In 2020, life went online. Between 2019 and 2020, phone usage jumped from three hours to four hours per day, according to App Annie. For work and entertainment, screens became invaluable quarantine resources.
Lockdown viewers flocked to YouTube and Facebook to watch and share videos. Despite the rise in video consumption, video production came to a standstill.
With businesses closed, filmmaker Isaac Svensson, founder and CEO of 7Sun Media, decided to create a number of videos about Long Beach, the city he has lived in and loved since 2012. He described the series, which he titled Long Beach Local Business (LBLB), as a “passion project offshoot from the main business.” He said he plans to film LBLB segments for 20 years, from 2020 to 2040.
“Economically, I believe that Long Beach is a particularly influential community and its decisions have trickle up effects on the planet,” Svensson said. “Our economy’s lifeblood is local business and I want to be the one capturing their circumstances and thought processes as they make decisions that will impact the globe.
“I hope that someday we will be able to turn all of our footage into a comprehensive series. I hope we can start to make yearly reviews as well as follow ups with past businesses. If I had unlimited time and resources, I’d be putting out an episode a week — so that’s, what, 992 episodes? That might be a little ambitious. But who knows what’s possible, right!?”
Svensson filmed his first LBLB piece in April 2020. The work featured Paul and Dana Buchanan of Primal Alchemy Catering. Since then, he has created 18 additional videos. He said one of his personal favorites is “Trademark Brewing 2020, Turning Beer Into Hand Sanitizer.” Svensson said he does not charge local businesses for his service; he simply asks the showcased company to share his work on social media. The latest installment, released on March 19, focused on Fair Trade Long Beach.
“We knew about Fair Trade Long Beach’s mission and their creative survival and felt it would both make a good story of a small business staying alive, and also bring some attention to a really valuable ideal,” Svensson said.
Teresa Baxter, co-founder and operations coordinator for Fair Trade Long Beach Retail Collective, said she was impressed by the quality of the work and grateful for 7Sun Media’s efforts to keep small businesses relevant and visible during these economically uncertain times.
“Video can be timeless and archived. It appeals to new social media trends. Video also captures the vibrancy of life and thought,” Baxter said. “Being an international port, it’s very important to know and care about the products that come into our harbor. Fair Trade is a social justice project that stands up for living wages in the products we sell that are produced both locally and from all over the world.”
Rose Lozon, assistant director at 7Sun Media, produced the Fair Trade video. She said she is proud to do work that promotes positive social enterprise and ethical practices.
“What I love about this video in particular is it highlights the activism that is the true spirit of Long Beach, and the thriving community here,” Lozon said. “You can vote at local and national elections, but you can also vote every single day with your dollar! Teresa says it perfectly in the video, there’s no buyer’s remorse when buying fair trade.”
To learn more about 7Sun Media, go to http://7sun.media/home.