give me some ideas as they all began to explain how they were adapting their varied business models during this pandemic.
Kate and I took what might be our last trip (for a while) to the studio today to determine what we might bring back with us that would be helpful.  Other than cleaning supplies, some coffee pods, and an extra roll of toilet paper, we figured that our two stand-alone devices would be the easiest to relocate.  Moving forward, we will have the ability to scan, crop and color correct 35mm slides and be able to capture and transfer 8mm and Super 8 film all from the safety of our home. Those captured files can be converted to a digital format (mp4) that can be stored on a usb drive. So we will obviously be marketing those services during the next month.
We can accept new orders by mail or overnight carrier to our home address. We will process those jobs at our home and ship them directly back to our clients. Call for more information.
Our videotape and audio tape transfer service requires multiple machines that are interconnected therefore we did not opt to bring those home with us. However, if I read the governor’s instructions properly, there is nothing to prevent me from leaving my home, traveling alone in my car to my empty studio that is five minutes away to process videotape/audiotape orders as long as I do not come into contact with anyone else. We are working up a no-contact dropoff/pickup protocol. Call us at 352-735-8550 for more information.
On a personal note, while we are in self-isolation, we’ll be looking for TV watching opportunities. We’ve already blown through Picard season one; discovered and finished the third season of Designated Survivor; finished all episodes of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and there’s no more Downton Abbey on the horizon. I’ll let you know what our next TV guilty pleasure is going to be.
Stay safe. I’ll touch in tomorrow.