Travel

aloha wau ia 'oe | brandon + jennifer

It’s no secret that we’re fans of destination weddings around here. We’ve traveled the world far and wide to film all kinds of stories, but there is something special that happens during a destination wedding.  Beyond the sights, sounds, and general beauty of the location we find ourselves in, there is a heightened sense of community as a smaller group of loved ones gather to support the bride and groom. Since guests typically arrive a few days in advance, there is also a growing feeling of anticipation and celebration leading up to the big day. Brandon and Jennifer's wedding in Hawaii was no exception. We first met Brandon back when we were filming Julie and Marcus's wedding in Chicago. If you remember Julie and Marcus from an earlier blog post, we mentioned that they were some of the most genuine and kind-hearted people we've ever had the pleasure of meeting.  They say good people keep good company, and that was certainly true of Brandon. In the short time we got to know him as a guest at that wedding, we had nothing but good vibes and crossed our fingers with the hopes that we would be able to tell a great story for him in the near future.

The fates aligned, and we were soon in Chicago-to-Korea Skype sessions with Brandon and his equally awesome counterpart, Jennifer. In a few months time, we would find ourselves sitting down with them over a pre-wedding udon lunch off the shores of Waikiki talking about their journey, faith, family, and what items they would put in magical bags (we never did finish that list, guys!).

We had an incredible time celebrating with Brandon and Jennifer. What was true from the destination weddings we've shot in the past was also true for them—the overwhelming feeling of anticipation, celebration, and sense of community abounded—and the sights, sounds, and beauty of Hawaii were simply an added bonus.


what's the WOD | jason + adrianne

Our filmmaking has taken us to stunning places, has allowed us to meet fantastic people, and ultimately experience some really beautiful moments.  Whether it was California, New York, Aruba, Cancun, Italy, Kenya, or even Haiti, one thing would remain the same—there was always a good story to tell. Jason and Adrianne flew us out a few days early to spend time hanging with them and their guests in Cancun. For us, we really prefer to arrive early because not only does it give us a chance to find our bearings, but it also lets us get a sense of the personalities, energy, and overall vibe of what we can expect as the big day approaches. It also allows us to film anything that may highlight or showcase the couple's interests.

Multi-day weddings are loads of fun because they provide an opportunity to spend time with people. In this case, some of that time was spent doing a custom WOD [Workout of the Day], led by the brother of the groom. The gritty physical exertion actually wasn't out of the ordinary for Jason and Adrianne, or their bridal party—many of them are regulars at the same CrossFit gym in Chicago!

Had we not been keen on coming in early and just treated their wedding as a self-contained day, rather than a story that spans several days, we could have missed out on some key moments that really make this piece amazing.

What we have now is a film with a tropical setting, an intense beach workout, killer dance moves, and some whiz-bang camera work. But more than anything, what we have here is a very, very lovely story.


where the sky and earth speak | a vignette

"The process of creating art renews my spirit, and I find myself attuned to the details of life rather than being stressed by being overwhelmed. I find myself listening rather than shouting into the void. Creating art opens my heart to see and listen to the world around me, opening a new vista of experience." - from "Refractions" by Makoto Fujimura  

We recently attended Masters in Motion, a filmmaking conference that took place in the weirdly-creative/creatively-weird Austin, TX. Aside from meeting some awesome, like-minded kinfolk, we walked away with a little extra pep in our step to create something entirely for ourselves.

The time needed to create a personal project is something of a rarity in our lives these days. Between shooting, editing, and running the business, it's something that we've had to curb for the time being. However, the golden opportunity reared it's glorious face while we were filming a wedding in Cortona, Italy.

This piece is a combination of live footage, timelapse, stop motion, and HDR photography.  With only one practice shoot day before leaving for Italy, I ran several timelapse tests around town to see if what we had in mind could be achieved.

On a whim, we decided to go for it! We carved out whatever free time we had in between shooting for the wedding, to try this out. At the end of each day, we downloaded the footage and pieced it together to see what worked and what didn't. Unsurprisingly, there were some shots that ended up not being usable.

We were mentally prepared for idea that timelapses take a long time, but these timelapses in particular were very tedious. As a frame of reference, it took about an hour of intense shooting per 5 seconds of footage. You also can't take a break in the middle--which can be especially challenging when curious locals want to chat and ask questions.

While this is one of the more technical pieces we've shot, we always wanted to keep the heart and soul of the film--the beauty of the land--at its center. We feel like we've achieved that with this piece we've created. A piece that we can at long last call our very own.

flamingos. iguanas. explosions in the sky. | gina + gary

We've come to really enjoy destination weddings. Not because we get to travel--it's actually not as glamorous as it sounds! After all, hauling our heavy gear through airport security and customs isn't the most comfortable experience.

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We enjoy them because people are gathered for a very specific purpose. Family, friends, and guests from all over come to celebrate, and the buzz in the air isn't just on the wedding day, but permeates through the duration of the festivities. Ultimately, the undercurrent of emotions provide for some really amazing interactions for us to capture.

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Gina and Gary celebrated their wedding on the beautiful island of Aruba. Their ceremony was held in a small, colorful Catholic church, followed by a private reception on Iguana and Flamingo Beach (yes, there really were iguanas and flamingos hanging around!).

While the island was certainly a character in itself, the interactions between people throughout the day are what took center stage. We actually got to know Gina and Gary with a little help from their friends--whether through speeches, witnessing the groomsmen trade Star Wars and Marvel references with the groom, or seeing the bridesmaids' reaction to their gifts, we were able to get a glimpse into why Gina and Gary are so well loved by the people that surrounded them.

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We loved being a part of their day and watching their celebration unfold. We laughed at the Han Solo jokes, gasped at the awesome gifts, and marveled at the sunset and surrounding nature. And to top things off, their film literally ends with a bang :)