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Visit Ocean County Spot

Over the last few years, I have been getting my hands into some video work. After seeing our mini-documentary series, Just Beneath the Surface, Ocean County's Office of Tourism and Business Development hired myself and Oak Leaf Media to create a video spot for the county. We were very excited to take on this project.

We took a couple of days this summer and put together something that really shows the best of Ocean County. Our models were awesome. Brie Fagan and Dave Ambrose especially were troopers. Archie even made a cool cameo at Jenk's Aquarium. 

I think this is just the start of where we can go when government offices and commerce organizations look to locals to really tell the story and give a sense of place. 

Oak Leaf Media for Ocean County

Just Beneath the Surface, Episode 1.3 drop

Summer's busy. It's busy as hell. And I know it's tough for folks to follow along with everything going on. Now that things are slowing down, I have a chance to share the project that has kept me on my toes this year. Thanks to Dave's Electric, Farias Surf, Mud City Crab House  the Ship Bottom Brewery and never ending support from the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce  we've done an entire season - four episodes of Just Beneath the Surface  our mini-documentary series on the Long Beach Island Region.

This year, we've explored the secrets of the Pine Barrens, chased swell with LBI surfers, got a look at the life of a bartender, got invited into some unique homes, jumped on the striped bass blitz, captured some lifeguard action, paddled the bay, and learned about our shipwreck history. 

Of course, the Swells and Shipwreck episode is particularly close to my heart. And we had a lot of support form the surf community on this one, specifically the photogs and videographers.

JTBS Episode 1-3 from Just Beneath the Surface on Vimeo.

Episodes One, Two, and Three are all online at JustBeneaththeSurfaceNJ.com We have one more episode that we are premiering at the Ship Bottom Brewery, Friday, September 29 at 8 p.m. Hope you can all make it. Find us on Facebook. Sharing these videos enables us to keep going.

Just Beneath the Surface Ep 1.01

Just Beneath the Surface Episode 101 - Pineys and Paddles from Just Beneath the Surface on Vimeo.

This has easily been one of the greatest undertakings of my life. Several years ago, I had the idea to do a series of mini documentaries that focused on the Long Beach Island region. Every year, thousands and thousands of people come from near and far to experience what a special place this is. But I wanted to do something a little deeper.

Sure, everyone comes to our little sandbar to swim in the Atlantic and eat cotton candy. What I wanted to show was just beneath the surface, the characters, the work ethic and the way of life that has created this community by the sea.

After a whole lot of work with the talented guys at Oak Leaf Media  unwavering support from the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, a pilot episode, gathering local sponsors, and a lot of time in post production, I am very proud to release the first episode of Season One, "Pineys and Paddles."

The whole idea is to be the antithesis to every reality show you've ever seen about New Jersey. Get past all the bullshit and you can find the real New Jersey, and our life lived on the water. My goal isn't just to bring more visitors to our area, but to make the current visitors more engaged.

We will release three more episodes through 2017 that we are very excited about. Look for some free diving, shipwrecks, ripping surfers, interesting homes, life behind the bar and chasing striped bass. Thanks to the Mud City family of restaurants, Dave's Electric, Farias Surf, Volatile Media, and Ship Bottom Brewery.

Launch of Parker's Garage

For the past several months I have worked with my longtime friend Mark Tesi of Togetherness Agency on the launch of Parker's Garage & Oyster Saloon, an exciting new restaurant on Long Beach Island.

As Parker's Garage is a throwback to the Golden Age of Beach Haven, Mark had the brilliant idea of a marketing campaign that utilized historic imagery of "The Queen City" and Ellis Parker, a bayman who opened a restaurant/engine repair shop on the Beach Haven waterfront.

The rollout included six weeks of historic photos compliments of the New Jersey Maritime Museum that tell the story Parker's. My part included web and social media copy around the launch.

Courtesy New Jersey Maritime Museum

Of course, the product is the real selling point and the Nugent and Magaziner families, with Chef Kyle Baddorf, have outdone themselves with this place. The offerings from the kitchen and raw bar are nothing short of amazing. 

I've particularly enjoyed this project because of my love for local history and the fact that my grandfather was a commercial "pound" fisherman and I have some knowledge of how these operations, like the one in Beach Haven.  Check it out when you're in Beach Haven.

Parker's Oyster SaloonTesi
Parker's Garage dinnerTesi

Just Beneath the Surface 2017 teaser

Big day. On Tuesday, we launched this teaser for the four new Just Beneath the Surface episodes. In the first 24 hours, it garnered 60,000 views. It's pretty damn exciting. Puts a lot of pressure on us to deliver!

This season we'll take you from the striper blitz offshore to deep in the pines. We're going to tell you the stories from behind the bar to the historic ships that have wrecked upon our shores. We'll explore homes that are built around the Island lifestyle, paddle the bay, score epic swell, and show you what's just beneath the surface that you won't even believe is New Jersey water (or waddr, as we say.) We have four new episodes that start dropping in the spring of 2017. Get ready for am adventure in our own backyard. Support from the Southern Ocean County Chamber, Dave's Electric, Mud City Crab House,  Farias Surf  and Ship Bottom Brewery.

The project's website is JustBeneaththeSurfaceNJ.com

Just Beneath the Surface, New Jersey: 2017 Season Teaser from Just Beneath the Surface on Vimeo.

And for those who haven't seen the pilot episode, here you go:

Just Beneath The Surface Pilot Episode: Harvest and Make from Just Beneath the Surface on Vimeo.

Online Release of "Just Beneath the Surface"

This is a day I have really been anticipating. I am very excited to release Episode One of "Just Beneath the Surface," the mini-documentary focusing on the Long Beach Island Region. I worked with the extremely talented Oak Leaf Media Of course, everyone likes to come here for the beach and ice cream, but the idea was to tell the stories of the people, passions and culture that make this place what it is. We tried to show what is literally just beneath what you see on the surface - two hyperlocal food sources on LBI in blue claw crabs and Jersey tomatoes, and find out what it is about Southern Ocean County that inspires local artists. Meet Richie the Crabber, Tomato Jay, Bunkerfish and Cathleen Engelsen. We are currently planning a whole season of episodes and all the social interactions, shares, and likes will help. #beachcultureredefined


'Cedars Dreams' for The Beachcomber

Cedars by Chris Pfeil

Harvey Cedars has long held a special place in my heart. As a kid, it represented independence, getting away from the beach my family went to and discovering waves were bigger and broke harder. This is a Harvey Cedars retrospective for The Beachcomber's history issue that came out earlier this summer with some great insight from Kim Leary, Eric Pirie, and Bob Selfridge, who all grew up in HC. Also, this really came together because of fantastic photos by Chris Pfeil.

You can also read the full feature online at TheSandPaper.net.

Kim Leary by Paul Carr

Fish Taco Enjoys Its Day in the Sun

I have always loved writing about food. This recent feature that appears in the Food and Drink Issue of the Beachcomber, edited by my friend Victoria Ford, (out now) was particularly fun.

"In the mid 2000’s, they became all the culinary rage with celebrity chefs, foodies and bloggers gushing about them. They could be found up and down the Jersey Shore. It only took another decade for them to reach LBI… sometimes we’re a little slow to catch on."

Read the full story on the rise of the fish taco on LBI.

Fish Tacos on LBIPhoto by Ryan Morrill of The SandPaper.