Red & Brown
Welcome to the 22nd installment of the Beneath the Surface podcast, brought to you by lots of caffeine. In this week’s episode, Sean and Corey go behind the scenes of a National ADDY award-winning film Red & Brown, with one of the stars of the film, Mike Frenette, a.k.a. Red.
In Beneath the Surface: Red & Brown, the guys get real about the impacts of the pandemic on the outdoor industry; what makes Venice, LA, a unique place to visit and live; and the common thread that connects each of their businesses, authenticity. This week’s episode is a little longer than usual and worth every minute. Sit back and enjoy.
COMING AT YOU DIRECT, FROM THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, TO THE CENTER OF EVERYWHERE.
Who's In The Episode
Lead Designer, Co-Founder, and CEO at BOTE, Corey Cooper is a licensed engineer hailing from Auburn University. Corey is the pioneer of the DarkRoom, assisting with the design of the machinery, concepting the layout and ultimately developing the workflow used in DarkRoom production. Corey’s passion for this project is so strong that on any given day, regardless of how busy things are at BOTE, you will often find Corey working in the DarkRoom.
Sean Murphy is the Director of Photography at BOTE and a world-renowned photographer based in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. After spending most of his career based in Los Angeles, shooting for brands like Adidas, Red Bull, and Toyota, just to name a few, Sean moved back to the Redneck Riviera. You can find Sean capturing gritty America and spontaneous moments that translate into visually stunning photography.
Mike Frenette, a.k.a. Red, is a fishing guide based in Venice, LA, and star of the BOTE Presents film, Red & Brown.
Sean and Corey are back behind the mic with Mike Frenette, one half of the brother/best friend duo Red and Brown. Mike, known by most as Red, stars in the BOTE Presents film, Red & Brown.
00:02:07 Mike "Red" Frenette
Red’s family business, the Redfish Lodge, is located in the Venice Marina in Venice, LA. Since the beginning, his mom ran the phones and the lodge and his dad was a charter fishing guide. With his dad on the water 300 days out of the year and his mom running the rest of the business, Red and his brother spent a lot of time with their nanny, who Red recalls yelling at him often, saying: “Get yo little red-headed ass over here right now.” Needless to say, the name stuck.
00:06:24 Venice, Louisiana
Red and Brown grew up in Venice, LA, located in the heart of the Mississippi River delta, not far from where the Mississippi river hits the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a peninsula--a little land, a lot of water--where, according to Corey, you’re literally “dripping off the edge of Louisiana.”
Venice, LA, is a port of New Orleans, and the first plot of land ships pass on their way to the city. According to Red, if it wasn’t for oil fields and port business, Venice wouldn’t exist. Now, it’s a destination for modern-day outdoorsmen from all over the south looking to trail redfish inshore and catch swordfish or marlin offshore. What is Venice? Depends who you ask.
00:10:49 The Master Of Convincing People To Do Dumb Stuff
Sean has a habit of scaring off fish wherever he goes. He also favors working on projects in the midst of crazy storms, preferably with lots of lightning paired with heavy rain from a tropical storm. If you learn anything about Venice throughout the course of this episode, it’s that it’s gator-infested, great for fishing, and the storms are relentless. As Sean and Red take a walk down memory lane, Red sets up the scene with “You couldn’t see seven feet in front of you.”
00:15:19 How BOTE Met Red & Brown
Red and Brown were introduced to BOTE by way of an elusive person named Bear along with Cavin Brothers, a Southern filmmaker who worked on Red & Brown.
00:16:42 12-Part Series Teaser
You heard it here first. Corey and Sean leak a new 12-part series. Sean is the host, telling stories through his lens as a life long photographer and documentarian, going beneath the surface to find raw, authentic stories across 12 unique destinations.
00:19:17 BOTE's Authenticity
“I don’t know who’s behind the magic of throwing these marketing schemes together. I don’t blow smoke… you have a way of connecting their story and their lifestyle with you and what you’re selling. It’s all genuine.” Mike Frenette, a.k.a. Red
Just as the guys start to dig deep into authenticity and meaning behind BOTE Presents films, a surprise visitor joins the podcast for a brief moment.
“It’s hard. The idea behind this film series is to strip it back to getting real with people—paired with great production value—to do cool shit.” — Corey Cooper / CEO and Founder
00:22:48 The Pandemic's Effect on Business
The Red & Brown film has increased the visibility of Red’s family business dramatically and in the midst of an international pandemic. The Redfish Lodge is a full-fledged lodge, including bedrooms, meals, and the fishing experience. While fishing continues to be in high demand, operating this type of business during a pandemic has presented a lot of challenges which the family weighs alongside their other business. Corey relates and explains how COVID has changed the trajectory and dynamics of his business as well as the local community in Destin, FL.
00:31:37 The Pandemic's Effect on Family
Although the family is all healthy, including himself, his brother, and his parents, they are ready to get back to work. Red summarizes how many of us feel about the effects of the pandemic, stating “I’d be lying if I told you we’re not playing it cool but hoping everything turns out all right.”
00:36:53 Appreciation of Authenticity
Red and Brown’s family businesses are on one side of the outdoor industry, and BOTE, as a hardgoods brand, is on the other. But thanks to the authenticity of both brands, they’re completely aligned. Red recognizes that BOTE gave his family the opportunity to reach more people than they could have on their own without compromising who they are and what they represent, which isn’t always the case with other brand partnerships where the authenticity is lost.
“Keeping it real, siphoning through the crap and keeping it as honest as possible is how people are going to realize not only do they [BOTE] have the best product, but they have no bullshit connected with them. And that’s where I hope the future of our industry is going.” Mike Frenette, a.k.a. Red
Check out the Redfish Lodge to learn more about Red, Brown, and their family business. Thanks for going beneath the surface with Corey, Sean, and Red. See ya!