Video Arts is a British-based video production company which produces training videos for companies. It was founded in 1972 by John Cleese, Sir Antony Jay, and a group of other television professionals. The videos humorously explain business concepts. Productions include Awkward Customers, More Awkward Customers, Who Sold You This, Then?, It's Alright, It's Only a Customer, How Not to Exhibit Yourself, I'll Think About It, The Unorganised Manager, Meetings, Bloody Meetings and More Bloody Meetings. Well-known British actors and comedians appearing in the videos alongside Cleese include Sarah Alexander, Rowan Atkinson, Ronnie Barker, Sanjeev Bhaskar, John Bird, James Bolam, Connie Booth, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Rob Brydon, Martin Clunes, George Cole, Ronnie Corbett, Peter Davison, Jack Dee, Dawn French, James Fleet, Stephen Fry, Graeme Garden, Ricky Gervais, Robert Hardy, Nigel Hawthorne, Hugh Laurie, Robert Lindsay, Jonathan Lynn, Miriam Margolyes, Rik Mayall, Kris Marshall, James Nesbitt, Geoffrey Palmer, Tony Robinson, Andrew Sachs, Joan Sanderson, Jennifer Saunders, Prunella Scales, David Suchet, Meera Syal, Karen Taylor, Emma Thompson, Tim Vine, Gary Waldhorn, June Whitfield and Richard Wilson. The 1990 video Grime Goes Green: Your Business and the Environment about sustainable business also featured a deadpan appearance by Prince Charles.
As well as corporate training videos, the company produced the comedy series Fairly Secret Army for Channel 4. It also produced the series Free to Choose, shown on BBC2 in 1980 and described as a "personal statement" by Milton Friedman.
Video Arts also distribute independently made training films such as Who Moved My Cheese?, produced by Dr Spencer Johnson, Innocent Success, produced by Fresh Tracks, and the FISH! training films created by John Christensen.
Cleese sold the company in the 90s.
- "CHRONICLE". New York Times. November 9, 1990.
- "Five Things John O'Hurley Has Learned About Customer Service". CXO Media Inc. February 4, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
- "About Video Arts". Video Arts. Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
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