We do this because WE LOVE STORIES! We love watching films, reading books, researching storytelling structure in all it’s nerdiness and discovering the stories all around us. It’s the heart of everything we do. Good stories are timeless. They challenge, encourage and impact others even long after we’re gone. They can inspire nations and people to follow an ideal or correct an injustice. Stories are powerful.
What does storytelling have to do with a wedding video though? I mean it’s just a wedding video, right? We don’t really have a story, we’re just getting married.
We disagree. Everyone has a good story and it doesn’t start on your wedding day. You didn’t just show up and say, “Hey, I’m going to marry this good looking stranger today.” There were people, places and events that shaped your story long before that. That’s why a good wedding video should be about more than just that day. It should be about your story.
Maybe we are the perfect fit to tell that story, maybe we aren’t but that doesn’t change one thing. You have a story and it deserves to be well told. Don’t just hire a videographer. Hire someone that will sift through your life for the gold and weave it into something beautiful. Hire a storyteller.
When I was a kid the first thing I ever filmed was a thirty second clip at a family reunion. My dad gave me the camera, told me to film something and I took a shot of him as he stood in front of a grill and then a close up of hot dogs as he jabbed them with one of those giant forks. “What are you doing?” my mom asked off camera. “I’m filming the hot dogs,” I said. “Stop filming the hot dogs,” my sister yelled. “You’re wasting tape,” said my mother. “Turn off the camera,” said my dad. Cue static. If that happened in a movie you would call that foreshadowing.
Fast forward many years later and I’m still filming odd things. Though my technique is a little more advanced, the foods I occasionally film a little higher class and instead of getting yelled at it’s an odd look from a grandmother that wonders why I’m on the floor filming the bride’s shoes or an uncle trying to figure out why I’m filming through two champagne glasses. What they don’t understand and what my family didn’t understand back then was that it isn’t about the hot dogs. It’s about the story.
I want whoever is watching the stories I am blessed to capture to taste, touch, see, hear and smell those moments. I want them to experience the same things the people in that film experience. Not just to experience it with them but to come away feeling a closeness to them they hadn’t had before. To feel like they know them. So yeah, I guess it’s my destiny to be the weird guy with the camera but it’s so worth it knowing what we are giving to the couple in the end. There’s nothing else I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of that compares to it.
Jim was the one that helped me first see my talent for filmmaking and it’s been a crazy journey to say the least. It was all the way back in 2001 when we first met at a Dave Chappelle concert at the University at Buffalo (saying this makes me feel old). My friend and I were laughing hysterically (side note: when I laugh, I laugh loud). Jim barely laughed. I remember thinking “How is he not finding this funny?” and was pretty sure he wasn’t having a good time. Later I learned he loved it and thought the show was hilarious, he just isn’t a loud person (and a very quiet laughter :). It’s probably why he’s such an awesome and focused videographer.
Not long after that we had our first date where Jim showed up wearing a Sombero. I thought it was weird, but still thought he was cute and didn’t say anything. Many years later (we were married at this point), I asked “Why did you wear that hat on our first date?” and he told me, “Because we were going to a Mexican restaurant.” Still weird, but I love him anyway!
A few years later we were married and a few years after that he brought me into the wedding filming business. A few more years after that we had our amazing and beautiful baby girl.
In the end, I’ve always had a strong sense for attention to detail, I’m good at telling stories and I’m told I’m a good listener :). Filming weddings is a natural fit for me. I truly love stories and hearing about how engaged couples met and fell in love. It is my favorite part! And seeing their joy when they first watch their film is amazing, too. I feel blessed to do what I do.
I never would have thought at that Dave Chappelle concert that the “non-laugher” sitting next to me would someday be the love of my life, business partner, and the most incredible father to our little girl. But the best stories aren’t predictable. That’s my story, whats yours?
Filmmaking, for me, has always been about diving into stories, characters, and moments to share with the world. Weddings, being one of the most important moments in any couple’s journey, are among the greatest use of the filmmaking craft. Being there to watch the day unfold, and being able to turn it into a story after the day is up, is a great challenge and a great privilege.
My favorite part is undoubtedly the cutting of the cake. We get to see their sense of humor when they smash a piece into the others’ face, and we see their love when they share it with their friends and family.
Aside from filming and editing, I love writing stories, doing back flips, putting on wigs and spending time with my new wife Carly, though not necessarily in that order.