August 30, 2007

Melissa & David, August 25; The Lighthouse

Melissa and David were lucky last Saturday to have a beautiful day. Although the sun was a bit too hot for some, their arrival at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers had them looking as cool and relaxed as if getting married happened every day.

The bridal party arrived at Chelsea Piers close to 5:30 after a few stops for photos and spent the next hour touching up, taking photos, rehearsing the ceremony and signing the Ketubah.

When it came time to go down the aisle, Melissa had her bridal walk down perfectly and Dave eagerly awaited her under the Chuppah. The Rabbi led the intimate ceremony that concluded with Dave breaking the glass and joyfully kissing his new bride.

The events of the evening were coordinated masterfully by Randall the banquet event manager at Pier Sixty along with planner Tom Desmond from Tom Desmond Weddings. Highlights included the festive horah, non-stop dancing, three toasts, the mezinka, guest photographs by NYC Photobooth and great covers by the Kenny Ford band from Hank Lane.

August 29, 2007

Avenue 5 Films...Tim Alan Corporate Video

I am pleased to announce in the blog the recent launch of Avenue 5 Films, a corporate video site connected to Tim Alan Studios.

Avenue 5 is a actually a by-product of brides and grooms that have sent non-wedding video work to Tim Alan Studios over the years. Many clients have called us or referred friends for jobs that have included filming in the home of celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit as well as events for the United Nations, Fitness Magazine, L'Oreal and the Torino region of Italy.

Tim Alan Studios is still dedicated and focused on producing great wedding videos, but we also realize that there is a weekday market in NYC for corporate events and promotions.

Avenue 5 Films specializes in unobtrusive/photojournalistic videographers and photographers for corporate events. The final product is normally a short edited piece that sticks to the heart of our wedding philosophy- capturing the essence of the day!

August 24, 2007

Sonia & Lewis, August 18; Wave Hill

Sonia and Lewis, doctors who met while working together in NYC, decided to embrace the outdoors as part of their August 18 wedding by choosing Wave Hill, nestled in a beautiful corner of the Bronx. The outdoors was a great host- providing amazing weather for a mid August day, so that Sonia, Lewis and all their guests could fully enjoy the beautiful gardens and their majestic views.

The day started with Lewis and Sonia arriving early to get ready in a few of the rooms of the main mansion at Wave Hill before exploring its never-ending gardens both alone and with their families and wedding party.

The Hudson River proved a perfect backdrop while Lewis and Sonia exchanged vows. The guests enjoyed an impromptu dance on the back patio from the couple during cocktails that followed. After their dance, Sonia slipped out of her beautiful white gown and into a traditional Indian dress while Lewis changed his tie to match his new wife's dress.

The reception began with the introduction of the couple followed right by the first dance- which was a remix intended to acknowledge their diverse backgrounds and cultures. The dance floor was rarely empty during the evening, with traditional Indian songs dominating, interspersed by some of Lewis' hard rock favorites from Bon Jovi, Metallica and Guns & Roses. A special dance by some bridesmaids, a few poignant toasts and a slideshow by Sonia's nephew were just a few of the highlights from what surely will be a night to remember for the lucky couple.

August 16, 2007

Live from Las Vegas: The Wedding & Event Videographer Convention

I am writing a short note as my week in Las Vegas winds down after attending the Wedding and Event Videographer Association Exposition (WEVA) Convention at Bally's Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Videographers from around the world convene in Las Vegas once a year to share ideas, technology and samples of their work. There is also two days of trade shows in which we can test out the latest equipment, speak directly to manufacturers and discover things that ultimately improve upon both our business and the finished products we deliver.

I have picked up a few new lenses, a small camera and a few other items for my studio at the tradeshow. The new camera will be offered as an option to couples who want to take it along on their honeymoon to take photos and video. It's small and produces high quality photo and video. Most important, though, is the camera does not need tapes and is VERY easy to use.

For me, though, the most exciting thing has been to talk to other videographers and hear the new exciting things that are happening at weddings around the country. Every region and area does things a little bit differently, so it's always interesting to hear what new ideas I can bring back to share with my brides.

We also are able to hear speakers from other industries such as wedding planners, photographers and DJs talk about what they do and give their insight on the wedding day.

I just came from a seminar given by an entertainer from California named Peter Merry. Peter has done a lot of research on what brides like and what makes a reception and wedding day a success. As a result of his research- in which he quoted a Knot survey in which fun and elegance tied for the two most important thing a bride wants in her reception- Peter has written a book- ''The Best Wedding Reception....Ever!'. It can be found on-line and in bookstores and will be promoted by Peter later this year on an appearance on the Today Show.

I have a few more seminars to attend and friends to catch up with, but will be back in NYC tomorrow with new ideas and fresh enthusiasm for the year ahead!

August 01, 2007

Going Vintage: Super 8 Film

In my last blog entry I wrote about how Super 8 film was used in the 50s and 60s at some weddings because it was the only option available.

It has many downfalls- lack of good coloring sometimes, shaky footage, over and under exposed film, no audio, hard to focus, expensive to produce and the list goes on. These very reasons and more are why many brides today WANT some Super 8 footage included with their wedding video. Many of today's cameras produce a pristine image with sound straight from the set of a Warner Brothers movie- amazing technology to document the wedding day. However, they lack a certain nostalgia for days gone by and simpler times that many couples want- if only for a few moments- on their own wedding video.

When I produce a wedding video, a major part of my goal is to evoke appropriate feelings throughout. A nice song or a beautiful shot placed at the right time goes a long way towards achieving this. Due to its unique, nostalgic look, Super 8 evokes feelings of old television documentaries or family home videos, which becomes an immediate and powerful way to tap into emotions.

When I'm shooting with a Super 8 camera, it's much different experience for me as well. There isn't a viewfinder for me to see and check my work, there is no sound to monitor, and each film reel lasts only 3 minutes to name a few. The camera I use doesn't have batteries, instead relying on a hand crank to provide the power. It makes that 'whirring' noise that many are familiar with and associate as another added charm of the Super 8 format. Hearing that noise and seeing the old-fashioned camera probably makes the bride feel like she has gone back in time- connecting in this special moment with the experiences of her own mother or grandmother.

Super 8 is not ideal for all parts of the wedding day, especially much of the reception, as it relies on excellent lighting.
The bridal suite is iffy sometimes, but in the demo below it was a beautiful day and there were plenty of windows letting in light. Outside the church or reception hall is always a safe bet as well for good footage. If the wedding is shot in NYC, a walk through the streets before the reception or a trip to Central Park in between are good ways to make use of natural light as well as to capture a vintage NYC look.

Shooting with Super 8 is definitely something I think is personal preference, which is why I have it as an a la carte option. I don't think it is necessary to have in order to get an amazing wedding video, however if you love that look and have dreamed of your wedding day in Super 8, it's really something that is hard to beat!

My Parents' Wedding: 40 Years later....

I've always thought how great it would be to be able to see video from my parents' wedding from June of 1969 at the Manor in West Orange, New Jersey.

They would have that glow of new love in their eyes and more importantly their voices- as they said their vows. All of my grandparents would be young, energetic and alive- their laughter and conversation a treasure for generations to come. I would get to hear what I imagine was a very interesting best man's speech by my Uncle Rob- my dad's twin brother. There would be relatives I know well and others I've never met- all dressed their best and enjoying the day with dancing, drinking and conversation.

Unfortunately, my parents don't have a wedding video. They have a good excuse, though, which is that filming weddings at that time was a rarity. And if it were filmed, it most likely would have been with a Super 8 camera, not capable of recording sound. To me, those sounds of the day- vows, toasts, conversation and more are what make getting a wedding video indispensable. Moving images without sound are nice, but hardly an adequate substitute for the real sounds that will bring your wedding to life in a way photographs never can for future generations. A lot of times people don't want a videographer at their wedding because they don't like video or think it will be annoying or obtrusive. With the right company, video is neither obtrusive or annoying, but instead a way to create an enduring legacy and memory for generations still yet to be born.

So while I will never have the chance to watch and enjoy their wedding video, it was with great excitement last week when I booked the wedding of Tenesha and Eric at the Manor in June of 2008- almost 39 years to the day my parents were married there. I have never been to the Manor, but next June will most certainly flashback in time as I film the events of the day and imagine what it would have felt, looked and sounded like on June 15, 1969....