Alexandra and Jonathan

As a wedding filmmaker, it’s easy to let all the weddings blend together over the years. As storytellers, it’s our job to portray these characters, if you will, so in order to avoid normalcy, we pay close attention to who they are as people and who they are as a couple, and most importantly: what makes them special? For Alexandra and Jonathan, our first wedding of the season, it became clear that their wedding was not just an eager leap into their future, but also an acknowledgement and celebration of their past, and of the time and effort dedicated to forming and maintaining their relationship. Marriage is a promise; a promise to be loyal and loving and to endure hardships together, as a team. In many ways Ali and Jono's relationship has already proven it's ability to uphold those promises, as their relationship has not only spanned years but also oceans and continents. Their guests came from all corners of the U.S., from different parts of the U.K., and South Africa, this truly was an international event. The support of family is always important, but when the support comes from all around the world, it says much more about the strength of the couple, and how they build communities wherever they go, and maintain them even when they're off to new places. Marriage is not a destination, it's a journey. And for this couple, who have journeyed long and far, it seems as though their future will be a walk in the park.

Congratulations Ali and Jono!

Something Old, Something New, etc.

So many wonderful couples!

We've started our wedding and social event season just as our non-profit season is ending. We're excited to be filming so many lovely weddings; a bat mitzvah; a 50th birthday party and more...

We're producing quite a few Love Stories this year as well - and I am so excited to be officiating at at least one industry colleague's wedding this year. 

When it comes to weddings, I have one bit of advice: Give up the idea of perfection. Something WILL go wrong. Just as in life, perfection is unattainable. I have seen brides in tears when their makeup doesn't turn out as planned, or the florals required some last minute adjustments. Life, and a good marriage, are, of course, wonderful and exciting. However, nothing is ever perfect - not your spouse, your wedding or your marriage. Expect imperfections and you will be able to relax. We've all gotten confused from watching TV or movie weddings, where there are multiple takes, lighting and designers on set, and makeup and hair artists doing touch ups every few minutes.

Your wedding should be a time of joy and celebration of your love, & your marriage. Try to get off to a good start by surrendering the role of producer/director to your event planner or venue and just let yourself have the best time ever with family and friends. 

Love Stories!

What's most important about a wedding? The dress? The shoes? Hair? Makeup? Flowers? Band?

Food? Of course all those contribute to the beauty and magic of a wedding, but truly, weddings are about the couple. In keeping with our focus on the wedding couple, their love and story.

Some years ago we pioneered The Love Story - a film just about the couple. We sit down with the couple in their place or ours (we have a lovely, red velvet love seat that just speaks of love and romance!), often with a glass or 2 of bubbly, and chat informally, on camera,  about how they met, their first impressions of one another; their first date; first kiss; the moment each knew "this was the one"; the plans for the wedding and the future beyond the wedding; where the couple imagine themselves to be in 10 years; their dreams and ambitions. 

Then we take the story, edit it and intersperse it with photos/video of the couple during their growing relationship. When it's convenient, we may join the engagement photo shoot (with permission from the photographer) and film the couple just having fun together. When not possible, we often are given permission from the photographer to use some of the photos from the engagement photo shoot.

We put the video and photos together and produce a sweet, often funny story of the couple's romance and love. Showing the Love Story video at the rehearsal dinner is a great way to welcome guests to the weekend, and give them an intimate look at the couple's story.

Non-Profit Videography

There are essentially two main reasons to consider regularly producing video for your non-profit.

First, good videography will clarify your organization's mission, purpose and brand. Who are the beneficiaries of your non-profit's work? How are they helped?

Second, top-shelf videography is a primary tool to use for fund raising. Every non-profit depends on grants and donations to do its work. Donors contribute when they are emotionally moved by the organization, and feel connected to the org's beneficiaries. Videos can debut at a gala where the org has a captive audience who is already there because they support the org. Videos live on through blogs, websites and social media. They can also be emailed to donors and prospective donors in order to initiate conversation. Video can provide regular updates about events and initiatives, and give donors the opportunity to feel part of the organization's ongoing efforts.

What makes a good non-profit video? Here, at GENERATIONS cinemastories, we avoid scripts and professional narrators. We believe that stories are best told in the first person, by the people who are most affected by the organization's work. We believe that there are subtle, emotional nuances experienced by viewers when stories are told in people's own words, with their own pacing and language structure. When there are several voices, authenticity will add diversity and interest to the project. 

A good interviewer is key to this authenticity. S/he should be warm, engaging, curious, and personally expressive so that small details like a nod, or a "wow" will encourage and support the person being interviewed. 

Here are a few links to videos we have produced for our wonderful, non-profit clients:

https://vimeo.com/211602181  Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children

https://vimeo.com/192160017 Gateways to Jewish Education

https://vimeo.com/178635522  Grand Reopening of Boston Public Library

Wedding Ceremony Tips from a Wedding Film Maker - Part 1

You're busy planning your wedding. You have the perfect venue, the perfect planner, the best caterer. You and your partner are superbly styled and dressed. You've hired an excellent photographer and highly respected film makers to capture the day. And, you have 5+ attendants on each side. Let's imagine several different ceremony venues:

1. You're marrying in an beautiful, historic church like the Old North Church in Boston. The area where the ceremony will be taking place is 10-12' wide. Your attendants will be lined up on either side, curving around the couple. Very sweet. But consider: without being in the way (standing in front of your guests or hovering behind you and the officiant) where will the photographers and film makers be shooting from? Ideally, we should all be off to the side - but the side aisles are blocked. The pew boxes have 4' sides and the floor creaks.

2. You're having a Jewish wedding, and a stunning Chuppah is being created. The Chuppah is 8'-10' wide. Your plan is to include the following under the Chuppah: The couple, the rabbi, the cantor, both sets of parents, 1.5 sets of grandparents, your BM and MOH and of course, all 10 of the attendants will be lined up in front.  It will be a very intimate huddle. Sweet. BUT - where will your photographers and film makers be filming from? 

Few planners and fewer couples consider how to have the ceremony filmed/photographed in these situations.  We all want to be invisible, yet capture every meaningful moment. How can we do that without having room for our bodies, our cameras, our tripods or monopods?

Here are a couple of options:

1. If there's no room for your attendants to be standing during the ceremony without forming a tight huddle, have them sit. They can process and recess as part of the wedding party, but during the ceremony they can have a perfect view of the couple by sitting in the reserved front pew.

2. If you're having a Chuppah, consider the venue and the ideal number of people you wish to have standing under the Chuppah. If you want a crowd, have a BIG Chuppah. How big? As big as it needs to be to provide a foot of space between each of the people under the Chuppah. That way, your photographer(s) and film maker(s) have room to shoot without blocking guests or  becoming part of the wedding party.

 

 

Iron Mountain - Library Space Solutions

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Hear about The University of Scranton's new library storage facility and why it's so important for them to continue expanding and enhancing their reputation. Using Iron Mountain's secure, climate-controlled buildings freed up space for ten thousand more books in their collection. With an extensive online database, students and faculty can search for whatever they need and have physical access to it within twenty four hours. That's the true magic behind a university library like this one.

Gateways 2016

"Here at Gateways, Boston's central agency for Jewish special education, we believe every Jewish child deserves a Jewish education."

"Gateways offers programs and services to children with special needs and educational challenges in Greater Boston's Jewish day schools, congregational and community supplemental schools and Jewish preschools, as well as Gateways’ own Sunday school, B'nei Mitzvah preparation program and teen youth group."

Learn about the Gateways: Access to Jewish Education B'nei Mitzvah Program and the effect it has on students, families and the Greater Boston Jewish community.

Boston Public Library Grand Reopening

This famous 168-year-old building recently went through a huge local renovation focused on transforming both the library building, and the library services. With a highlight on architecture and urban planning, this historical building has caught up to its 21st century literary audience. It reopened its doors in early July of 2016, and there's truly something for everyone. Watch the video to see for yourself, or go view it in person!

LIANA & JARED - July 30, 2016

When a wedding takes place at the Four Seasons Hotel, you know it's going to be beautiful, but these two were incredible. Her long-trailed dress was gorgeous, their color palette was lovely and easy on the eyes. Complete with unique decorations and keepsakes, Liana and Jared made their day one we would never forget. Watch the trailer below:

And here's Liana and Jared's full wedding film: