Jenkins and Tim Busch display some of the equipment used
with their Grafton-based video production business, TB
Photo by Mark Justesen
GRAFTON - To say technology has changed since
Tim Busch made his foray into the video production business
in 1991 would be an understatement.
and co-owner of Grafton-based TB Productions, has witnessed the
full-on conversion to digital technology in his more-than two
decades in the business. Along the way, he has done a wide array
of work - from Super Bowl TV coverage to how-to videos
permeating the Internet.
business also turned a new chapter a year ago when he partnered
with business associate Dave Jenkins. Both entrepreneurs live in
The story of
TB Productions’ origins can be traced to the so-called glam rock
band Cinderella. In the early 1990s, Busch, then a University of
Wisconsin-Madison student, was doing some freelance work as an
editor of one of the band’s videos for MTV.
project was Busch’s first paying gig, and when he invoiced for
his involvement in the overall effort, Busch realized he needed
to come up with a company name. On the fly, he came up with TB
Productions - a nod toward his initials and some semblance of
production is a very creative business, so I needed something
that was catchy,” Busch said. “I wanted to create a clear
When asked how
the video production business has evolved over the past two
decades, Busch said this article would be lengthy if he outlined
every specific detail. In a nutshell, he was shooting video with
three-quarter-inch videotape in his earliest days. By the
mid-1990s, however, he began transitioning to digital
technology is constantly advancing,” Busch said. “Your equipment
might still be good, but everything you buy is old in two years.
It’s relatively worthless in three years. We have a stockpile of
old cameras around here.”
challenges with the rapid pace of advancing technology, Busch
and Jenkins said they view it as equally positive. Some of the
upgrades have made previously unthinkable techniques a reality
in today’s marketplace.
has a background as a photojournalist, handles some of the sales
and marketing functions today within TB Productions.
“We like to
think of ourselves as being on the cutting edge of technology,”
Jenkins said. “We want to create a production for our clients
that really brings them value.”
changes also have altered the workspace at TB Productions’
Grafton facility. At one time, the site served as a storage hub
of videotapes for the company’s various clients. Today, most of
the company’s work is stored digitally on servers holding
gigabytes and terabytes worth of information.
The bulk of
the company’s work comes through collaboration with ad agencies
and productions have been made for clients at the local,
regional and national levels.
“We do work
with quite a few mom-and-pop operations,” Jenkins said. “We’ll
do anything but weddings. We don’t want to work with brides.”
“Content is king, and we help our clients realize this so they
are able to get their message across.”
As he looks
back at the past 20 years, Busch readily admits he is in awe of
the changes that have taken place and the growth that has
occurred within TB Productions.
Jenkins are optimistic about the company’s future. There are a
number of unknowns on the horizon, but both emphatically state
they want to keep the company’s workforce small.
“I’d be happy
if we hired another one to three people,” Busch said. “But we
feel we’re satisfied with the staff size of the company. We
aren’t satisfied with the number of clients we have, though.
There’s always room for growth.”
While many of
the company’s productions are geared toward traditional media,
Busch and Jenkins envision a time - likely not too far off into
the horizon - where they will be making more productions for the
Internet and other digitized sources as proliferation continues
to move in that direction.
“We aim to be
a small company that produces high quality productions,” Busch
said. “That won’t change.”