LOVE IN REVIEW: Up the CHEESE FACTOR by Love You Back Productions

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Hi all, 

When it's your boyfriend's birthday and you're a professional video producer, what do you do?  You create the world's cheesiest music video!  Just for him!! That's our logic, at least.

Let's shout out the roles! We had Zen on video camera.  Julia on studio photography.  Weenta as talent.  Laugh-out-loud!  The main concern going into this shoot was whether Weenta would be able to keep a straight face.  I must say, once the music started to play, girl got into it.  What was the concept for the music video, might you ask?

Eritrean pop star!  Check out the behind the scenes photos.  Happy Birthday, Seth! 

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18.07.18 - Weenta in Eritrean Garb (7 of 9).jpg

What inspired us?  John Mayer!  This John Mayer video is shot on a green screen.  Green screen allows you to layer images.   For instance, in John Mayer's music video, the many "backdrops" are completely different clips from the clips of John Mayer.  The "backdrops" are  added later in post-production.   

As one may be able to imagine, you can get very creatively cheesy, very easily with a green screen.  At one point, for our music video,  Zen suggested that we get "backdrop" at Café Du Monde.  We didn't get the Café Du Monde shot.   Weenta and I realized we have amassed so much beautiful, conventional, and yes, when applied correctly, cheesy New Orleans footage from our many years of video production.   No need for more.

Update: Weenta took Zen's advice.  The final music video DOES include "backdrop" footage of Café Du Monde, shot by Weenta.  Now, drum roll!!! Here's the final video!

Look here.  Now, for this week's Instagram videos, we have 3 tiny, NON-CHEESY videos featuring the New Orleans-famous— Steamboat Natchez.  We captured this footage last Friday.

When applied as a series of images that DO NOT include Weenta lip-syncing as an Eritrean pop star, the footage looks exquisitely dreamy.  

 Our wonderful camera operator, Zensuke Omi!!

Our wonderful camera operator, Zensuke Omi!!

We're in the middle of the mad, mad summer.  The heat is real, but it ain't a killjoy.   The fun is real, too!  Go create your own fun!

Love You Back!!

Julia 

LOVE IN REVIEW: Shot-skis in Aspen! by Love You Back Productions

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What do we have for y'all, this week?  More Instagram videos!! Scroll down, and you'll see them.  We're extra proud of them, this week.   Julia just got back from Colorado.  That means, these Insta puppies are gonna be b-e-a-utiful! Yippie!  

Note about this blog post's title:  YES! Julia DID take shots off a ski.  She did it with her cousins.  No, she doesn't have a worthy photo/video to show for it.  It was fun, tho! Quality family time, yah hear?

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After flying off the curtails of a wildfire, Julia returns to New Orleans excited and rejuvenated.  While we've been away, Weenta tidied up a series of Instagram videos for The Drifter Hotel.  Check out the iOS dimensions.  The Drifter Hotel video series is formatted for Instagram's new TV feed.

Right now, we just have a few screen grabs for you. The format is definitely odd.  For us, at least. I'm always telling folks to rotate their phone.  Take your videos, horizontally.  Make it look more cinematic!!!

Now, Instagram is making us, the professionals, rotate our cameras, vertically! It feels somewhat intimate, as though you, the viewer, are the one taking the video.  You are the one holding up the iPhone, recording everything.  Cool, huh?  I (Julia) think so! 

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Beyond all that hubbub, let's look back at Aspen.  Above and below are some photos. :)

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Here's some videos!!!

Love,

Julia

LOVE IN REVIEW: Little Rock is the place to be! by Love You Back Productions

 Photo by Craig Wynn

Photo by Craig Wynn

 Photo by Craig Wynn

Photo by Craig Wynn

Hey, Ma!  Look. Love You Back Productions is becoming a regional enterprise!  

This time last week, the work week closed out at 5PM on Friday.  Rather than kicking back with a La Croix, Weenta and I convinced our boy-dudes to adventure up to the nearby Natural State.  That is, Julia’s home state of Arkansas.  Arkansas— the land of homies, hikes, swimming holes, and as it turns out, opportunities!* 

*History factoid:  Arkansas’s nickname used to be the Land of Opportunity until at some point Missouri decided it was the true Land of Opportunity.  Arkansas is chill.  We prefer the nickname “The Natural State."

 Photo by Craig Wynn

Photo by Craig Wynn

History aside. Right now, Love You Back Productions is setting off on a brand new, long-term partnership with Markham Park.  The Director and owner of Markham Park Agency & Studio is Julia’s dear friend from high school.  Honestly, what 17-year-old would imagine her high school bestie would turn out to be her adult business partners?

In truth, I could have imagined.  Andy Jacuzzi and I (Julia) always jived, always shared experiences, encouraged each other’s weirdness, shouted and screamed ideas at one another.  And now, finally we're working together! Check this out.

Shout out to Craig Wynn, our buddy and home video extraordinaire.  He took all the footage this weekend as well as the dreamy photos you see on this blog.  Also, I must admit that I co-opted guitar licks from another Arkansas fellow— the late and legendary, Levon Helm.   Also, everyone—please check out Markham Park Studio.  Working with buddies is motivating supreme, but working with buddies with amazing talent like Craig Wynn, Carson Smith, and Andy Jacuzzi is inspiring beyond all else.

See the Markham Park excellence, here.

Enjoy the hot, hot, dog days of summer, y'all! See you on the other side of 4th of July.

Love You Back!

Julia Elizabeth Evans

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 All photos by Craig Wynn of Markham Park Studio.  Photos taken between June 23-24, 2018, Little Rock, Arkansas.

All photos by Craig Wynn of Markham Park Studio.  Photos taken between June 23-24, 2018, Little Rock, Arkansas.

LOVE IN REVIEW: Little Videos, Tiny Stories! by Love You Back Productions

 Contemplating how to be more creative, how to be more productive, and how to get really, really good at telling tiny stories on Instagram.  Photography by Hallie Gluk, taken at the Gluk's "Relief" exhibit at FLATLAND gallery in Houston Texas, May 28, 2018.

Contemplating how to be more creative, how to be more productive, and how to get really, really good at telling tiny stories on Instagram.  Photography by Hallie Gluk, taken at the Gluk's "Relief" exhibit at FLATLAND gallery in Houston Texas, May 28, 2018.

Hi, all!  

We— as in, me*— haven't shared a single story with y'all in over a month.  Here's a batch of stories.  *Note: Julia is taking as principle blog editor/writer for the Love You Back Productions.  With that established, expect a few more updates than you've seen in the past 6 months.  Thumbs up! 

Well, summertime is a time for adventure, vacation, travel, and creativity.   That much is true at Love You Back Productions, so Weenta and I cooked up some new creative protocol for the company.

New protocol: Each week, 1 of us is to produce an Instagram series.  An Instagram video series is a set of 3 videos, each rendered into the square dimensions of an Instagram post.  Each video can be no longer than 15 seconds, and together, the video series is to tell a story.  New protocol is obligatory for both Directors and it will be for the indefinite future. 

The idea is to keep creating. Hehehe.  Little videos make tiny stories!  Here is our first go.   

Why are we doing this?  One word: FUN.  What is the inspiration?  The answer to that question is a bit more interesting. That story is to come.  

In the meantime, take a look at this gorgeous slo-mo footage of the Ole & Nu Style Fellas Social Aid and Pleasure Club's 20th Anniversary second line.  The following video is a teaser to a longer retrospective Love You Back Productions intends to produce in the Fall.

Hope you enjoyed our little videos!

Love You Back xInfinity,

Julia

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LOVE IN REVIEW: Family, above all else. by Love You Back Productions

We're back, again!  We have a revised format.  Week in Review is now a monthly blog post, affectionately titled—"Love in Review."

On the heels of that announcement comes a much more substantial announcement.  On April 23, 2018, Love You Back Productions experienced the most incredible honor.  We screened our documentary for an entirely filled theater at the culmination event for the New Orleans Tricentennial Story Incubators!  The "Corner Store" documentary is now officially titled— "The Place To Be." 

"The Place To Be" screened as 1 of 5 films in the New Orleans Tricentennial Story Incubator Program.  It was a family affair.  Family, friends, cast members and crew gathered.  Food and drinks were served.  Smiles beamed bright on everyone.  Julia got to sit in a director's chair.  Folks loved our film.  

 This is my family.  An unorthodox family, at that. - Julia  Pictured from the left— Zensuke Omi (Associate Producer of "The Place To Be"); Weenta Girmay (Producer of "The Place To Be"); and Julia Elizabeth Evans (Director of "The Place To Be").   

This is my family.  An unorthodox family, at that. - Julia  Pictured from the left— Zensuke Omi (Associate Producer of "The Place To Be"); Weenta Girmay (Producer of "The Place To Be"); and Julia Elizabeth Evans (Director of "The Place To Be").   

 Our cast and crew!! From the left— Daniel Turner (Sound Design & Master),  Weenta, Julia, Larry Washington ("Mr. Larry," Main Character), Dustin (featured in documentary), Carmen (interviewed and featured in documentary), Anuraag Pendyal (Score Composer)

Our cast and crew!! From the left— Daniel Turner (Sound Design & Master),  Weenta, Julia, Larry Washington ("Mr. Larry," Main Character), Dustin (featured in documentary), Carmen (interviewed and featured in documentary), Anuraag Pendyal (Score Composer)

 Julia and Carmen giddy before the screening.  Photo by Weenta Girmay, April 23, 2018.

Julia and Carmen giddy before the screening.  Photo by Weenta Girmay, April 23, 2018.

 Neighbor and dear friend, Ira congratulates our Associate Producer with a big smooch. Photo by Weenta Girmay, April 23, 2018.

Neighbor and dear friend, Ira congratulates our Associate Producer with a big smooch. Photo by Weenta Girmay, April 23, 2018.

The strongest motif realized in our film, "The Place To Be," a story about one corner store in New Orleans, is family.   

Following the screening, Katie Williams of Film New Orleans conducted a director Q&A (which Weenta documented, so well).  Katie Williams asked me (Julia), "having documented so many corner stores for so long, how did you choose what footage to include in the final documentary?"  [Note: that is a paraphrased version of Katie's original question.]

The strongest motif realized in our film, "The Place To Be," a story about one corner store in New Orleans, is family.  Back in March 2018, during feedback sessions for the film, Julia's twin brother, Robert Evans, explained: "your documentary illustrates how the idea of family can be stretched to accommodate more unorthodox interpretations."  So, we went with that.  

Therefore, to answer Katie's question, the theme of family guided our decision-making process for the documentary's visuals.  

Now, you all are probably wondering, how and when can I see "The Place To Be?"  At least, I hope you are. :)  We have one more round of edits to complete to finish the film.  It will be available to all our Kickstarter supporters by the end of June! :

Woohoo!  Hold you breath.  We love you, all!  Stay tuned for next month's, "Love in Review."

Sincerely,

Julia Elizabeth Evans

 

WEEK IN REVIEW: Tips for Those of Us Wearing Many Hats by Love You Back Productions

Our Favorite Ways to help you keep your blog and not lose your mind.

Satire from Love You Back Productions’ Week in Review. A smile and a nod to Deep Fried Advertising bi-weekly?...annual… semi-regular blog, from which this post is inspired.  

 Photo taken during Tucks Parade on St. Charles Avenue, on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

Photo taken during Tucks Parade on St. Charles Avenue, on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

Finding the time to blog can be difficult, especially when working in the go-it-at-your-own pace startup environment. Furthermore, blogging is more than just finding time to sit down and type up a few fresh sprung thoughts. It’s about relating to your non-existent audience.  It’s about presenting quality content that is informative and worthwhile, so your parents, your boyfriend, and your affectionate business advisor, all of whom already love you sans weekly blog updates will feel connected to you.

Since Weenta is working at our post-production video editing desk, I’ve decided to say “hello” to mom and dad…and to anyone else out there listening. 

Below is a list of pointers for “today’s ‘Busy Bloggers’”or as I like to put for those of us wearing too many hats.  Note: this blog post is not a thorough, well-thought synthesis of other people’s pointers. Have fun plucking sincerity out from the satire. 

**Here's a few photos of the past few weeks since we've been away!

 Photo of Weenta Girmay, taken by Julia Elizabeth Evans on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

Photo of Weenta Girmay, taken by Julia Elizabeth Evans on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

TIP #1:  FIGURE OUT A FORMAT —

Whether it’s simply mimicking the NYTIMES Daily news round up or outright stealing from your peers’ blog posts, as I’ve done for the post you’re currently skimming, format is everything! Format allows you to streamline your content.  

TIP #2: SAY IT WITH ME...ROUTINE! —

When you’ve got your business partner’s boyfriend’s brother’s band’s Mardi Gras float performance to edit as well as Aikido practice to get to, efficiency is key.   Routines help.   For instance, I go to Aikido every Wednesday at 6PM.  Similarly, I write The WEEK IN REVIEW every Thursday at 1PM.  Routines encourage accountability. 

Either you do it or you don’t.

 Singleton's Mini Mart, Uptown New Orleans.

Singleton's Mini Mart, Uptown New Orleans.

TIP #3: ORGANIZE YOURSELF, CHILD —

Deep Fried suggests—“create an outline.”  Yup. That’s actually some sound, knock-out advice. Copied and pasted by yours truly: “You’ll save significant time when building your actual content if you structure your posts with an initial outline.” 

 Inside Our Family Farm's hydroponic garden! Photo by Bron Moyi (our drone operator).

Inside Our Family Farm's hydroponic garden! Photo by Bron Moyi (our drone operator).

TIP #4: CONSISTENCY —

Here’s a synthesized opinion for y’all.  On every possible internet article, blog post on blogging, entrepreneur advice listicle, the consensus screams this one guideline— “consistency, consistency, consistency.”  That means, posting your blog on a fixed schedule, e.g. on the same time, on the same day, every week.  No pressure. And by no pressure, I mean don’t follow that rule.

If you miss your scheduled post time, don’t just leave your blog to gather dust. Write something. Post it!

TIP #5: USE YOUR VOICE, HONEY —

Screw the pressures of consistency and fixed timelines.  The #1, most important quality to have in your blog is VOICE.  Write from the first-person ‘I’ voice.  Write to directly to your audience.  Again, hi mom and dad!   Also, don’t forget to thank them for taking the time to read your off-brand writing. 

 Photo from Brittany and Quinntin's wedding on February 25, 2018.

Photo from Brittany and Quinntin's wedding on February 25, 2018.

TIP #6: DISTRACTION —

Do you really want to keep a blog?  What about adopting a pitbull, instead?  Huh?  Weird, seway. 

At the end of the day, a blog hones your writing and thinking skills.   The way I see it is— this blog hones my writing but it also improves the output of my stream of consciousness.

The best stream of consciousness happens sans distraction. Make sure to close any superfluous Chrome/Safari/Firefox tabs.  Of course turn FB off; Instagram, too.  Be ruthless.  Peace is hard to come by and peace is what you need.   Peaceful quiet and healthy routine will unbridle your writing productivity.   

 Photo taken on March 4, 2018 at the Ole and Nu Style Fellas Ball. 

Photo taken on March 4, 2018 at the Ole and Nu Style Fellas Ball. 

TIP #7: WAIT TILL YOU’RE FINISHED, THEN READ YOUR BLOG OUT LOUD —

Some more sound advice from Deep Fried.  Don’t stop and start, editing along the way.  That process is woefully ill-productive.  Write all your thoughts down.  Then read your post. Outloud. 

If for nothing else, your grandma will appreciate your superior grammar and typoless text.   

TIP #8: FUN —

Another hot tip from Deep Fried, treating blogging as a chore will take all of the fun out of it. Instead, think of it as a time for you to creatively express your ideas and stay connected with others. 


 He feed us, coffee-d us, gave us zip ties, and drilled holes into our wooden rig.  All in a matter of 10 minutes and while hosting the  Laissez Boys  Social Aid and Leisure Club before the Tucks parade! Thank you, thank you! Photo taken in Uptown, New Orleans on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

He feed us, coffee-d us, gave us zip ties, and drilled holes into our wooden rig.  All in a matter of 10 minutes and while hosting the Laissez Boys Social Aid and Leisure Club before the Tucks parade! Thank you, thank you! Photo taken in Uptown, New Orleans on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

Thinking critically and engaging in self-mockery is an interesting cocktail experience.  Pheww! Got that out of my system.  By this post, my disengagement with Love You Back Productions' WEEK IN REVIEW has been reversed.   

Also, the "Corner Stores" documentary is wrapping up.  Expect regular WEEK IN REVIEW's from here on out; however, I will say...Again for anyone listening, Weenta and I are considering a MONTH IN REVIEW format.  

Thanks, all for tuning in! 

Love You Back,

Julia

WEEK IN REVIEW: "Nat Geo Experience." by Love You Back Productions

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This WEEK IN REVIEW is a quintessential week in review.  Let's plow through it.

On MONDAY

On MONDAY, I was jazzed after a jam-packed weekend of Aikido, wherein Weenta and I met with 3 funk musicians of the Soul Project.  We hashed out pre-production logistics, scanned a video production budget, and penciled the Saturday before Mardi Gras into Love You Back Productions' calendar.  

Our Monday morning meeting ended with 1 of the musicians saying, "We're performing on a float. Man, I've never even been on a float!"  "Me, neither!" I exclaimed!   More on the Soul Project and on Mardi Gras float shoots to come in future weeks. (!!!!)

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TUESDAY

TUESDAY began before dawn, before first light even.  Weenta and I chased the son on the Mid-City bayou in order to prepare for our commercial shoot with Our Family Farm.  Following those shenanigans, the two of us raced over to the river where Crescent City Farmers' Market hosts its Tuesday market.  

With gray skies overhead, our drone operator captured the market's bustle, Our Family Farm's cheer, and New Orleans unique environs.  On the ground, Weenta and I captured Our Family Farm interactions with customers and the details of its stall, all of with brightness and cheer.

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WEDNESDAY

Wednesday arrived all too quickly with a 3:30 AM Call Time. Yup.  Our 3-man production crew banded together, and we set off for Amite, LA at 3:57 AM.  Early even.  

What followed a dark but giddy, hour-ish long ride up river was magical.  Here's the preview.  Those sheep were hard to wrangle into a decent shot on the camera.  The herd kept skipping away when I went in. 

Imagine.  Me, squatted in the meadows. Wrapped up in a right yellow rain slicker.  Trucking along with my A7sii and a long 70-200mm zoom lens, stacked on a monopod.  I'd run and crouch. Run and crouch. Trying to get THE SHOT all while the soft light of sunrise rapidly distilled into daylight.

Weenta and I laughed later on because our little sheep shoot felt like a real Nat Geo experience.  Returning to New Orleans around 12 noon, I spent the rest of the day, drawing and watching Gilmore Girls.  Hehe.  Here's the preview. Check back in mid-February to see the final product.  :)

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THURSDAY, OOF!

Oof! With horrendous Call Times behind us, Thursday finally settled in.  Feeling a bit groggy, Weenta and I started our day with a detailed conversation about financials.  The operating question being, when will the business pay us back for our new cameras?

BIG NEWS— Love You Back Productions invested in 2 new cameras for yours truly. Yippiiiee! Now, when will the company pay yours truly back for those new cameras?  We settled on March.  

 "Thursday, oof! Friday, yay!" - photo taken on December 29, 2017 of Ryuta Iwashita and Zen Omi by Julia Elizabeth Evans

"Thursday, oof! Friday, yay!" - photo taken on December 29, 2017 of Ryuta Iwashita and Zen Omi by Julia Elizabeth Evans

FRIDAY, YAY!

Now, it's FRIDAY, YAY! Weenta and I have a whole day of interviews for the Corner Stores documentary coming up on Sunday.  As I write to you, we're preparing for that.  See you on the flip side.  It's time to GO AND MAKE A MOVIE!

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Love You Back,

Jules

 

 

WEEK IN REVIEW: From Senegal to New Orleans, with Love by Love You Back Productions

 From our latest wedding film: A love story that takes place in two worlds, between two languages and across many cultures. 

From our latest wedding film: A love story that takes place in two worlds, between two languages and across many cultures. 

It's 2018!

I don't know about you, but my year started off right. 

Just as 2017 came to a close, I was hard at work on the most ambitious wedding film Love You Back Productions has ever produced. I completed the documentary-style highlight on New Year's Eve, with enough time to spare to join in on some New Year's eve festivities.

In mid October of 2017, Love You Back Productions was hired to film the wedding of Anna and William, a couple who work for the United Nations.

Anna is American, William is French. The two currently live in Dakar, Senegal. William's lived in a dozen countries before, Anna's lived in 8, and they've traveled to countless others. 

They wanted us to film not only their wedding day, but the flurry of friends and family coming together from all around the world to celebrate their marriage in the days prior to the wedding. 

So why get married in New Orleans of all places? 

Anna and her sister Jocelyn jointly own a shotgun double in the Lower Garden District neighborhood of New Orleans. The two bought the home as a part of their family tradition of buying and renovating old houses. Jocelyn's lived in New Orleans for the past couple years and was a student at Tulane University. She's now moving back to Pittsburgh, her hometown, where both sisters grew up.

Anna's traveled to New Orleans a handful of times in the past and she loves the feeling of the city. Many say it's the place in the U.S. that feels most like you're in another country--which knowing Anna, is probably why she's drawn towards it. 

She said her and William are looking for a place to settle down after years of traveling around the world, and New Orleans is a serious contender. 

After an initial Skype conversation with Anna, we came up with 4 project keywords for her wedding film:

  1. Family
  2. Blending
  3. Reunion
  4. International

We also got a sense of who the key characters would be.

On Anna's side the key family members were:

Ndeye - A close family friend from Senegal who Anna regards as a sister 

Fatou - Ndeye's daughter, like a god-daughter or niece to Anna

Emily - Anna's long time best friend from France

Bebe, Fatouma and Moussa - Anna's close family from Nigeria who she has adopted into her family as children

 Anna, William, Ndeye and her daughter Fatou.

Anna, William, Ndeye and her daughter Fatou.

On William's side the key family members were:

Nathan - William's Franco-Thai son from a previous marriage

Naomie - William's Franco-Thai daughter from a previous marriage

 Anna, Naomie, Nathan and William.

Anna, Naomie, Nathan and William.

There were many other supporting family members and friends on both the bride and groom's side, but these were the people that meant the most to the couple. 

I realized that in order to capture the true spirit of their wedding, we'd need to follow the couple at 3 crucial points. Here's what we decided to film:

Family Time - Baking Cakes with Margaux, Anna, William, and family - Anna's friend Margaux, a master pastry chef, would bake four small wedding cakes in lieu of one big cake. The whole family would get together to help bake. 

We loved the idea that this would be an informal family gathering centered around a wedding-related activity. We couldn't have asked for a better opportunity to film the family interacting. 

A Virtual Call (same day as Baking Cakes) - We noticed that the children on Anna’s side of the family, Bebe, Fatouma and Moussa, couldn’t make it to the wedding because of visa issues.

It was clear that Anna and William's family in Dakar were a big part of their lives and we wanted their presence to be felt in the film. We realized that as filmmakers, we had the power to incorporate those people into the film even though they couldn't be there in person.

So we came up with a plan to film a video chat with between Anna, William, and Bebe, Fatouma and Moussa.

This shoot date touched upon the following keywords: Family, Blending, International

 Outtake from the Skype call between the wedding party in New Orleans and family in Dakar.

Outtake from the Skype call between the wedding party in New Orleans and family in Dakar.

Party the Day Before The Wedding - The party took place at Anna and Jocelyn's shotgun double in the Lower Garden District. This is where we captured greetings, hugs and first time meetings of the couple's friends from all around the world.

This day was essentially a "rehearsal dinner" -- I put that in quotes because it was a much more relaxed environment than the typical wedding rehearsal dinner. Many of the couple's friends and family members would have already arrived by that point or be arriving earlier in the day.

This shoot date touched upon the following keywords: Family, Blending, Reunion, International

 Ndeye, Fatou and Emily hang out at Anna's house in the Lower Garden District. While Anna and William went over the catering menu for the rehearsal dinner, Emily and Fatou got busy scrapbooking.

Ndeye, Fatou and Emily hang out at Anna's house in the Lower Garden District. While Anna and William went over the catering menu for the rehearsal dinner, Emily and Fatou got busy scrapbooking.

The photos below were taken two days before the wedding. I visited the house where the rehearsal party would be held to scout the location. I hung out with Ndeye, Fatou and Emily while they waited in the kitchen.

I'm so glad I tagged along on this day. This is when I discovered Fatou's scrapbook about her journey to the United States. I didn't know it then, but this scrapbook would be key in deciding the structure and story of the final film. Just goes to show, "hanging out" and pre-planning scouting always, always pays off.

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With multiple pre-wedding activities and shoot dates, it was hard to sit down and compile the final film. What would be the beginning, middle and end? 

I structured and re-structured the order of the film at least 3 times during the course of editing.

In the end it was a poem from Fatou's scrapbook that would become central to the final organization of the film.

The poem she was assigned to read at the wedding, "Vive les Mariés" told a story about the journey of a husband and wife as they experience both the closeness and hardships of marriage. It served as a great vehicle for much of the pre-wedding day footage and carried the love story to its natural conclusion.

On the day of the rehearsal dinner, I asked Fatou to go over her scrapbook with Naomie and read the poem out loud. 

Fatou also read this poem during the ceremony--a moment that was visually stunning and intimate--but in the end, I decided that the interaction between her and Naomie better underscored the closeness and diversity of their family.

Take a look at the final film below.

"Vive les Maries" -- Anna and William's custom wedding highlight documentary. 

Bonus: Anna sent me a photo of the family in Dakar watching the wedding highlight for the first time on New Year's day. This was the sweetest thing ever!

I always send the final film off via email and am left guessing at the reaction. Seeing this picture makes me feel truly appreciated.

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