A snowstorm in February postponed the Door County Maritime Museum’s popular Speaker Series program now rescheduled for Thursday, April 4 at the Sturgeon Bay museum beginning at 7 pm. The engagement features George Houde, one of the executive producers of last summer’s “Great Lake Warriors” television series which recently aired on the History Channel.
The eight-installment series focuses on tug operations on the western Great Lakes. At the center of the series is John Selvick, whose family name is synonymous with tug boats on the Sturgeon Bay waterfront. Both Selvick’s Calumet River Fleeting operation in Chicago and Selvick tugs in Sturgeon Bay are featured in the weekly docudrama.
Houde’s own Compass Point Productions conceived of the idea and sold it to the History Channel. Houde expects to present the short “sizzle reel” which was never aired on television but was used to sell his presentation to the popular cable network.
A Wisconsin native who now lives in the Chicago area, Houde says he always wanted to do something related to the Great Lakes. He climbed on board a tug for a trip across Lake Superior and it became apparent during the trip that the challenges of tug work and the colorful people who do it would make for some interesting television.
“I needed some characters and everyone I talked to said that John was a legend,” says Houde, referring to the longtime tug captain who passed away last year. “We knew we had something when we met him.”
Houde explains that his ambitious project, “…involved a big production crew offering a number of shots on board, including the rigging of bow, stern and pilot house cameras all feeding back to one central control location on the tug.”
The “Great Lake Warriors” series began airing on July 19, 2012.