The Scott B Film project is an independent feature-length documentary. We sat down with creator Betsy Bertram to learn about the ingredients that make up this story.
Betsy Bertram is a name that’s hard to miss in the stateside outdoor industry. Her parents’ company, Townsend Bertram & Company, has greatly impacted the Carrboro, N.C., community and beyond. Bertram herself dedicated 6 years to running the family outfitter. However, after 32 years of business, Townsend Bertram & Company is closing its doors this Thanksgiving.
After graduating from the Outdoor Industry Association Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy, Betsy is now pursuing a degree in Outdoor Leadership. Her writing is the foundation of the film — “Captain Scott B and the Ingredients for a Magical Life” — in tribute to her father.
We sat down with Betsy Bertram to learn about the important ingredients that make up this poignant father-daughter adventure film.
Interview With Betsy Bertram
GearJunkie: What was it like filming this process in honor of your father, Captain Scott B?
Bertram: It’s been an emotional journey of the heart that both reconnects me to my dad and also encourages me to explore what ingredients I want in my life. I want to have the same sense of fulfillment that my dad felt at the end of his life.
I would also add that the film project illuminated to me how storytelling can take many forms. Learning a new medium [film] has been challenging and rewarding. I see how my writing becomes more powerful with visuals, [but it also] pushes me to communicate without words [and] trust my audience.
[Also, I see] this film as a vehicle for me to share the wisdom my dad shared with me and pass it on to generations downstream.
What ingredients can we use in our lives to make it magical?
One of the main ingredients through my father’s life and thematically throughout the film is creativity.
Creativity can take on many forms and can be used to metabolize diverse experiences. On my journey, I am learning how to transform grief into creative expression.
Food is a basic life ingredient that we all need to sustain ourselves. In the making of this film, I am reminded of how cooking isn’t just making food but is an art form.
The outdoors is another necessary ingredient and a huge part of this outdoor adventure story. The natural world has always been a place of healing and reconnection for me. I especially love kiteboarding and yoga, two ways I move my body outside that support my health and well-being.
Family and friends are key ingredients. It wouldn’t be possible to make this film without the incredible support of our family and friends. It’s been a gift to have them share their own experiences with my dad and include their voices in this documentary.
Being with children is healing and an ingredient I continue to put in my life on a daily basis. Scott B loved spending time with kids and was a “kid” himself. I love how kids will often bring up funny memories of my dad whereas adults often talk about my dad’s death rather than his life. Children help me remember the good times and return to the joy.
I’ve also found humor to be a helpful ingredient. My dad’s resilient sense of humor helped immensely in facing his terminal diagnosis. He kept a good sense of humor throughout his cancer treatment and even in the last days of his life. When he died, he had a huge smile on his face, and I like to think that he was reminding me and my family to keep smiling no matter what.
I’ve realized the importance of smiling, not just for increasing the feeling of happiness in oneself, but connection with other people. As we’re collectively experiencing COVID-19 and adopting mask-wearing, it’s illuminated the power of smiling to connect with one another and how a smile is visible in one’s eyes.
What is the main thing that you’d like people to take away from the film?
I want the watching of the film to be a healing experience in and of itself. Grief is a universal experience, and we’re more aware of that now more than ever as we navigate a global pandemic. We go through loss every day.
And we are all going to die one day, and it’s hard to keep that in mind without letting our impermanence be a burden. I want the film to remind us to focus less on the amount of time we have and more on the quality of each and every day.
As a society, we often focus on our differences rather than what unites us. Grief is one of those universal experiences that reminds us that we all experience loss. I hope that the film is a representation of our collective kinship.
My dad immersed himself in living life to its full potential. My greatest hope is that the film will inspire people to see the magic in their own everyday lives.
Film Release: Coming Soon
Can’t wait to experience this wondrous film? It will release in early 2021. In the meantime, you can watch the film trailer here.
“Captain Scott B and the Ingredients for a Magical Life” is funded through the generous support of individual and corporate donors. Click here to help donate to the film project, or check out the film’s sponsorship page.