Our CinemaCake Sampler has had an impact in a very short time. Here are just some of the reviews from the people who made cameos...
"The talent of these folks never ceases to amaze me!! Forget about sending popcorn with your videos Sheryl and Dave -- you need to send a GIANT BOX OF TISSUES! I just watched this incredible film you made and you guessed it--tears. While I was moved by seeing so many of our brides and grooms in the film, what got me was the way you meshed all of it together to create a moving story. This is what we do and all the emotion you captured is why we all work so hard to create magical memories. Excellent Job! Wishing you continued success!"
"This... is... amazing ♥ Thanks for the memories. You guys are TRULY the best!"
Jamie (Apody) Coleman
"Thank you, a most original film! I will certainly pass the word."
"You nailed this one baby. It pulls at every heartstring I have. Think about how lucky we are to be involved in the most special day of our brides and grooms' lives."
Melissa Brannon, Fairy GodMother BadAss
"Look and see - 3 years ago Rachel Silver Barten and Garrett Barten - great day. Thanks Cinemacake for including us!"
Mother of the Bride
That is a beautiful sampler of your work. It brought me right back to our lovely day at St. Agnes and Overbrook Golf Club. Can't believe this June will be 2 years already. My son-in-law Greg will be remembered for his "all right" among the other special moments he and Liz shared on their wedding day. Priceless."
Mother of the Bride
"Hi Sheryl and Dave,
There should be a warning with your email: Tissues required.
This is just beautiful. Congratulations on an amazing job! And I look forward to working with you again soon!"
I DO Wedding Consulting
"A simply wonderful video by our friends at CinemaCake Filmmakers! Ash Mill Farms is one, of many, beautiful location this film was shot at but regardless, this 5 minute reel will probably make you tear up! ♥"
"We are excited to be included in this recent sampler. Beautiful imagery, exceptional sound and a piece that demonstrates flawlessly the art of blending together emotion and timing, the edit. You can hire any number of videographers but there is only one CinemaCake."
Sara and Steve Langdon
"Our friends at CinemaCake Filmmakers put together the most beautiful sampler film that showcases their talents- and the remarkable talents of so many of our professional partners- in such a stunning way! MANY THANKS to Dave, Sheryl, and their gang for including Proud to Plan weddings in your film- we (and our couples) are so lucky to get to work with your team!!!"
Proud to Plan
"One of our favorite videographers to work with - always yields happy brides & grooms! Take a look at some beautiful moments....."
Kathy and Stacey
The Wedding Factor
As we say goodbye and good luck to the current Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, Sheryl and I, with the entire CinemaCake team, decided to reflect back on some of the memories we have by watching a collection of films.
For over a decade, CinemaCake has been shooting films for Four Seasons clients and for the hotel itself. The people of Four Seasons Philadelphia have been so pleasant to work with, from the doormen who greet us to the entire catering staff. It has truly been an inspiring experience for us because rarely do we see the level of service and consistency The Four Seasons has demonstrated over the years.
As the Four Seasons moves into the next phase, we look back through our films to celebrate the events and the people who have touched so many lives.
My name is Keira Hackman and I am the new social media intern at CinemaCake for the summer. This is the first installation in my blogging career with CinemaCake and I look forward to writing on their behalf for the next few months.
On the subject of media, last week on Wednesday, May 13th, a blog post in Philadelphia Magazine's wedding section was released featuring our company owner and fearless leader, Dave Williams. Philadelphia Magazine asked Dave five questions related to event filmmaking. The post goes into detail about what Dave's favorite strategies and tools are in the wedding and film industry and how they help him capture "the story" behind weddings.
CinemaCake would like to take this opportunity to thank Philadelphia Magazine for including Dave in their latest "Five Favorite Things" post, which can be found HERE! They have been a pleasure to work with. Everyone at CinemaCake is thrilled about the post and couldn't be more excited for Dave.
When asked about the interview, Dave chose to elaborate on the second question:
"When asked about my favorite unexpected things, my mind was flooded with examples, like the time the antique Rolls Royce carrying the bride and groom crashed into the back of a minivan on the Schuylkill Expressway, right in front of us. Our crew was there to capture what ended up being one of the funniest moments of the film because nobody was hurt and we stuffed the bride and groom into our production vehicle and took them to the photo shoot at the Art Museum. The bride and groom took it in stride. I guess that's the beauty of this business. We never know what to expect."
I look forward to seeing Dave and the rest of CinemaCake continue to turn some of the most unexpected twists and turns of events into pieces of art.
Last month, CinemaCake proposed the ultimate challenge for editors: create a film that captures the beauty and joy of one of our couple's weddings, while sticking with our signature style, and keeping the film 3 minutes long. Our editors had to have their films in yesterday by 11:59pm and our team couldn't wait to see what everyone came up with!
After many hours of review, our team selected the top 6, and finally our winner. Mary San Agustin sent us her film all the way from San Deigo, CA and we couldn't wait to give her the news that she had won! We called her under the guise that we wanted to have a Skype meeting with a few of the top winners and then set up the recorder to capture her reaction. Check out the film below!
Mary wrote to us after our Skype meeting and wrote the following about her experience with the contest:
"I am so ecstatic and honored to be this year’s winner! I’ve never put my abilities as an editor to the test quite like this before, and I am grateful to CinemaCake for this opportunity! Joseph and Melanie were such an endearing couple and the genuine love between them oozed out of the footage. There was just so much rich material to work with, including one of the most emotional first looks I have ever witnessed. The most challenging part of the contest was condensing their amazing day into only a three minute film. I tried to show their quirky personalities as much as possible while also including meaningful and sentimental tidbits of their day, like Melanie getting married in her mother’s wedding dress. The cinematographers at CinemaCake did an awesome job capturing such beautiful and emotional moments, and it’s gratifying for me to tell their story through film in a way that touches other people."
Check out Mary's recap of Melanie and Joe's wedding day HERE:
Of the 21 entries, we picked these as our top 7
FINALISTS (Sorted in the order they were submitted, not ranked)
C) Mike Kasey
D) Bernie Hipos
I) Kameron Key
N) Bradford DiPietro
P) Peter Liddicoat
Q) Danny Kana
Thanks to the rest of the editors who participated! View the entries below:
A) Dheejay Pagsibigan
B) Kim McIntire
E) Harry Amyotte
F) King Morrison
G) Rob Teifeld
H) Noah Stoner
J) Rob Belfi
K) Brynn Pezzuti
L) Brandon Rice
M) Shannon DeVido
N) Bradford DiPietro
O) Devi Films
Q) Danny Kana
S) Patrick Janka
T) Veronica Burke
U) Rissa Mataya
There is a new trend in the wedding world that many couples are considering when planning their big day: the First Look. This means that the couple sees each other before the wedding and it is usually planned by the photographer/filmmaker. While some couples don’t like the idea of bucking traditions, other couples find that the first look allows them some great benefits. Here are our top 4 reasons for scheduling a First Look:
1. It can take some of the stress out of the day: You and your fiancé have been planning this day for months and you are celebrating with of all of your friends and family. Even though the day is all about your love and commitment to one another, it can still be stressful. A lot of our couples say that the anxiety of the day is relieved when they see their soon-to-be husband or wife, so why not relax a little before your ceremony!
2. It will allow you and your future spouse to be alone together: Sure, you will be standing next to him/her the entire day, but between the photos with everyone, the speeches and toasts, and all of the well-wishers, you might not even get a chance to really talk to each other! The First Look gives you a chance to celebrate your day together before you start celebrating with all your guests! Take a few minutes to talk, laugh and just be together.
3. You have more time to enjoy the party you planned: One of the big benefits of the First Look is the flexibility you have with your scheduling. Most couples will schedule their First Look a few hours before their ceremony. That way you can take all of your formal photos with your bridal party before the ceremony and you can head straight to the cocktail hour! You and your fiancé have spent a lot of time planning the hors d’oeuvres, the signature drink and the music being played during your cocktail hour, you should get the chance to enjoy it!
4. You get to enjoy each other’s excitement: The first time you see each other on your wedding day is really exciting and you should be able to express that joy any way you want. When a groom sees his bride for the first time at the end of the aisle, he may feel pressured to keep his feelings contained because he is in front of all of your family and friends. The First Look lets you see your groom’s true emotions that he may not be able to share during the ceremony. Arielle and Michael’s First Look is the perfect example of their excitement. Take a look at their Same Day Film below:
This past weekend we had crews staying local and heading to the shore, both filming unique and loving couples. We’ve asked Taylor to recap of the events for this Behind The Scenes at CinemaCake:
The first wedding this weekend was right in our hometown of Philadelphia. Our beautiful couple, Beth Anne and Brian, were married in the historic St. Augustine Church. Film buffs will remember this location from the iconic film “The Sixth Sense”, but our crew did not report any ghostly sightings! After the ceremony, guests celebrated at the Cescaphe Ballroom, while our couple took the trolley to Washington Square Park for pictures with us and their photographer, Cliff Mautner. Can you think of a nicer spot in the city, especially in early June?!
Cescaphe is renown for their special touches, such as the trademark “Sparklers Entrance” for the bride and groom’s announcement. Many guests commented on the beautiful decor and table settings, which you can see pictured above. It was clear that Beth Anne and Brian truly enjoyed themselves, dancing the night away with family and friends. The reception ended with a special flambé for the couple, another tradition at Cescaphe. Our crew had a great time sharing this special day with the happy couple, and everyone around the office is excited to see the first cut of their film!
Our crew said it best about the next couple: Sarah and Tim had a beautiful day with a lot of love. It was clear to everyone how much they cared for one another, from their first looks to the letters they read to one another after the ceremony. The wedding took place at St. James Church in Ventnor, New Jersey, conveniently located a block from the beach! We got some great shots of them in innertubes and their wedding party enjoying the shore. We also filmed the couple practicing their first dance before going to the Great Bay Country Club for the reception.
Sarah and Tim really know how to throw a fun party and everyone clearly enjoyed themselves! People loved the toasts and it was pretty funny when Grandpa Joe ended up catching the garter. Once Sarah and Tim hit the dance floor, it seemed like the party would never stop! Our team captured so much but their favorite was Tim’s killer dance moves!
They capped off the evening with a fantastic display of the day’s photography, done by Carley K Photography. Take a look at the trailer we created for their wedding video:
We shot some great weddings and we are gearing up for another busy weekend of bridal prep, ceremonies and fun receptions. Be sure to check back early next week for more news and updates from CinemaCake! Thanks for stopping by!
Doing weddings every weekend can be monotonous, right? Not quite. Every wedding is different. Having been a part of three weddings, back to back to back, it’s clear that everyone has their story and every day is unique. I’d like to share a little bit of what I saw at each one; a peek from behind the lens, if you will. Here are some nice tid-bits that stood out for me, someone who has been a part of over a hundred weddings so far.
Karrie + Tim
What an awesome couple to experience a Same Day Film with. Having a child in their lives years before marriage, Carrie and Tim certainly understood what family was all about, and that really came through during the day. It was a milestone for the CC team as well, as it was the first Same Day Edit to be done without Dave, something we were all a bit nervous about, but we pulled it off without a hitch. And, whoooooooa, there were plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong.
We had about four locations to cover (one location = easy to get to editor, many locations = nightmare), which we tackled early on by having Jordan edit in the car. “Who’s that guy in the car with you? Is he a shooter?” We were ready for that question, but we were so stealthy that it never came up. The secrecy was only to fulfill Carrie’s request that the SDE be a surprise to everyone, which it was—even Tim didn’t know about it. Everything came together in the end, and Carrie’s big smile as she watched her film was the only validation we needed.
Selena + Andre
Energy, pure energy. Their vibe was apparent right away, and it helped as the city is big and unforgiving. Working in Philly is one thing (I do that every weekend), but to hike up to NYC and have to chase around newlyweds from Times Square to Chinatown is a horse of a different color. And in this case, that color was red, the color of boxing gloves and quick jabs. Who jumps in the ring with their mate, dons gloves and starts fighting? This couple. Selena and Andre made it insanely fun to shoot because they were VERY much into the photos and film. Obviously.
This date also stands out for me as a great collaboration with CinemaCake and our New York friends, Jonathan Armendariz and Shar Adrias. They don’t shoot for us regularly, but when they do, they’re always solid. And in NYC, their knowledge of the city was beyond helpful.
Janine + Justin
So you’ve seen Goodfellas, right? Imagine a guy just like Ray Liotta, and then take away the ruthless killer part. This guy was a class act, and he wanted to make sure that came through in the single take walkthrough intro that mimicked a scene from Goodfellas. There weren’t boardwalk scenes like in the couple’s trailer where Ray Liotta gave Lorraine Bracco lollipops, but it works for Janine and Justin. It was the kind nature that the couple had and showed for one another that really came through that day.
One Atlantic, sitting on the edge of Atlantic City, provided a beautiful backdrop for a gorgeous day and a sincere couple. I’m not Scorsese, but if he shot wedding films, he’d work for us—all I’m saying.
Sticking with my recent wedding video myth-busting theme, I was reminded of the importance of multiple cameras as I watched a recent film we just delivered. In this segment of the film, Marianna’s sister sings a song she wrote for the couple.
Watch their entire full length film HERE
As you can see, the reactions are just as important as the action itself. With one camera, the instant reactions would have been impossible to cover, making this a very different film.
One Camera is Enough
Many wedding videographers shoot with only one camera. If they offer a second camera, it is often un-manned. As you can see in the example above, multiple manned cameras are necessary to get the action and the reaction, be it during the vows, a speech, or a toast. Recently, I watched a clip from a videographer who posted online. He was complaining about guests getting in the way with their point and shoot cameras. His unmanned second camera in the back of the church was blocked by a guest, so he missed the kiss and other important moments. With one camera, this is very likely to happen again and again. A human being must be in control over the camera because with so many snap-happy guests, it is almost guaranteed that a locked off, unmanned shot will be blocked. You can’t get that back.
More than One Camera is Obtrusive
Some videographers will tell you that fewer cameras are less obtrusive, but the fact is, the more cameras you have, the less those cameras have to move. Two or three cameras at a ceremony, for example, can get two or three angles at the same time, without having to move. One person with one camera has to run around to get all those angles, and can never shoot more than one angle at a time. This means that precious moments and emotional reactions are gone forever.
Speaking of ‘obtrusive’, I can’t gloss over the fact that being unobtrusive has a lot to do with how wedding cinematographers handle themselves. One video guy with a video light on top of his camera moving around the dance floor with a big tripod on wheels is ten times more obtrusive than three stealthy cinematographers dressed like guests and blending in. While the number of cameras is important, it is just as important to understand how your filmmaker operates.
For 30 years, human beings have been coming up with credible reasons to leave a friend’s home when they are asked, “Want to watch our wedding video?”. “Oh it’s only an hour and a half long? That’s awesome - can we do it next time I’m here? I have to go get a root canal.”
Some people equate ‘Longer’ with ‘Better’, but it’s simply not the case. In fact, most of our best films have been 20 minutes or less. Some clients order much longer films and still love them, but over the last couple of years, most of our clients have gravitated to the short film.
Short films are not constrained to telling a story chronologically or in real time. Like most mainstream films today, our films are dense and layered - therefore more interesting to watch. Our philosophy is that the viewer should never feel the need to “fast-forward through the boring parts”. In our short films, every shot is carefully chosen and edited into a story that has real emotional impact. We find that our clients cannot take their eyes off the screen when a short film is playing. This is not a film that will be watched once a year on a wedding anniversary. Instead, it will be watched over and over again, and shared through social media.
Another common myth is that short films don’t take as long to create and should cost less than a feature film. In fact, more thought and effort goes into a film that time-shifts and tells a story in a non-chronological fashion. The good news is that regardless of whether CinemaCake clients choose a short or feature film, the price remains the same.
Here are some related myths to watch for as you choose a filmmaker:
One Camera is Enough
The biggest problem with one camera coverage is that there is no way to capture two things happening at the same time. Imagine all of the moments when the reaction is just as important as the action itself. Take the Maid of Honor’s Speech at Holly and Bill’s Wedding as an example. With one camera, the emotional impact of that short speech would not be there.
The Second Camera Does Not Have To Be Manned
An unmanned camera can be used as a wide shot from the balcony for example, or just a static shot down the aisle during the ceremony. Either way, it’s unmanned so it cannot refocus, re-frame, or move if a shot is blocked. It’s a static, security-camera looking shot that the videographer can’t count on in a pinch. A static camera has it’s place, but it is no replacement for a human behind a camera.
See the Difference for Yourself
At CinemaCake, all of our clients get a choice of a Short Film, a Feature Film, or something in-between. Our films are customized for each client and are always the RIGHT length. For the clients who choose our short films, all unedited footage is delivered as well, so if one day you DO want to look through all of the footage, you can.
Please comment below with myths that you know about.
Looking back on our 10 Real Questions to Ask Your Videographer post in 2008, I feel they are all still relevant and worthy of revisiting. Here’s #5, “How long will it take to get my finished movie?”
We regularly communicate with wedding videographers through various networks and forums. Often I learn about videographers who regularly have a final delivery time of 8-12 months, sometimes even longer. Their clients are understandably concerned that the editing is taking too long. They worry that something may be wrong, especially when calls and emails about the status of their productions go unanswered as promised delivery dates are missed.
With a relatively quick delivery time (usually less than 12 weeks), CinemaCake clients have input every step of the way. Each client gets a passcode that allows access to their online portal.:
Through this portal, our clients can be as involved as they want to be. Our online questionnaires help us communicate with and get to know every client better. Each project is assigned an online editor who values the input because it allows us to create a film that is more meaningful.
CinemaCake also updates a list of productions being edited so clients can follow along with the progress. As their names float closer to the top each week, clients also have the option to view their Coming Soon Trailer. Note: Clients who prefer complete privacy will not be listed here, nor will their Coming Soon Trailer be public.
At CinemaCake, we know that our clients’ films will be the only lasting documentary of the motion and sound of their big day. That is why we work so hard to make it special for each client. Clear and professional communication with our clients is critical in creating a beautiful film that can be enjoyed over and over again.
What is it about New York? More and more, New York wedding and event video clients are reaching out to Philadelphia, our city of brotherly love, to bring in CinemaCake. Why? First, Manhattan is a short two-hour drive for our Philly-based cinematographers and Long Island is just a little farther. This means it is easy for our teams to get in and many times we don’t event have to charge travel fees. Secondly, there are a LOT of New Yorkers and we’re finding that the top local filmmakers get gobbled up pretty quickly. There is just more demand for our type of films than there is supply.
Because of this new demand, we are developing our local New York team of filmmakers, putting CinemaCake wedding films within reach of even more clients.
Camille and Jim’s Coming Soon Trailer, filmed at Bridgewaters, New York City
We don’t ‘Pay to Play.’ When New Yorkers hire CinemaCake, they don’t have to worry about the higher fees and aggravation that come along with the locals who sometimes must pay a percentage to the venue or a particular planner. CinemaCake does not ‘pay to play’ and is proud to be a strong opponent to the payola nonsense that is common in New York. Sure, this means that certain venues may not put us on their published lists, but the folks who do refer us appreciate the honesty of referring a company by merit. It’s a win-win.
Courtney and Evan’s Coming Soon Trailer. (See their entire film below)
As CinemaCake celebrates its tenth year in business, we realize our New York and New Jersey relationships are stronger than ever, so much so that I have gotten more involved in their local New York Videographers and New Jersey Videographers professional association, the NJVA. I joined the NJVA because it has long been known as a leader in education and networking for the videographers and filmmakers in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. In fact, the International Wedding and Event Videographers Association (WEVA) is holding a conference there next week!
Our CinemaCake teams are just as “at home” in your city as we are in ours, so CONTACT US and order your own CinemaCake.
We have always believed that the soundtrack makes the film. I’ll even argue that how a film sounds is more important than how it looks. Imagine watching TV and the picture is a little fuzzy. Still watchable, right? Now imagine that same show with a perfect picture but constant static. Unbearable.
So what happens with a live band? Will the energy and great sound come across just the way you remembered it? It helps if you start with a great band. Check out the pipes on the lead singer of CTO’s Park Central!
Recently I attended the ISES REC meeting in Atlantic City. I was a panelist at two one-hour educational sessions. In both sessions, I was asked to discuss how a wedding film can tie the guests emotionally to the event. Unfortunately, what most planners in the audience acknowledged was that “wedding video” was not only seen as a low priority by some clients, but it was even expendable!
Prepared for this discussion, I of course brought along a couple of clips to show the audience. The first clip was a Same Day Edit we did last year. I felt this film demonstrated that there is really no better way and no better time to present the highlights of the day than that same night. This split screen presentation we created after the event shows how the couple and some of the guests at the reception reacted to the film. But that wasn’t the film that got people asking the most questions. What did that was much simpler.
I showed the following Maid of Honor’s three-minute toast. This very simple scene turned out to be the most cherished moment of that day for the bride and groom, Holly and Bill.
After watching Bill and Holly’s clip, four different wedding professionals came up to me and told me that the “Wedding Film” just moved up their lists as one of the “Must Have” items at a wedding.
So why do some not see the value? We ask that same question often of clients who say, “I wasn’t going to do video.” All of us have been to at least one wedding where video cameras were in the way of the guests during the ceremony. Recently, a photographer friend of mine told me of a wedding where three video cameras on tripods were circling the cake on the dance floor, blocking not only the guests’ view, but made it difficult for even the photographer to get a good shot. Naturally, most people don’t want that, but it’s pretty much burned into our DNA that this is what a videographer does. The short films I presented in Atlantic City showed everyone that a well made wedding film is a very different experience, often with guests unaware a film is being made. It was great to see their reactions!
Even when clients do order a video, they typically are not budgeting as much for video as they are for photos. Could it be that clients don’t want the same quality in their film as they do in their photographs? Maybe not, but advice on what a videographer should get paid is everywhere, usually recommending that more be spent on photography. Even TheKnot.com is a little unbalanced with their Wedding Budget Calculator. TheKnot’s calculator recommends 6%-7% of the entire wedding budget should be set aside for the photographer and only 5% for the videographer.
This misconception is often not realized until AFTER the wedding. Bill and Holly admitted it would have been a huge mistake to not buy a film. They “weren’t going to do video” until they found us two weeks before their wedding. They certainly are glad they changed their minds now. Check out this email we got from them:
As we began planning for our wedding, we initially thought that our pictures would be enough to take us back to our wedding night and that we didn’t need a video. But when two weeks before the wedding the opportunity arose to have CinemaCake film our special night, we jumped at the chance. I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions we made. At the end of my wedding night there were so many memories that I wanted to hold on to and I knew that pictures would only tell part of the story. And now that I have our film from CinemaCake, I know it would have been a huge regret to not have it. Our wedding film literally takes me back to those exact moments and emotions. You listened to the things that were most important to me about my night and made sure they were all included in the final product. It truly exceeded my expectations. I cry every time I watch it.
More and more, our productions are going out as digital files on our CinemaCake USB thumb drives (pictured below). Digital files are easier to share through social media services like Youtube and Facebook. Digital files can also be easily backed up to many places, making them inherently more secure than a DVD on a shelf (digital files can’t get scratched).
Also, since digital files can be played on just about any computer, you can watch your film in HD, anywhere, without having to buy a Blu-ray player.
Ask that your next production be delivered digitally. CinemaCake delivers on all formats, including Blu-ray, DVD, and digital.