When I entered college over four years ago, I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do, but I was confident that it would not be anything in any realm of business studies, so I stayed away from those classes and went on my way through science and language courses. I didn’t think that there was any possible way that I could feel fulfilled pursuing a career focused on any aspect of business.
I hate to admit it, but I would almost scoff at the idea of studying “marketing,” it seemed so petty and unnecessary, just another way of manipulating people into buying stuff that they didn’t need, further adding to the disgusting consumerism that has completely swallowed up the United States. I never entertained the idea of ever doing anything in marketing, really, until I found myself on a scuba diving trip in Honduras with a GoPro.
During the week I tried to capture all aspects of our extensive scuba dives, the beauty of Anthony’s Key, the resort we were staying at on Roatán, and the experience of the whole trip in order to make a compilation memories video once we returned to the States. Not long after, the resort announced on their Facebook page that they would be holding a video contest and reward the submission that gained the most votes with a free 7-day resort package for two. That was it, I was in.
I became addicted to filming and editing little videos, from silly things that I did with my friends during the week, to more cinematic and travel oriented short films. I bought new lenses and other equipment to bolster my filmmaking kit, and watched A LOT of YouTube tutorials on how to do, basically everything.
Fast forward a few months and I found myself recording video footage of a dilapidated building on the shores of Long Lake, Minnesota, the abandoned spot of what was once Billy’s Lighthouse, a beloved restaurant of the area. My former boss had purchased and took on the arduous project of completely gutting and renovating the structure, opening up a new restaurant and brewery in September of 2015. I was along for the ride for most of the process, capturing various shots along the way of the construction and of the food in the restaurant, which eventually turned into this film.
It was through this project that I quickly learned that marketing can be more than just shoving unnecessary products down the throats of mindless consumers. It can be storytelling. It can be showing the evolution of what was once an eye-sore into a beautiful destination.
I’m not sure if I will pursue more marketing ventures in the future, but I will say that I learned a lot in this process, and not just about filmmaking. Every career path has merit, and one can find a lot of joy in creating things that others enjoy. Just because you don’t want to be a doctor or civil servant does not mean that your work is not important and doesn’t help others.
And with that I’ll leave you with this: The story of Birch’s on the Lake