Create A Video celebrates 20 years

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On April 30th, Create A Video celebrated its 20th anniversary of being the premier photo preservation and custom photo montage company in the business, having made more custom picture videos than anyone. Dave Martinson, the company’s president, reflects back on the lessons he and his staff have learned over the past 20 years.

“Our specialty niche is creating storytelling videos made from still images. Using special effects, music, and titles, the combination with their old photos makes a very powerful emotionally-charged product,” Dave says. “We literally invented to photo ‘montage’ back in the mid-1980s when we first started [as] Custom Video Services. Today, your phone will make a video for you automatically with the photos in your device. But it’s cookie cutter stuff. Ours is custom made, by hand.”

Dave Martinson and his staff love making memories come to life and preserving them for future generations. For help turning your photos and slides into a lasting memento, stop by Create A Video at 8329 Fairview Road. Photo courtesy of Dave Martinson.

Dave’s interest in photography started at a young age. He worked at a local TV station in Charlotte as a video and film news cameraman and edited the stories for reporters while he was working toward his business degree at UNCC. After graduation, he worked for PCA International on photography promotions for discount stores such as K-Mart, Woolco, and Zayre’s.

Over the past 20 years at Create A Video, Dave says one of the most important things he has learned is how much memories matter and how easily photos can be lost. “When we started, everyone printed their photos. There were few photos taken because of the cost to process them,” Dave says. “Now, there are more photos taken in one week than were taken in one year in 1997. But we are seeing more and more customers losing their photos in what we term ‘the digital wasteland.’”

Dave explains that photos can be deleted from phones or computers accidentally or due to a crash. Some people have uploaded photos to social media sites only to find that the resolution size of the photo is too small to print, or they have to pay for high resolution downloads of their own photos.

The Create A Video family gathered together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of being the premier photo preservation and custom photo montage company in the business. Photo courtesy of Dave Martinson.

One way Create A Video seeks to preserve years of fond memories is to scan photos into a digital file onto a USB thumb drive or a CD. Customers are encouraged to keep them in a fireproof box for safekeeping. “We also transfer old 8 mm movie films and all videotape formats to a DVD or digital file to preserve the memories,” Dave explains.

Dave and his team often hear from satisfied customers how Create A Video has helped them create a lasting memento of their family’s photos and slides. “The numerous thank you cards and letters of appreciation we have received through the years tell us we are in a great business, that does great things for people. We really appreciate hearing from our customers. We made their memories come to life and preserved them for their family and future generations.”

With Mother’s Day, graduations, and wedding season approaching, springtime is busy at Create A Video. “Parents create videos of their graduates telling their life story in pictures,” Dave says. “It is for the graduate as a gift, but honestly I think the moms, dads, and grandparents appreciate it more. We hope the young people of today look at yesterday’s memories, and learn that the value of the photos they take today will be worth so much more years from now.”

For more information on creating a truly unique gift or about preserving your most precious memories, stop by Create A Video at 8329 Fairview Road or visit

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Candice DuVernois
Candice DuVernois works as a freelance writer while waiting expectantly for her book deal to come through. She wrote her first poem when she was only seven years old, and she hasn't stopped dabbling since. She enjoys writing articles in a lighthearted tone about the good people of Mint Hill, always striving to make them shine. She lives in Mint Hill with her husband, Dave, and her two dogs who she tries to get into the paper as often as possible (the dogs, not Dave). Matthew 22:37-39.