Preview: My Favorite OCH Videos (and Why), by Co-Founder Ben Mendlowitz

April 30, 2013

Ben Mendlowitz

When I was first approached to join this project I had visions of helping create content that would be a quantum leap from the printed work we had been doing in magazines and books to the new on-line connected world. By combining the impact of video and still photos with the deep traditional boat knowledge of my long-time colleagues Maynard Bray and Bill Mayher, then adding the enthusiasm and talent of a younger boat builder (Eric Blake) along with the video skills and website vision of Steve Stone, we seemed to have the perfect combination of talents to take on this new challenge. Remarkably, we at Off Center Harbor are releasing our 100th video next week, and we all feel a strong sense of accomplishment in having produced so much interesting content and to be sharing it with our members.

Here are few of my favorite videos:

Aboard A Legendary Commuter – APHRODITE

We almost canceled the video shooting of the running shots because the weather was so gray. As it turned out, however, the soft light, neutral background, and flat water were the perfect setting for moving images of this fantastic commuter yacht. When combined with my collection of still images shot shortly after her rebuild,  the current interviews that Steve filmed, Eric's enthusiastic narration, and some nice ragtime music, I find the finished piece irresistible. We play it continuously at our boat show booth where it never fails to grab people and draw them in while they’re walking by.

Aboard a Legendary Boat, ALERA

I had followed ALERA for many years and was commissioned by Boothbay Harbor Shipyard to photograph her restoration and relaunching. Now that she has a new owner—one who is as equally passionate bout Herreshoff boats as Maynard, being able to get the two of them out for a sail on a perfect afternoon, with Eric along, was a great opportunity. Steve shot the onboard videos while I shot stills from my chase boat, and then he jumped aboard ABACO and we both shot shot more video of her running so beautifully. The wind was perfect, so that a stiff boat like a New York-30 could really show how great she performs in a breeze. The bonus came at the end of the day when the low light of the setting sun spotlighted ALERA against a beautiful shore and sky as she made her way back to the mooring under sail.

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