Tuesday, March 30, 2010

April + Casey ~ The Matron of Honor

Periodically, we have the privilege of filming a sibling of a past bride or groom and it is always both a pleasure and a blast as we get to see old faces and reunite with some of our favorites.

April is the younger sister or Danielle, whose wedding we filmed several years back. Since we recently posted a fun clip highlighting the Best Man, why not give the Matron of Honor her due?

Plus, to make things a little more fun, we couldn't help but show the commotion that took place prior to the ceremony with the bridesmaids as they frantically recited their last minute rehearsal of where and how to stand just minutes before the ceremony began. . .

A special thank you to Scott Soluk with Off the Record Entertainment for being so easy to work with and helpful at the reception.

Without further adieu, April + Casey.

Monday, March 29, 2010

It Runs in the Family

While I am most certainly a filmmaker, I would still consider my craft a form of photography. After all, movies are nothing but a succession of images shown one frame after another to simulate the look of "motion". So, in a round-a-bout way, I consider myself a photographer, too. :-)

Over the past two weeks, my father was cleaning out my grandfather's house and he found a few cameras that had been stored away for many decades by now. One belongs to my grandfather. It is the F-2 Nikon series for all you Nikon junkies out there. A cool camera that still works just fine I might add. My grandfather used to go to the Dodger games with a Media Pass and photograph the players back in the Koufax, Drysdale era. My father grew up in the press box at the Ravine and I still haven't forgiven him for wearing and losing, might I add, BOTH ballcaps that Don Drysdale wore during the 1963 and 1965 world series. I suppose you take those things for granted when you are a kid. He also decided it was best to play catch with a ball that was signed by the ENTIRE 1963 world series Dodgers team (for those that don't know or care, in the right condition, that ball would be worth over $10,000 today). I still have the ball, but you can barely make out any of the signatures. Another story for another blog post. In any case, my grandfather's camera is sightly vintage, but nothing like the other camera my father found in my grandfather's closet.

I must admit that I didn't think I would be as fascinated as I was today and I must say it is such a cool feeling to hold your great-grandfather's camera. I never knew the man, but I could only imagine the pictures he must have taken and how great he felt when he first held this camera.

The Eastman Kodak No. 3a - Autographic Junior Model-A was made from 1914-1926. My grandfather wasn't able to tell me what year it was purchased, but based on the fact that it is a Model A (there was a Model B and C), and the last patent on the casing shows 1917 as the date, I think this camera was likely purchased around 1918, which would make it 92 years old.

The shutter still works and the camera is in surprisingly decent condition. A little rust and the side strap is broken off, but all in all, I think it would still take a picture. Such a great little piece of history and I'm so stoked to have such an amazing family heirloom sitting in the studio. There are now 3 different generations of cameras proudly sitting on display.

My Grandfathers Nikon F-2 Series. . .

My Great Grandfather's Eastman Kodak No. 3a Autographic Junior Model-A . . .

3 Generations and their respective gear . . .

Such a Sick Family Heirloom!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Rant {The Importance of a Good Wedding Film}

As a wedding filmmaker, I feel as though our job can become a twofold approach. It is not uncommon for us to meet with couples and have the first thing they say be, "At first, we really weren't interested in having a wedding video". Back when I used to hear this, I would want to become defensive of our industry, but the truth is that over time I have learned that most couples simply don't know:

1.) the difference between a "wedding video" and a "wedding film"

2.) what a good film looks like

3.) what huge regret they will have if they don't document their day in the way it deserves to be documented

4.) They are overwhelmed by all the garbage they find combing through the endless demos they find on the internet. A montage of slow motion clips to a sappy song. . . sound familiar???

It is because of these factors that I often tell our couples to "throw every preconceived notion they have about a "wedding video" out the window", because to be honest, that phrase doesn't do our craft justice.

A wedding film is much more than a regurgitation of the days events. We are not here to show you what happened that day all over again. Uncle Joe will be more than happy to do that with his handi-cam over lunch at his house. We are here to show you your day in a way you never thought was possible. We are here to create a piece of art that not only you can watch, but your friends, your family, and even strangers will enjoy as well. There are so many facets to one day that go unnoticed and it is our job to bring those to the forefront. We are here to do what no "wedding video" can do. . . . we are here to tell your story through a film. You will laugh, cry, laugh again, then grab the tissues, and I GUARANTEE any groom who says, "why do we even need a video" will reconsider once we show you what we can do with a camera and a couple hours.

I received this card in the mail just a few days ago from one of our brides who gets it. While she may not use the lingo (film vs. video), she understands what it is we can offer that no photographer can give you. Don't get me wrong, the photographs are incredibly important, but don't tell me a good wedding film should ever take a back seat to a photo album.

When the flowers have wilted, the linens have been returned, the dress put away in a box, and the gifts have been opened. . . . all that will remain are your pictures AND your wedding film. Just my 2 cents.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nancy + Jack // The Push-Up Parade

One of the great parts about sharing the big day with our couples is we are constantly introduced to new firsts and fun traditions. With each culture comes different customs, some dating back thousands of years. The Tea Ceremonies, the signing of the Ketubah, or perhaps, henna on the palms. Each culture is different and amazing in its own way, but I think some of the Chinese traditions are without a doubt, the most entertaining to experience.

So the way it works is, Jack is to meet up with Nancy prior to the ceremony. As he approaches the house where Nancy is getting ready, he has to yell at the top of his lungs, "Hello Nancy Yip, I'm here to Marry You". At this point, her bridesmaids and friends come down and make Jack and his groomsmen answer a series of questions and perform tasks to gain entrance through the front door. Trivia is usually related to the bride and groom's relationship.

. . . . . well, for every question they get wrong (i.e. guessing which lipstick is Nancy's by looking at a bunch of lips pressed against a piece of paper, or guessing which artist is singing the song they are hearing) they have to do push-ups.

Let's just say Jack and the Groomsmen got their workout for the day, as you'll see in the clip below. Enjoy Nancy + Jack :-)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Brent + Denise // aka Brenise

I feel as though I've said this 5 thousand times now, but for some reason, nothing ever gets old about vineyard weddings. I suppose that sentence deserves a, "well, duh!", however I felt the need to write the sentence anyways.

Brent + Denise, or Brenise, as they affectionately refer to themselves, set the scene for a vineyard in October. With the fall effect in full swing, these two tied the knot in one of the most romantic ceremonies we have ever been a part of. The craziest part is that the readings were so good, that we didn't even include their hand written vows to one another in this trailer. . . you have to save a little candy for the feature film, you know?

So instead, we focused on a very simple, yet powerful reading defining the concept of Marriage. For you married folks out there, myself included, this reading couldn't be closer to the truth on so many levels, so be sure to pay attention as you watch this clip. From the beautiful overflowing vines to a sneak glimpse at the officiant while he was rehearsing on a bench prior to the ceremony, this trailer incorporates some great imagery tied together with a very prophetic reading about marriage.

A very special thanks and shout out to Lane Dittoe, photographer extraordinaire for all his help on the big day and Joe over at Atmosphere Entertainment for keeping the party rockin'.

. . . and here it is, Brent + Denise // aka Brenise

-enjoy! - Steve

Congratulations!!! You made it. . . was it hard to find??? In any case, here lies our most recent creations. That's right. . . like it or not, here you will find everything Weddings by SML. From trailers to tidbits, this is where everything not found on www.weddingsbysml.com ends up.

So laugh, cry, do whatever you do when you watch our stuff. Hope you like it, and please, be sure to leave a comment or two. We love feedback, and we love the fact that you are here to check us out, so enjoy!!!