OMM continues filming
At one time Army run, the company now exists independently
by Christin Davis –
When VHS and beta video were first making their appearances, OMM, once the Office of Media Ministries, was initiated as a video resource department for The Salvation Army’s Texas Division.
Created through an endowment in 1981, OMM—now Original Moving Media—received international recognition for their video production—especially for their documentaries about the Army’s work in places like Africa, India, China, Pakistan, Japan and Russia.
A cutting edge media program
The current OMM director, Stan Gilbert, joined the department in 1990. “I was sold when I saw what the Army was doing,” he said.
“I don’t think people realize when The Salvation Army put together this media program in the 80s it was really cutting edge,” Gilbert said. “It was the modern equivalent of the brass band on the street corner—the Army’s farsightedness has always impressed me.”
Within the United States, OMM has produced commercials, fundraising videos and promotional pieces for all four territories.
They handled video at the international youth congress in the 90s and the international congress in 2000, documented many High Councils in their decision for new generals and covered the Army’s work at significant events in history. At the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the 2001 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, OMM was the only video crew allowed beyond the media ropes—because they were The Salvation Army.
Cutting the cord
After 25 years of operation, funding lapsed in June of 2006 and the Texas Division decided to withdraw itself from the video production business.
Gilbert (then program director), and assistant director, Cindy Quandt-Guerra, wanted to continue and were allowed to take over the company from the Army.
Now chief operating officer of OMM, and 22-year employee, Quandt-Guerra said, “You can’t put a value on what OMM has done for the Army in 25 years. We feel we accumulated material—over 6,000 tapes—that in years to come will be priceless to the Army.”
“It’s a shame the Army felt they needed to close…but our hearts are still with the Army,” Quandt-Guerra said. We work with them any time we can because we love the mission—we were the Army—so it’s our mission too.”
“When we first started out, the Army was new in the video arena. I hope OMM helped educate the Army about how to be savvy in producing their message through visuals,” Quandt-Guerra said.
OMM—present and future
OMM now exists independent of The Salvation Army as a full service video production company providing everything from concept to scriptwriting and video completion.
Pam Laverty, senior financial development director for the Intermountain Division, worked with OMM for the division’s “Doing the Most Good” luncheon video. “Our experience working with OMM was extremely rewarding. They have a passion for the Army and the people we serve and understand the need we have to tell our story,” she said.
OMM has received such honors as the Silver Telly Award, New York Festivals Award, Summit Silver Award, U.S. International Film and Video Festival Award, Clarion Award, Aurora Award and more.
“God has a real message through media. Our hope is to be part of the Army’s message and promote them to the world,” Gilbert said. “The mission of the Army needs to be put out there it will strike a chord in people’s hearts if they can just hear it.”
For more information about OMM see their website www.ommproductions.com.