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  • Writer's pictureJustin Bunnell

Video Highlight: History of the Venetian Soda Lounge

Creating the story of the Venetian Soda Lounge was a journey in itself, mirroring the epic voyage of its founder, Michael C. Dorn, from Europe to America. As a video producer, I aimed to bring this rich history to life, employing a blend of stock footage, historical research, voice-over narration, and creative storytelling techniques. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how this project came to fruition, encapsulating the essence of an era and the legacy of a family that shaped the beverage industry in their pursuit of the American Dream.


The foundation of our video was the narrative – a tale stretching over a century, from the early 1900s to the present day. It was crucial to set the right tone from the start, capturing the spirit of adventure, hope, and resilience. I envisioned a storyline that not only recounted historical events but also connected viewers emotionally to the journey of the Dorn family, especially through the figure of Michael C. Dorn, a Swiss immigrant with a dream.

Stock Footage and Historical Accuracy

To visually represent the early 20th-century setting, I delved into extensive stock footage libraries. Finding authentic-looking clips that could depict the era of European immigrants arriving in America was challenging yet rewarding. These visuals served as a backdrop to our narrative, enhancing the historical context and providing viewers with a visual journey through time.

Voice-Over Narration

The voice-over played a pivotal role in weaving the story together. Selecting the right voice was critical; it needed to evoke a sense of nostalgia and warmth, inviting viewers into the world of the past. The narration guided the audience through the various chapters of the Dorn family saga, from the opening of a café in Burlington, Vermont, to the rise of Venetian Beverages during Prohibition, and finally, to the revival of the Venetian Soda Lounge in the very same building more than a century later.

Creative Storytelling Techniques

To transition smoothly between different epochs and geographical locations, we used a mix of fade-ins, cross-dissolves, and music cues. Each technique was chosen to reflect the passage of time and the evolution of the Dorn family's ventures. Music, in particular, was selected to match the mood of each era, with jazz and swing tunes for the Prohibition era, solemn tones for the war years, and upbeat tracks for the revival of the Venetian Soda Lounge.

Conclusion and Tribute

The video concludes with an invitation to the viewer, encouraging them to experience the legacy of Michael Dorn firsthand at the Venetian Soda Lounge. This call to action was not just about visiting a location but about celebrating the enduring spirit of innovation and resilience.

Behind the Scenes

Creating this video was as much a historical journey as it was a creative one. It involved meticulous research, from the specifics of the Prohibition era to the impact of World War II on American businesses. By using stock footage, we were able to visually transport viewers back in time, while the voice-over and narrative techniques helped to keep them engaged and connected to the story's emotional core.

In crafting the story of the Venetian Soda Lounge, we aimed to pay homage to the generations of the Dorn family, whose dreams, challenges, and achievements reflect the broader American experience. This project was a testament to the power of video production in preserving and celebrating our shared history, making the past resonate with audiences today.

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