THE WEEK IN REVIEW: Pitch Time! by Love You Back Productions

How we feel right now. 

How we feel right now. 

We're two days away from pitching at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week...and we couldn't be more excited!

Although we've learned a lot of invaluable lessons from this Women in Business Challenge, the one thing we won't miss is working both on our pitch AND in our business. It's been a difficult balance these past 5 months, and we're glad to be birthing our presentation and shifting focus back onto growing our business.

Uh, yeah. Also how we feel right now. 

Uh, yeah. Also how we feel right now. 

This past weekend, Julia and I put the finishing touches on our powerpoint slides for the pitch presentation. We were editing the slides all the way up until the last minute, not because we put them off, but because we were still catching up on work from the bridal show we did the week prior. 

The rules and guidelines prohibited us from using gifs or videos in our presentation, which was a huge bummer. Although with some creativity, we still managed to infuse our personality and brand into the slides. 

We did a final run through of our pitch, with our excellent pitch coach, Desiree Young.

Julia and I as we time our final run through, complete with slide clicker. 

Julia and I as we time our final run through, complete with slide clicker. 

We did an on-air radio interview alongside two other pitch finalists, Diane Bias and Danielle Mitchell on WBOK. Both of these ladies have done an awesome job throughout this competition and sent us good vibes throughout. 

From left to right: Diane Bias, Jin Jeans Productions, Danielle Mitchell, Mitchell Marketing Group, Rachel Graham, WBOK host and founder of Small Hinges Communications firm, Julia and Weenta. 

From left to right: Diane Bias, Jin Jeans Productions, Danielle Mitchell, Mitchell Marketing Group, Rachel Graham, WBOK host and founder of Small Hinges Communications firm, Julia and Weenta. 

This is us before going on air. In other news, Julia broke her glasses this week. Can you tell? Her partner Nik fixed them like the champion metalworker and magic maker of things that he is. 

This is us before going on air. In other news, Julia broke her glasses this week. Can you tell? Her partner Nik fixed them like the champion metalworker and magic maker of things that he is. 

The executive director of the Urban League's Women in Business Resource Center, Klassi Duncan, was also on-air with us. Lynette Colin, the previous executive director, phoned in to wish us luck. 

I must admit, I was nervous before we got in the booth. Turns out, I had nothing to be nervous about. We each only spoke on air for about a minute. We all wished we had a little bit more time to talk more about our individual businesses, even if just to mention our websites. 

The interview was conducted by Rachel Graham, who also happens to be a previous Women in Business Challenge finalist and almost-winner.

Before the interview, Rachel told us about her experience as a finalist in last year's challenge. Rachel's company, Small Hinges, is a communications firm that helps African American women candidates get elected to office.

In the distance: Rachel Graham closes out the previous segment of the show, while the WIB finalists wait anxiously in the control room to go on-air.

In the distance: Rachel Graham closes out the previous segment of the show, while the WIB finalists wait anxiously in the control room to go on-air.

She delivered an excellent presentation, but ultimately ended up losing. Most people watching thought she should have won.

So what happened? 

Well, turns out she lost based on one question in the Q/A section of the pitch.

Rachel Graham's pitch at the 2016 Women in Business Challenge. Wow! What an awesome presentation. Sadly, this video cuts short of the infamous Q/A section.

Quentin Messer of the New Orleans Business Alliance, one of the judges for the WIB Challenge, asked if her communications firm would expand its target market to include the hispanic population. 

Her answer: No. That's not her business' area of interest. She specifically serves the African American community.

Many in the audience thought she answered appropriately.

Apparently, Mr. Messer thought she was missing out on a big opportunity. It was a very close and controversial call, but her answer to that one question ended in a win for her competitor, Diva Dog, a hot dog food truck.

While she wishes she would have won, she did emphasize one good thing about not winning the money: her mom got ill shortly after the competition, and had she won the $10,000 she wouldn't have had the extra time to help her through her illness. 

Rachel's continuing her work as a journalist and plans to return to her company's growth plan in about 18 months. If she could give us any one piece of advice, she said it would be, "don't ever give up or let anything get you down."

We're taking that advice to heart.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: What's Wrong with This Picture? by Love You Back Productions

1. Bring Your A Game = Build Connections! This week Love You Back Productions went all out for the New Orleans Wedding Magazine Love In Bloom Bride Event.   Fun was had by all.  We danced to the live band.  Weenta lost her voice, and we both meet so many amazing people, both future brides as well as fellow wedding industry vendors.   Good times, for sure. 

Get a feel for where Weenta and I were at, watch here: "The Simpsons:Many D'ohs of Homer."

2. What’s wrong with this picture? In last week’s blog post, Weenta mentioned that there is a mistake in our logo signage.  Julia’s boyfriend noticed the mistake, Thanks Nik! As Homer Simpson put it oh so eloquently, “Doh!”   

Phewww.  No one noticed.  At least, no one said anything.  We had a great Bride Show!!!

"We scraped the first round of pitch revisions.  No one knew where we were or where we were going.  The Urban League seemed a bit aghast, but we were persisitent." 

"We scraped the first round of pitch revisions.  No one knew where we were or where we were going.  The Urban League seemed a bit aghast, but we were persisitent." 

3. Precision and persistence!  Up until Tuesday this week, our pitch for the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week felt inauthentic.  No way could we become a million dollar business in just 3 years, so we scraped the first round of pitch revisions.  No one knew where we were or where we were going.    The Urban League seemed a bit aghast, but we were persistent.  

On Tuesday (just hours before the big bride show),  Love You Back Productions met with our Women-in-Business Challenge pitch advisor, Desireé H. Young - Founder and CEO of Venturewalk.com.  Desireé honed in and channeled our principles. We are looking at a 5 year growth plan, and Desiree was clever to point out, “Sounds like what Love You Back Productions makes in is what you used to make in a year.”  

Yup.  Woah.  Thanks for your precision on that point, Desireé.  

An exclusive look at the Nine Times Second Line Parade in New Orleans which was themed “Black Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter. http://www.mtv.com/video-clips/t2wzbk/mtvnews-series-inside-the-new-orleans-nine-times-second-line-parade

4. Slo-mo, short documentaries here! There! Everywhere! These days one cannot click a link for an independent documentary and not catch some stunning slow-motion video work.  Whether this style technique is pervasive or no?  I can still dig it.

Check out this very poignant, focused short piece about the intersections of New Orleans second line culture and Black Lives Matter activism.   Featured as a talking head is A Scribe Called Quess, a previous collaborator for Love You Back Productions’ first video production project. 

Feeling dreamy? Tune in! Julia describes her experience of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

5. Our Mardi Gras!   I (Julia) made this little video about my experience of Carnival in New Orleans. Watch and feel a charmed and dreamy with me. 

 

 

<3,

Julia Elizabeth Evans

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: Keeping it Real by Love You Back Productions

This week, Weenta and Julia decide to keep it real...

Mood.

Mood.

More mood.

More mood.

We were filmed for an interview about our business for the Women in Business Challenge. Part of the interview will be screened during the competition.

It felt really strange being on the other side of the camera, and to be honest, it wasn't our best interview. We were both tired and stressed and felt like our answers weren't as genuine as they should be.

Pretty much the mood of our on-camera interview for the Women in Business Challenge. 

Why? Because we felt pressured to say we'd be a $1 million dollar business in 3 years, even though we thought that goal wasn't realistic.  

That's why this week, we decided to revise our Women in Business pitch to reflect our actual progress in business thus far. That means changing our projection that we'll be a $1 million dollar business in 3 years to a projection that we'll be a $1 million dollar business in 5 years. Way more feasible, if you ask us. 

That also means getting real about how broke we were 2 years ago, even if it doesn't look pretty. 

Those were desperate times.

Those were desperate times.

We're almost all prepped for our bridal show on March 7th--that's this Tuesday! 

Part of our bridal show prep is a new pricing increase. After the last round of wedding videos, Julia realized that we weren't compensating ourselves for the amount of time and attention we spend on each wedding video. 

You can see our new pricing and package offers in our pricing section. Here are the prices as discounted for the upcoming bridal show:

Speaking of bridal prep, this morning we spotted this mistake on our banner for the bridal show. See it?:

Can you believe we've printed this twice without realizing? Epic fail. 

Can you believe we've printed this twice without realizing? Epic fail. 

We're returning to our creative roots. Upon reflection, we realized our lives as businesswomen have completely eclipsed our creative lives. We want to bring more joy to our work and incorporate more creative projects. Our first idea is to film a music video--which is really where this whole thing started. 

Julia and I met making a music video for Tank and the Bangas. Yesterday morning, we saw that Tank and the Bangas won NPR's 2017 Tiny Desk Concert. Hurrah!

We were mesmerized by Tank's and the gang's infectious, fun-loving energy while working with them. We couldn't be more proud that they're getting the recognition they deserve. Most importantly, it reminded us that's the kind of work we got into this business to make and we shouldn't lose sight of that.

Here's their winning video, a song called "Quick" that has Tank both singing and rapping:

The decision to choose Tank and the Bangas as the winners was unanimous among the 10 judges of the NPR Tiny Desk Contest. "Tank is a force of nature, just full of joy — and her band is killing in the background." - Trey Anastasio, Tiny Desk Concert Judge

Look out for next week's blog post, which will include a bridal show recap (and this time we'll remember to take pictures. Lots of them!

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: Let's play!! by Love You Back Productions

Weenta roving at Algiers Point.

Weenta roving at Algiers Point.

Let's play!!  This week we played with GIFs software.  Here are 2 silly ones of us roving during Corner Stores & Cornerstones of the City documentary production.  

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LYB is a documentary filmmaking tour de forte.  Monday proved party cloudy.  Not the best weather for shooting outdoor videography.   Overcast days are gold for documentary filmmaking. When the sky is gray, the light stays even from morning till dusk.

Starting early on Monday morning, Weenta and Julia went “roving” all around Algiers point, i.e. New Orleans West Bank.  Sure is beautiful over there.  The neighborhood is a little more quiet than Marigny and Bayou St. John but with the same antique mystique.  Julia directed as Weenta explained professional audio equipment and recording to our assistant.  Take a look.

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Shavaun Cotton and Kirk Brown | Highlight Reel | January 7, 2017

by Julia Elizabeth Evans loveyoubackproductions.com/wedding-gallery

Brides, brides, brides, and bridal shows.   We are booking quickly for this upcoming fall wedding season.   On March 7, Love You Back Productions will participate in the New Orleans Wedding Magazine Love in Bloom Bride Show.  The show location is Generations Hall | The Metro 310 Andrew Higgins Drive | New Orleans, LA 70130!  Come out, chat with us about your wedding documentary, and collect our special gift - Julia's custom lavender essential oil makeup remover!

All the while, Weenta and I count down the days till New Orleans festival season.  March through April counts for a wedding season of its own in New Orleans.  Here is our most recent wedding film.  Enjoy, loves!  

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Music Video for Migos' song "T-Shirt" off their newest album, C U L T U R E. Directed by DAPS and Quavo. Published January 6, 2017

Music Video for Migos' song "T-Shirt" off their newest album, C U L T U R E. Directed by DAPS and Quavo. Published January 6, 2017

Music videos are fun, everyone!  Weenta and Julia decided we want to make more music videos.  Our target genre is hip-hop.  Why?  Rap artists know how to have fun.  This is especially true of rap artists from the Deep South.

Julia feels especially inspired.  Last Friday night at Eiffel Society, Migos’ member - Takeoff invited her on stage.   Still reeling from the concert’s flush of exuberance,  Julia spent the better part of Tuesday regaling Weenta.  Weenta’s sold.  She’s trying to have fun, too. See our inspiration below.

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Happy Mardi Gras!!!  Love You Back Productions will be closed on Tuesday, February 28th and Wednesday March 1st for celebrations and post-fête ceremonies.

<3,

Love You Back Productions

Happy Mardi Gras, y'all! <3 <3 <3 -Julia Elizabeth Evans

Happy Mardi Gras, y'all! <3 <3 <3 -Julia Elizabeth Evans

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: Sizzle Sizzle Sizzle.... by Love You Back Productions

This week Weenta and Julia reviewed their finances in Julia's living room on the world's most comfortable rug...because sometimes, you've got to loosen yourself up to talk about money.

Julia's circle rug.

Julia's circle rug.

We both got really really excited about the Save the Date video we filmed last week for lucky couple Ashleigh and Jay. We'll hopefully be posting the finished save the date video by next week. 

Ashleigh looked absolutely beautiful in every single frame of the latest Save the Date Video we shot--and look at that stunning engagement ring--bling!

Ashleigh looked absolutely beautiful in every single frame of the latest Save the Date Video we shot--and look at that stunning engagement ring--bling!

We finished our new company sizzle reel...or as Julia and I have been referring to it: "sizzle sizzle sizzle":

We got in full on presentation mode and met with 2 potential clients about producing 30 second short commercials like this one:

Love You Back Productions will also soon be at a March 7th bridal show for New Orleans Weddings Magazine. This time we'll be sure to take pictures!!!

The Week in Review: LYB Makes it Official by Love You Back Productions

This week in review, Julia and Weenta get to work:

We scheduled a special save the date video shoot with one lucky couple who won the giveaway from our January 11th bridal show. We brainstormed creative ideas on how to film a save the date video, and were inspired by videos like this and this.

Wes Anderson inspired save the date video. So cute. So stylized. 

Wes Anderson inspired save the date video. So cute. So stylized. 

We reached out to new sales contacts in the New Orleans tourism industry. We’ll be expanding our coverage of the New Orleans tourism industry in the coming months. 

We reviewed and revised our pitch for the Urban League’s Women in Business Challenge. If you didn’t know already, we’re one of 4 finalists competing at New Orleans Entrepreneur week for a $10,000 cash prize.  

And finally, it's official: we registered Love You Back Productions as a business and LLP. Yay!