~Shared by J. Ranner
“Every picture tells a story…”
Even if you can’t find a way to enjoy the raspy yet soulful crooning of Rod Stewart, I think you’d be hard-pressed to disagree with that statement. Words, while sometimes delightful to the ears, can only do so much to express things. In my truly humble opinion, abstract ideas such as love, happiness, family, friendship, etc. are best understood and shared through pictures . . . and even more thoroughly through moving pictures.
It’s hard to put the concept of Woodloch into words. Our veteran guests already know it. New guests will soon know it. And pending guests need to know it. It is said time and time again: you need to experience it to fully understand what we’re all about. We’ve known this for some time and have made multiple attempts over the years to convey our product into an accurate visual presentation. Yet no matter how “nice” or “clean” our videos were, there was still something missing.
During the summer of 2012, Woodloch Pines teamed up with Endless Echo Productions on a bold endeavor – really telling the story of Woodloch as it was. Videographer and producer Chris King says, “Endless Echo is a team of writers, film-makers, animators, all story-tellers that take that awesome business of yours, your product, your story, and shine a light on what truly makes it unique. Using video, animation, etc., we build an emotional path for customers that leads straight to your door.”
After researching our “product,” King sat down with our Commander-in-Chief, John Kiesendahl, for a candid interview. And I do mean CANDID. The story of Woodloch involved a lot more hardship than I ever thought there was. The Kiesendahl family had to pull it together and bond in order for the resort to flourish.
And of course, what would a video production be without seeing our guests in their natural element? So largely unbeknownst to them, Chris took his camera and headed out to capture what Woodloch is really all about. Smiling. Laughing. Hugging. And completely forgetting your stresses and troubles. EXACTLY what we are going for when you first walk through the doors of our main lobby.
As an employee of well over a decade, to me this was the first production that really captured the essence of our business. And many around me agreed to that point. So it was very easy for me to jump in to action in assisting with the second piece that Endless Echo was tasked with. On an exceptionally sunny and warm October afternoon, King set out to film a wedding taking place at the Inn at Woodloch, but probably not in the sense that you’d imagine.
The real premise of our video was to show what happens “behind the scenes” at a Woodloch Wedding. Rooms must be decorated. Candles must be lit. Centerpieces … centered. And above all, wedding catastrophies must be averted at all costs. Luckily, our staff is well-trained and battle-tested, making sure each wedding goes off without a hitch. And this dedication was what we captured for our second feature.
While we are a resort and a business, there’s a very human nature to the hospitality industry (as long as you’re doing it right!). So to see Cara Stokowski, one of our event coordinators, genuinely care that a groomsman’s suit needs tidying, is not in the least bit out of character. Little things like that all add up; and in the end, the little things end up being the really big things.
I personally enjoyed hanging out and “assisting” with the wedding video, but to say that anything that the film captured surprised me would be a stretch. I know this business pretty well, but these clips have been the most honest, open, and accurate representations of our business ever produced (outside of our guests’ home videos, of course!).
Again, words are words. Take them or leave them; believe them or don’t. I think you will find that some things absolutely need to be experienced. But I will leave you with something that comes pretty close to it anyways.