Vin Di Bona

Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Vin Di Bona talks about his early years appearing in Summer Stock productions and his time on the radio as a disc jockey. He recalls his days at Emerson College, where he met Henry Winkler - his future producing partner on MacGyver. He outlines his stint as a director at WBZ in Boston, which led to him producing several socially-conscious television documentaries such as Zoot Suit and Project Parenting. Di Bona discusses producing Entertainment Tonight, On Stage America, and Papal Space Bridge '87, the latter of which he worked on with Pope John Paul II. He speaks at length about creating, producing, and directing America's Funniest Home Videos, discussing all aspects of the show including video selection, hosts Bob Saget and Tom Bergeron, the longevity of the show, its various spin-offs, and its legacy. He talks about producing various other shows, including a 1991 revival of Candid Camera, DreamMaker with Richard Simmons, and Trump Unauthorized. Jenni Matz conducted the interview on January 13, 2015 in West Los Angeles, California.

"A woman came up to me and said, 'I started watching 'America's Funniest Home Videos' when I was a kid and now I'm watching it with my kid. My childhood comes alive through my child when your show is on the air.' Our niche is family programming and I'm very proud of that."

Highlights
Vin Di Bona on creating America's Funniest Home Videos
02:48
Vin Di Bona on casting Bob Saget as host of America's Funniest Home Videos
03:02
Vin Di Bona on how he came to produce MacGyver  with Henry Winkler 
01:52
Vin Di Bona on producing Entertainment Tonight
07:05
Vin Di Bona on the then-future of user-generated content on television 
02:03
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on appearing in various shows in Summer Stock in his youth and being on the radio; on attending Emerson College
On the first time he saw television and early shows he watched; on going to UCLA grad school and changing his career plans; on learning about documentary storytelling at UCLA
On his first television job at WBZ in Boston and becoming a director; on returning to LA after his stint in Boston; on working at KNXT and stage managing Wheel of Fortune 
On making various documentaries at KNXT like Project Parenting  and Zoot Suit; on choosing subjects for his documentaries

Chapter 2

On producing the series On Stage America;  on mentors Nick Vanoff, Gary Smith, and Dwight Hemion; on producing MacGyver
On starting Vin Di Bona Productions to produce Animal Crack-Ups; on working with Father Ellwood Kieser and producing Papal Space Bridge '87  with Pope John Paul II
On creating America's Funniest Home Videos; on pitching America's Funniest Home Videos  to ABC and the initial reaction to the show; on casting Bob Saget and Tom Bergeron as hosts of America's Funniest Home Videos
On his producing style on America's Funniest Home Videos; on directing America's Funniest Home Videos; on the sound effects and music of America's Funniest Home Videos,  the volume of submissions, and the standards of the show
On how social media and You Tube have affected America's Funniest Home Videos; on keeping America's Funniest Home Videos  fresh; on the impact and legacy of America's Funniest Home Videos  on popular culture; on America's Funniest Home Videos  spin-off shows
On producing the 1991 revival of Candid Camera; on producing Maximum Drive  and Sherman Oaks; on producing the series DreamMaker  starring Richard Simmons; on balancing his entertainment side and the journalistic side and then-current projects

Chapter 3

On his then-future plans; on advice to an aspiring producer; on the then-future of user-generated content on television; on career highlights and his contribution to television history
Shows

America's Funniest Home Videos

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Vin Di Bona on creating America's Funniest Home Videos
02:48
Vin Di Bona on pitching America's Funniest Home Videos to ABC and initial reaction to the show
03:42
Vin Di Bona on casting Bob Saget as host of America's Funniest Home Videos
03:02
Vin Di Bona on the shifting time slots and hosts of America's Funniest Home Videos  and casting Tom Bergeron
04:38
Vin Di Bona on his producing style for America's Funniest Home Videos
01:44
Vin Di Bona on the selection process for the videos on America's Funniest Home Videos  and the format of the show
05:44
Vin Di Bona on directing America's Funniest Home Videos 
00:38
Vin Di Bona on the sound effects and music of America's Funniest Home Videos,  the volume of submissions, and the standards of the show
05:49
Vin Di Bona on America's Funniest Home Videos being sensitive to news events 
00:57
Vin Di Bona on America's Funniest Home Videos' studio audience
01:32
Vin Di Bona on how social media and YouTube have affected America's Funniest Home Videos
04:00
Vin Di Bona on keeping America's Funniest Home Videos fresh after 25 years and the longevity of the show
02:12
Vin Di Bona on an America's Funniest Home Videos  collection being added to the Smithsonian
01:52
Vin Di Bona on the producers and staff of America's Funniest Home Videos
02:06
Vin Di Bona on the impact and legacy of America's Funniest Home Videos on popular culture
04:19
Vin Di Bona on his favorite America's Funniest Home Videos clips
01:46
Vin Di Bona on America's Funniest Home Videos  spin-off shows
01:11
Vin Di Bona on America's Funniest Home Videos 25th Anniversary
01:12

Candid Camera

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Vin Di Bona on producing the 1991 revival of Candid Camera
03:13

Entertainment Tonight

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Vin Di Bona on producing Entertainment Tonight
07:05

MacGyver

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Vin Di Bona on how he came to produce MacGyver with Henry Winkler 
01:52
Vin Di Bona on casting Richard Dean Anderson as "MacGyver" in MacGyver
00:53
Vin Di Bona on his duties on MacGyver as line producer and second unit director
02:17

Wheel of Fortune

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Vin Di Bona on working at KNXT and stage managing Wheel of Fortune
02:11
Topics

Advice

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Vin Di Bona on advice given to him by Dick Clark
01:39
Vin Di Bona on advice to an aspiring producer
03:20

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Vin Di Bona on mentors Nick Vanoff, Gary Smith, and Dwight Hemion
03:57

First Big Break

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Vin Di Bona on his first television job at WBZ in Boston and becoming a director
07:40

New Media

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Vin Di Bona on how social media and YouTube have affected America's Funniest Home Videos
04:00
Vin Di Bona on the then-future of user-generated content on television 
02:03

Pivotal Career Moments

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Vin Di Bona on his first television job at WBZ in Boston and becoming a director
07:40

Television Industry

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Vin Di Bona on advice given to him by Dick Clark
01:39
Vin Di Bona on how social media and YouTube have affected America's Funniest Home Videos
04:00
Vin Di Bona on advice to an aspiring producer
03:20
Vin Di Bona on the then-future of user-generated content on television 
02:03
Professions

Producers

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Vin Di Bona on advice to aspiring producers and show creators
03:20

Show Creators

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Vin Di Bona on his producing style for America's Funniest Home Videos
01:44
Vin Di Bona on advice to aspiring producers and show creators
03:20
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

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Vin Di Bona on producing MacGyver
05:02

Comedy Series

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Vin Di Bona on creating and producing America's Funniest Home Videos 
48:47
Vin Di Bona on producing the 1991 revival of Candid Camera  
03:16

Game Shows

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Vin Di Bona on producing Animal Crack-Ups
09:04

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Vin Di Bona on producing On Stage America
07:38

News and Documentary

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Vin Di Bona on producing Entertainment Tonight
07:05
People

Richard Dean Anderson

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Vin Di Bona on casting Richard Dean Anderson as "MacGyver" in MacGyver
00:53

Tom Bergeron

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Vin Di Bona on the shifting time slots and hosts of America's Funniest Home Videos and casting Tom Bergeron
00:01

Shelley Berman

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Vin Di Bona on producing the series On Stage America  - the first episode of which featured Shelley Berman 
07:35

Dick Clark

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Vin Di Bona on advice given to him by Dick Clark
01:39

Allen Funt

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Vin Di Bona on producing the 1991 revival of Candid Camera  created by Allen Funt
03:16

Dwight Hemion

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Vin Di Bona on mentors Nick Vanoff, Gary Smith, and Dwight Hemion>
03:57

Pope John Paul II

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Vin Di Bona on working with Father Ellwood Kieser and producing Papal Space Bridge '87  with Pope John Paul II
01:08

Bob Saget

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Vin Di Bona on casting Bob Saget as host of America's Funniest Home Videos
03:02

Richard Simmons

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Vin Di Bona on producing the series DreamMaker  starring Richard Simmons
01:30

Gary Smith

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Vin Di Bona on mentors Nick Vanoff, Gary Smith, and Dwight Hemion>
03:57

Nick Vanoff

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Vin Di Bona on mentors Nick Vanoff, Gary Smith, and Dwight Hemion>
03:57

Henry Winkler

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Vin Di Bona on attending Emerson College with Henry Winkler
05:46
Vin Di Bona on how he came to produce MacGyver  with Henry Winkler
01:52

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