When Lon M. Gibby (BA ’76) was 13, his bishop—the marketing director for Fender guitars—asked if he could skateboard down a hill while holding an electric guitar and not fall. “I can do that,” Gibby replied. On a skateboard he crafted in woodshop, Gibby became the 1960s poster child for Fender’s Stratocaster guitar, his image printed in several worldwide magazine advertisements. From poster child to composer, Gibby has been involved in media throughout his life.
One of his favorite projects while working on his master’s degree in mass communications at BYU was a 3-D display for the Temple Square Visitors’ Center displays. “We would film people in a contraption that would keep their heads fairly stationary as they read a script,” he says. “The film would be projected onto a white face mold to simulate a person talking. It looked very realistic.” Gibby was also a grip for the Church-produced film The First Vision.
To help pay for school, Gibby built a recording studio in his apartment. “I produced radio commercials and hired an announcer to record the Book of Mormon and the New Testament on cassette,” he says. After graduation he started the company Creative Audio and Video.
“I believed video was the wave of the future, and I wanted to convince companies to use videotape instead of producing material on slide shows or expensive 16- or 35-mm films,” Gibby says. Keeping up with changing technology, his company has expanded and is now known as Gibby Media Group.
One of the company’s products is the GibbyThin, a flexible DVD about half the width of a standard DVD. Using less material, the discs cost less to mail and are more environmentally friendly than traditional DVDs.
Not one to rest, Gibby is now working with Blu-ray on new products and has composed music and played all the instruments for the CDFresh Surf.
What else does he like to do? Skateboard, of course.