By now, everyone who loves Montauk has heard of the hamlet’s ongoing summer plight—revelers intent on partying until all hours descend upon the downtown between Memorial Day and Labor Day, ignoring basic laws of human decency in the process. Despite the noise they’ve caused—both literally, particularly on weekend nights; and figuratively, as curtailing the party atmosphere in Montauk has been the subject of frequent and intense debate this year—the Montauk Chamber of Commerce would like all to know that they don’t tell the hamlet’s whole story.
The Chamber has released This Is Montauk, a short film that presents a different image of Montauk—family-friendly, serene, an outdoorsman’s paradise—and one more in line with the majority of people who call Montauk home. The video follows a local family—Charles, a captain of a commercial fishing boat; Abby, a yoga instructor; and their three youngsters doing leisurely activities they adore. Coupled with wide-angle shots of seascapes and the rising sun, it begins to tell a visual story of what most Montaukers do for fun, starting in the early hours of the morning. This includes bike riding, yoga on the beach and surfing. There are images of the family petting horses at Deep Hollow Ranch, followed by more aerials and some sailing on Fort Pond. After that, it’s mini golf at the Puff ‘n’ Putt, fishing, relaxing on the shore and dining at Gosman’s. Relaxing again. And fade out.
Amid assertions by locals that Montauk has changed for the worse, this video swims against the tide and serves to restore the image of what Montauk was and still is: is a safe, enjoyable place for families who want to relax in the hamlet’s tranquil beauty. After the release of this video, the village’s denizens surely must be pleased to see the Montauk they know and love being shown in a positive light.
The video was created last year after the Montauk Chamber decided to spend more advertising on addressing young families who want to fully experience Montauk. After filming early this year, the video was released last month. “We’re very happy with it,” says Laraine Creegan, executive director of the Chamber. “There’ll be two more coming up after this.” Creegan goes on to describe them: the second short film in the This Is Montauk series will focus on recreational fishing, sports and other outdoor activities. This will drive home the idea that, beyond the casual game of mini-golf with your kids, there really are competitive sports to be played and activities for the whole family to try. Then the third installation will feature all that Montauk has to offer on the culinary scene. “Farm-to-table, seafood-to-table, all of that,” Creegan says.
For now, feast your eyes on the first of the Chamber’s series. “We know that [Montauk is] starting to change a little bit. It is for everybody, but we want to tell our villagers that we’re still here,” Creegan reassures.
According to Creegan, Montauk’s popularity extends from April to October. “Before, they’d never stay past Labor Day! And last year we hosted an Easter Egg Hunt, and we will definitely keep that going.” Additionally, September’s fair weather makes it a perfect wedding month, especially in a place as charming as Montauk.
“This Is Montauk” is directed by Montauk native James Katsipis with cinematography by Nate Best and James Katsipis and is produced by Tauk Is Cheap Productions.