Well, maybe it wasn't that easy...
Last week, we made a huge announcement and premiered our brand new website! We have been working on this site tirelessly for months now and we are so happy to finally share it with everyone. As we were creating the site, we kept coming back and reviewing what would be shared on the first page. We had space for one film and couldn't come up with the perfect one. We work with so many beautiful, unique couples! How could just one day explain everything we are?
You know the old saying, "a Chef's breakfast is as plain as boiled eggs." We have made several reels for other companies' marketing efforts, why not make one that highlights our capabilities? We decided it was time to create our own sizzle reel, which we call our CinemaCake Sampler. This is where the real work began.
Since 2001, CinemaCake has had the privilege of capturing over 1,000 beautiful weddings, so when it was time for us to create a film that showed off our work, you can imagine how difficult it was! Our team spent dozens of hours reviewing trailers, same day edits, and films, to find the right ingredients. We not only wanted to showcase our work, but tell a story as well, so finding the best card readings, vows, and speeches became crucial. After everything had been reviewed and organized, we handed hours of footage and clips off to our incredible editor, Rick Stevens, and had him piece the final story together.
We couldn't be prouder of our CinemaCake Sampler and we feel like it truly showcases what we do in just a few minutes! We are so happy to be sharing this film with you now and we can't wait to hear your feelings about it in the comments below! Maybe you'll see something "Popping up" in your mailbox!
Since 2001 CinemaCake has been bringing all of the excitement of events like weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and corporate events to life on film. But like Rome, it wasn't built in a day.
CinemaCake owner and president, Dave Williams, was recently interviewed by Christian Nachtrieb on team management and growth. In the interview, Dave discussed starting the business, how he found and manages the CinemaCake team, and some of the resources he discovered along the way.
Dave spent 11 years in pharmaceutical sales with a recreational interest in videography that started with a Super 8 camera in the late seventies. A coworker asked him to film her wedding, which eventually led Dave to discover his passion for filmmaking, and the rest is pretty much history.
Once Dave took the plunge into the world of filmmaking with his wife and CinemaCake co-owner, Sheryl, he quickly discovered that filming, editing, and production were time consuming. He learned to recruit heavily through CinemaCake's editing contests.
Managing your own business isn't always a walk in the park. Dave shared a lot of the resources and learning experiences he had while developing CinemaCake into a small business. Using cloud services like ShootQ and Basecamp organized communication between team members and clients. Holding the editors contests, having potential employees shadow on shoots, and demonstrating an overall sense of professionalism were just a few of the strategies that Dave and Sheryl implemented to establish the culture at "The Cake".
Whether its in the studio or on a shoot, you can always find Dave exploring new creative strategies and leading by example. The CinemaCake team is definitely proud to call Dave and Sheryl Williams our fearless leaders. Check out the full interview below:
It was once said that if you love someone, let them go, and if they come back thats how you'll know. This was certainly true for Stefanie and Larry, a couple whose wedding we filmed a little over a year ago. Their wedding was recently featured in The Knot Pennsylvania. From their high school prom to their wedding at Pomme, their love story was just as beautiful as their big day, and we caught it all on film in a love story video.
(Photo by Marie Labbancz)
This couple were high school sweethearts. Larry, who is one year older than Stefanie, left to attend college. They broke up and parted ways after two years of dating. Twenty four years later they reconnected on LinkedIn over their shared interest in politics. They picked up right where they left off, this time including their children from previous marriages. Stefanie has two children, Josh and Allie. Larry also has two children, Ethan and Halle. All of their kids are around the same age and formed close friendships, easily blending the two families. And the rest is history. (Photo courtesy of Marie Labbancz)
The wedding ceremony and reception was held at Pomme, a secluded woodland mansion in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Their wedding drew inspiration from many of the family's vacations (where thankfully, according to their love story video, nobody forgot their boarding passes). The trendy rustic, wine country theme came from their trips to Napa Valley and Sonoma, California and Tuscany. They featured deep colors such as lavender, green, and red... right down to the Vera Wang wedding dress.
"We wanted it to feel natural and fresh without being overly rustic," Stefanie said.
The ceremony took place on the lawn, under the chuppah draped with flowers. Both Stefanie and Larry's children walked their parents down the aisle and served as their attendants, completing the theme of celebrating family. The reception was decorated with soft orange lighting, large wooden farm tables, and all the fragrant flowers you can imagine. Stefanie and Larry along with their family and friends ate, laughed, and danced the night away. The perfect ending to a perfect day.
More of the setting, decorations, and all the other details that brought their dream wedding to life can be seen in their trailer below.
It is no secret that we live in an age of rapidly progressing technology. Many industries have been affected by the skyrocketing advancements in electronics, and the filmmaking industry is no exception. While new lenses or editing software is always exciting for us, one of our favorite new high tech tools at CinemaCake are quadcopters, more popularly known as drones. They help get those bird's eye view shots of events and venues.
The Inquirer recently posted a feature article on the use of drones in this industry. In the article, multiple professionals were interviewed on their opinions of drones including our CinemaCake owner, Dave Williams. In the article, Dave discussed one of our recent projects that incorporated the use of drones; a promo for The Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board. The film will promote weddings and other events in Montgomery County. Dave believes it will give the promo a little something extra to encourage engaged couples to choose Montgomery County venues for their weddings.
"I think that the article was well balanced because it did the most important thing; it promoted professional pilots and safety first. Experienced operators are a must, not only for safety, but for the best shots possible." Dave said. To view the article from The Inquirer click here.
Below is a still image of a wedding venue where we have filmed and it was taken with a drone.
We look forward to seeing which kinds of new technology will be released in the future, and how we will be able to utilize them for filmmaking.
CinemaCake teams always try to capture people in their best light as they get ready in bedrooms, hotel rooms, and bridal suites. One of the most important aspects of filming is finding good light, and sometimes this can be challenging.
After years of filming on corporate sets, Dave has picked up a few tricks of the trade for filming brides, grooms, and family members as they prepare for their big day. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at one of those tricks.
Most rooms have regular tungsten bulbs in the lamps on nightstands and in other fixtures. Tungsten lights are much "warmer" or orange, compared to the sunshine (bluer light) that comes through the window while shooting. This means that subjects and objects are in "mixed light", which is not as flattering as evenly colored light in the room. Dave discovered a quick and inexpensive (less than $10) solution to this problem and still uses this tactic today.
If there is a chance of a mixed light situation, he makes sure to grab a pack of four 60W Equivalent Daylight CFL bulbs just in case the lighting clashes. These light bulbs can easily replace the tungsten bulbs in a room and match the color temperature of the sun. Instead of the orange lighting from the tungstens, the daylight bulbs provide a cooler or bluer light that helps make a more attractive picture on camera, avoiding the less flattering "mixed light".
"Tungsten bulbs and sunlight don't mix well. The daylight bulbs are powerful tools. Filmmakers can often feel like lighting is something that is out of our control, but it can suddenly be back in your control for a low price and minimal effort", Dave says.
Dave has been using this tool so long that he has returned to the same rooms years later to discover the daylight bulbs he installed were still there.
Below is a film where Dave used this technique.
Disclaimer: Dave recommends getting permission before changing anyone's bulbs.
What’s better than HD? 4K! My friend Abraham gave me permission to re-post his film (below). Really interesting (and a little controversial) stuff… See the full article here.
One of the things we pride ourselves on while filming a wedding is our ability to remain unseen. The crew tries their best to blend in with the crowd and capture moments throughout the day that happen organically. We have become so good at this over the years that clients sometimes wonder if we managed to capture everything! When they get a chance to see their final film, however, they are often amazed by how many moments we were able to film! Everyone was reminded of that this week when we received an email from Wendy, the mother of the bride at one of our recent weddings. She wrote:
“I just wanted to let you know that it looked like your guys did a terrific job. Most times I even forgot they were there.”
Wendy soon got the chance to see just how much of the day we captured when she received the link to her daughter, Lauren, and new husband, Dixon’s, coming soon trailer. After watching the film, she wrote us again and said:
“I have now watched the video about 12 times and each time I love it more! It all went by so fast that it’s so much fun to sit and watch even a small video about the day. Thanks again- when will I stop crying when I see it?!”
Not only did Wendy contact us to tell us how much she loved the trailer, but we heard from Lauren and Dixon too! In the middle of their honeymoon they sent us this email to not only tell us how much they liked their film’s trailer, but also to reiterate how great it was to have filmmakers for their big day. Our happy couple wrote:
“ [We] are on our honeymoon and it was such a nice treat to get the coming soon trailer on Sunday! We were at the beach when we got the email and raced up to our room to watch it. We LOVE it! Your team did such a great job. It so nice to be able to have a video to look back on the day since it flew by so unbelievably fast. We can’t wait to see the full film! Thanks again!”
Check out the trailer to Lauren and Dixon’s wedding film below!
Be sure to check back often for more news and updates from CinemaCake! Thanks for stopping by!
Above: CinemaCake editors staying ahead of technology with continuing education.
It’s an exciting time here at CinemaCake and our commercial brand, Media Wave Video Productions (MWVP.com). We are growing again. With up to four teams now shooting multiple events on a given day, we realize it is time to hire another fantastic editor or two to join our creative team.
In 2004, we held our first editor’s contest. It was so successful, we did it again in 2007. CinemaCake now employs four full-time editors and now we need to add another member or two to the team.
The person we hire must be able to keep up with a steady workload and work well under pressure. Most importantly, our new editor needs to fit into our culture and meet the high expectations of our clients. Finally, if you can shoot, show us your stuff. We prefer to hire editors who can shoot, and those who can will be more valuable to us than people who only edit.
Because the position is in the suburbs of Philadelphia, we ask that only editors who actually plan to live in the Greater Philadelphia area enter this contest.
Regardless of who we interview, $500, $300, and $200 respectively will go to the top three editors.
How to enter:
Step 2: Edit your film. Your film should be 3 to 5 minutes in length.
Step 3: Upload the finished film to us HERE. We’ll upload these films to a gallery for the public to see and comment on.
All entries are due on Monday, November 21, Noon EST. (See countdown clock below)
We’ll pick our top three favorites* who will be offered an opportunity to interview for a position at CinemaCake.
*CinemaCake reserves the right to interview other contestants who show potential.
Tips From Our Team
Tom: “Build your story with audio before you even think about your visuals.”
John M.: “Know the rules before you break them. Know how to locate a Wawa blindfolded.”
Jordan: “Emotion trumps logic.”
Sheryl: “Make us cry.”
Jimmy: “Make a movie that you would want to watch.”
So if you have the chops, let’s see them! Become the next Ultimate Editor! Win money! Get a Job!
In our 2008 post, The 10 REAL questions you should ask your videographer, I not only offered advice to clients looking for a videographer, but I also offered the list up for any wedding and event filmmaker to repost the list to help educate their clients. Looking back, we realize how important this list is. I think it’s important enough to dissect and really delve into each question. This week, I’ll discuss #7, “May I see other clients’ movies and read what they had to say about you?”.
One of the best parts of wedding and event filmmaking is the ability to show prospective clients what they will be getting. Almost everyone has access to a high speed internet connection and a myriad of handheld devices. However, you must be careful to look at the final deliverable production, not just samples, recaps, and short “coming soon” movie trailers. If the company you are considering cannot or will not show you full productions, move on. It’s pretty simple for anyone to put together a bunch of eye-candy shots, but without looking at several full films, how can you make a wise decision? So don’t be afraid to ask for a full production as it was delivered to the client.
Of course, it would be great to know what clients thought of their productions, too. If a company makes clients happy consistently, they should be receiving calls, notes, emails, or even video messages from their clients from time to time. Ask to read these letters or ask for references you can call. In the end, a film should make clients happy about their decision to have their events documented and their stories told in a fun, creative way.
We always love shooting our wedding films in St. Thomas and St. John so when we were fortunate to line two of our destination weddings up on the same weekend - only one ferry ride apart from each other - we were thrilled. It’s too bad we could not stay longer because the US Virgin Islands are just such a magical place to shoot.
Thank you US Airways for not screwing up like you usually do. With last minute destination shoots like these, we don’t have a lot of travel choices. Most of the time, flying PHL to STT and back is uneventful, but it’s always risky to try to cut the time too close, ESPECIALLY with US Airways, but Jordan and I had the most enjoyable flight down AND back. No lines at ticketing, security, OR for the obligatory shot of rum that was handed to us at the airport when we arrived. Good for you, US Air - keep up the good work!
The Team this weekend included Jordan, Mike, and myself on a non-stop weekend, including waking up before the chickens on Saturday for the sunrise. Unfortunately, we miscalculated and got up too early. One hour of waiting in the dark was worth it, though.
One of our favorite things to do is to get some establishing shots. We are like moths to a flame with sunrises, sunsets, and unique cloud cover and lighting situations that will help our clients remember the day as it was. In St. John, we even caught some amazing rainbows right before the ceremony.
Most of our clients prefer to keep their films private but if we get the green light from our clients, we’ll post a trailer or a highlight reel here on our blog, so stay tuned.
To book your own CinemaCake Destination Wedding Film, contact us online or call toll free, 866-989-0158. Destination wedding films start at $8900.
Behind the scenes shots by Jordan Oplinger.