‘Just Beneath the Surface’ Releases New Episode for 2019; LBI Mini-doc Series’ Third Season Puts New Focus on Island Region

Jun 17, 2019
Courtesy of: JBtS
JBtS S3:E1

Season Three Episode 1 Trailer from Just Beneath the Surface on Vimeo.

(Video by: Oak Leaf Media)

Signature dishes, local events, sailing, the movement to bring wild oysters back to Barnegat Bay, even a look at the different moods of a winter on a lonely sandbar – not to mention the giant sharks caught in the waters off LBI – are all part of Season Three of “Just Beneath the Surface.” The mini-documentary series is supported by the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, shot and edited by Tuckerton’s Oak Leaf Media, and written, directed and produced by LBI-based content creator Jon Coen.

The first episode will premiere at Ship Bottom Brewery in Beach Haven on June 21 at 9 p.m., featuring “Toothy Critters and Signature Dishes.” The second will show at Fantasy Island Amusement Park, also in Beach Haven, on July 31. The third will be in August with location and date to be announced.

Coen is very excited about Season Three. “I think we’ve established what this series is about for the last three years,” he said. “Now we’re getting into some of the edgier aspects of Long Beach Island. The idea has always been to take people a little deeper than what they already know. They’re all aware of sailing, the events and French-fried lobster, but do they know the hard work and the people that go into them?

“I think a lot of Island visitors are going to have an awakening when they see some of the imagery of wintertime on LBI. And, of course, there’s the sharks. That’s going to stir something within all of us. But at the end of the day, we’re educating people. There’s really nothing to be afraid of … except sharks,” he joked.

“Just Beneath the Surface,” which began as an idea in 2015, became a pilot episode that premiered in 2016 and was featured by New Jersey Monthly and screened at the Lighthouse International Film Festival. Since, it has seen massive turnouts to premiere events and a huge online following. The series has been shown as part of curricula from local elementary schools to college courses. This season features ultra-high definition footage captured by Oak Leaf Media’s new Cinema Prime lenses, in addition to Coen’s underwater footage of apex predators.

The 2019 season is sponsored by Equity Prime Mortgage, Fantasy Island and Country Kettle Fudge. Each business will also be sporting a brand video created for its corresponding episode and use for its own marketing. The Tide Table Restaurant Group’s brand video has 8,000 combined views between Facebook and Instagram platforms. Season 1: Episode 1, which focused on life in the Pine Barrens and paddling the bay, garnered some 62,000 views on Facebook alone.

The content has proved to have a broad appeal, from locals who see it as a point of pride for their hometowns to those who return each year. The films are designed not only to bring new people to Long Beach Island and the adjacent mainland, but to make return visitors more engaged.

In exchange for financial support from the chamber of commerce, “Just Beneath the Surface” created a separate short film to commemorate the chamber’s 105th anniversary. Past episodes of JBtS can be seen at justbeneaththesurfaceNJ.com. —V.F.


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