Gulsvig Productions in Glenwood, Minn., offers a portal to the past
GLENWOOD -- Opening their own digital-age business in Glenwood has made time travelers out of Brent and Lisa Gulsvig.
They have been shipboard in World War II, and listened to the ship's whistle sound the alert while a crewmember recorded an audio message to his loved one back home.
They've seen the bustle of city streets in South Vietnam from the perspective of a U.S. service member during the war.
They've watched former President Richard Nixon arrive at the Twin Cities International Airport, and throngs of people crowd the streets (and fill the rooftops) of Glenwood to cheer the Waterama Parades of earlier years.
"I never have to go on vacation,'' laughed Lisa. "I've seen it all.''
Making it possible for others to see it all is very much the mission of Gulsvig Productions since its start nearly one year ago.
Brent Gulsvig is a professional videographer with a dozen years of experience in television, both on the news side and in production.
Gulsvig Production creates training videos for area companies, video tours of businesses for their websites, and video commercials. It also produces videos of public events, and of course, videos of weddings and other personal events.
The company also produces the modern equivalent of a video resume, such as might be needed by a performing artist seeking admission to a college.
Brent Gulsvig is a 1992 graduate of Minnewaska Area High School. Years earlier, he had taken to his father's video camera the way some youths will pick up a basketball or a hunting gun. He knew it was what he wanted to do.
He graduated from the broadcast journalism program at the Duluth Technical College, interned at KDLH-TV in Duluth, and worked for the next nine years at television stations in Green Bay, Wis.
His skills with the video camera have brought him to the sidelines of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Miller Park in Milwaukee and to Target Field, where he shivered through some of the Minnesota Twins' opening baseball games during a frigid April.
But it's the other side of Gulsvig Productions that has brought him and his spouse back in time and showed them the sites of virtually every vacation destination in the world, with a heavy emphasis on Duluth, South Dakota's Black Hills and Yellowstone National Park.
Gulsvig Productions is fully equipped with the technology needed to transfer everything from glass negatives, reel-to-reel audio tapes, and 8 mm, 16 mm, and Super 8 film to modern, digital formats.
They can take cracked and aged photos and digitally "rescue'' them as well.
Technology transfer has become a big part of the business, according to the couple. People arrive with rolls of home movie film, glass negatives uncovered in the attic, and even VHS tapes that they want to save in a digital format.
The audio tape of the shipboard serviceman brought tears to the eyes of his daughter. She hadn't heard the voices of her late parents for years. Her parents had corresponded while separated by sending reel-to-reel tapes to one another.
Brent has taken a personal interest in the many rolls of local films that contain images of Waterama events. With the permission of their owners, he's copying the scenes with the intent of producing his own documentary on the community's long-running celebration.
Brent Gulsvig said he returned to Glenwood in 2010 after the television station for which he was working in Green Bay, Wis., was acquired and its staff let go. He had wanted to return to his hometown, but also wanted to continue his work in videography.
With the encouragement of his soon-to-be bride, Lisa, he decided that there was an opportunity for a digital-focused business in his hometown.
Usually, these types of video services are located in larger, metro areas, but the Gulsvigs are optimistic. Rural businesses and organizations are increasingly aware of the value of professional video services. They are serving a growing clientele of business customers.
And, they have discovered a strong demand for the technology transfer services they offer.
Thanks to the web, they also have a worldwide market that can be reached from their business location in Glenwood, right in their home on 21 First Street.