Wednesday, April 17th, 2024

ProMedia Video Services Story


The Art and Heart of Preserving the Past

by Wendell Ward

Arthur Bradshaw of Pro Media Services

Arthur Bradshaw of Pro Media Services

In the Bennett's Creek area of North Suffolk, a beacon of nostalgia thrives. Here at ProMedia Video Services, day-to-day activities hum with the unique rhythms of preserving and digitizing echoes of the past.

People are attached to old photos, videos, and home movies because they are precious time capsules holding fragments of lives once lived and stories of people and places that are a part of our personal histories. Each photo captures a specific moment, each video records an event, and each old home movie brings a past era back to life. These are tangible links to cherished memories-snapshots of joy, love, pride, celebration, nostalgia, and even bittersweet moments of sadness or loss.

In many cases, they're also a connection to loved ones who are no longer with us and to times and places that have changed beyond recognition. Looking at an old photo or watching an old home movie can bring a profound sense of reminiscence, kindling emotions that are deeply personal.
Behind ProMedia's doors, a dedicated team of professionals breathes new life into fading photos, aging movie film, and degrading video tapes. And with every scan of every frame, ProMedia ensures the essence of these captured moments remains vivid, vibrant, and, most importantly, digitally shareable for generations to come.

"Digital preservation
not only safeguards these memories
- it brings faded images back to life,
enhances clarity, and ensures
the memories they hold
are just as vivid as the moments
when they were first captured."
-Arthur Bradshaw

Media-restoration expert Arthur Bradshaw-a video hobbyist turned professional-began his journey in the media-restoration industry in 2010, showcasing his skills and winning over clients before transferring his passion and expertise to ProMedia's Suffolk retail location in 2017.

"My love for this kind of work can be traced back to my high school days when I first discovered the world of visual storytelling," Arthur says. "Back then, I was just 'the kid with the camcorder'-hoping to immortalize moments and memories for posterity."

This hobby followed Arthur through college, his interest growing each day. But alongside the thrill of creating new content, another fascination took hold-the allure of the past.

Arthur likens his work to being a time traveler, witnessing moments from the past and preserving memories that would otherwise fade into oblivion. Seeing the joy and astonishment on his clients' faces when he presents them with restored photos, videos, and films of their yesteryears only fuels his passion further.

"We can transform deteriorated photographs,
degrading film strips, and worn-out video tapes
into clear, vibrant digital memories."
-Arthur Bradshaw

"Time, unfortunately, is not kind to physical media," Arthur explains. "Photos fade, films degrade, and tapes can become unplayable. The risk of losing these priceless memories to age, damage, or disaster is real. Digital preservation not only safeguards these memories against physical loss but also revitalizes them. It brings faded images back to life and ensures the memories they hold are just as vivid as the moments when they were first captured. Digitization also allows for easy sharing and accessibility: you can share your memories with family members around the world, keep a copy safe on a thumb drive or in cloud storage, and revisit your past anytime, anywhere."

ProMedia's other award-winning services have brought accolades for production work, including an Aberdeen Gardens documentary, which was partially funded by a grant from the Smithsonian. This two-hour production, edited by Arthur, is a testament to his precision and artistry. ProMedia extends its expertise to small businesses, producing promotional videos for their products and services and creating brand-building videos for local musicians, artists, and other entities.

"One of the most exciting aspects of video production is the ability to bring ideas to life," Arthur says. "Every project presents a new creative challenge, a new story to tell, a new message to convey. We may be working on a corporate video one day, helping a local business articulate its brand narrative. The next day, we could be out in a field, drone in the air, capturing the sheer beauty of our local landscapes for a documentary."

But Arthur knows that the heart of his business is transferring old media to digitized formats because he sees how much these services mean to his clients.

"When it comes to restoring old treasures, ProMedia is at the forefront of technological advancements," Arthur says, smiling with pride. "Utilizing lasers, artificial intelligence, and high-resolution capture techniques, we can transform deteriorated photographs, degrading film strips, and worn-out video tapes into clear, vibrant digital memories. Our services culminate in transferring these preserved memories onto easily accessible plug-in devices or secure cloud storage. We can give virtually any old media a brand new life in the digital space."

Arthur and ProMedia understand the weight of the task at hand. The media they handle are not mere pictures, films, or videos-they are lifetimes captured in fragments, the legacy of ProMedia's clients. Arthur's promise is to handle these precious memories with the reverence they deserve, providing the personal touch that his customers appreciate.

For Arthur, ProMedia must be more than just a business; it must also be a pillar of the community. Every year, ProMedia sponsors a host of onsite nonprofit events that Suffolk citizens care about. ProMedia co-hosts the "Jingle Mingle" in November and "Spring Fling" in April. These are heartwarming gatherings of families, marching bands, petting zoos, crafts, and other home goods. ProMedia also provides a platform for local vendors at their weekly farmers market from April through November.

"At ProMedia, we understand the emotional value of these irreplaceable keepsakes," Arthur assures. "Our work isn't just about converting old media to new; it's about preserving the essence of these memories, so they can be revisited and cherished today, tomorrow, and for generations to come."

Pro Media Video Services

5501 Bennett's Pasture Road
Suffolk, VA 23435