Behind the Scenes
August 05, 2015
A lot has happened in the world of filmmaking over the past eight years (advancements in technology, new cameras and lenses, the move from DVDs to to Blu-rays, then to online galleries to name a few) but there are some tips and tricks that will always withstand the test of time.
On June 13th, 2007 CinemaCake owners, Dave and Sheryl Williams, along with three of the top wedding photographers in the area, sat down with Philly Magazine to talk about capturing weddings from behind a lens. Dave, Sarah DiCicco, Laura Novak, and Cliff Mautner all shared some advice for brides on how to get the best shots on their wedding day.
Sarah DiCicco Laura Novak Cliff Mautner
They also shared some of the lessons that they learned about creativity and improvisation while filming and photographing weddings, which is the one of the major tools that will never be replaced in this industry. Communicating with the couple and remaining calm and collected throughout the wedding day were just some of the wise words they had to share. Even though this blog was written eight years ago, many of the planning, problem solving, and creative skills that were discussed are still implemented today.
Whether you are a videographer or a bride, you have to take everything in stride. This is essential to working events, because sometimes even the best laid plans of mice and men go awry. If the couple, photographer or videographer gets stressed out it will show in the photos and film.
The creativity that goes into turning unexpected twists and turns into works of art is a timeless aspect of filmmaking and photography that was there during the interview in 2007 and is still here in 2015.
Check out the full interview here.
July 29, 2015
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 all the resources he discovered along the way.
Dave actually began his career in pharmaceutical sales with a recreational interest in videography. 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, along with CinemaCake co-owner and his wife Sheryl, he quickly discovered that filming, editing, and production were time consuming. He recruited 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 networks 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 of CinemaCake.
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:
July 09, 2015
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.
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.
June 09, 2015
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.
May 26, 2015
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.