Computer Graphics Make State-of-the-Art Video Presentations

Article excerpt

MEMPHIS -- With Bart Baker as its producer-director, Union Planters National Bank is looking forward to some video smash hits.

It isn't television sitcoms or miniseries that Union Planters is counting on to generate income for its already profitable investment banking group. It's creative finance deals depicted in video form for the bank's clients.

Morris Barton Baker Jr., a 36-year-old CPA, successfully pioneered the new approach while with Paine Webber Group Inc. in New York from February 1984 to April 1985.

Lured back to hometown Memphis, he left behind a six-figure salary and a three-hour daily commute to and from Morristown, N.J. Now, Mr. Baker is only 15 minutes away from work, a boon that makes up for a temporary financial sacrifice. Then there's the challenge ahead of the small-screen presentations he's developing.

"At UP I'll be utilizing some of the skills I've learned in tax-exempt finance and applying them, as well as developing taxable instruments," said Mr. Baker, whose title at Union Planters is vice president and manager of the strategic division, product development department, investment banking group.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Mr. Baker also worked for the Memphis offices of Touche Ross & Co. and for Ernst & Whinney.

"While at Ernst & Whinney," he said, "I developed a municipal finance practice, in which a lot of my clients were the New York investment banking houses." That interplay led to his being hired by Paine Webber.

Video Helped Earn Bond Issue

While at Paine Webber, he helped the company get participation in a $50 million bond issue with a state highway department. At Union Planters, he begins his tenure with a potential $8.5 million bond issue for a hospital.

For his video productions, Mr. Baker employs a device he declines to describe in detail, except to say that it attaches to a television set and projects computer-enhanced graphics.

During any given week, Mr. Baker estimates, about 100 presentations are being made nationwide in his field by investment banking firms and by commercial banks with investment banking departments. For the most part, the presentations take the form of slides or brochures.

Mr. Baker wanted something less static, more attention getting. He thinks he has it in his video exhibitions that portray -- with bar charts, line charts, pie charts, corporate logos, and words -- the specific concerns of the client.

"We can show part of a word, then the whole word; part of a chart, then, gradually, the whole chart," he said. Unlike a slide show, in which backing up is difficult, Mr. Baker's videos can be instantaneously backed up to any previous image desired.

Mr. Baker's dramaturgy worked well with the state highway department. He said: "The politics were such that it was very difficult to come in and replace the manager who had just underwritten a bond issue for the Michigan Department of Transportation. …