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!

Our first bridal show! by Love You Back Productions

Our first bridal show was mindblowingly awesome, but unfortunately we were so busy talking to brides we forgot to take even a single photo. Darn!

We were kicking ourselves after we realized we didn't take any photos at our first bridal show. We'll definitely take a ton of photos at our next bridal show, on March 7th.

We were kicking ourselves after we realized we didn't take any photos at our first bridal show. We'll definitely take a ton of photos at our next bridal show, on March 7th.

Julia and I had never been to a bridal show before and we had no idea what to expect. So we did what anyone would do--we got pinterest accounts. :)

We searched pinterest for different "looks" for bridal show booths before deciding on our own simple, clean modern aesthetic. Here was our inspiration:

So into this clean, modern look. 

So into this clean, modern look. 

We realized if we were going to get anywhere close to this look, we had to build ourselves a wall. So we enlisted the help of Julia's partner, Nik, to get the wall built. 

Nik had never built a wall before, but with a little direction and some you-tubing, he was up to the task. 

The wall turned out great, unfortunately, no photos. 

The centerpiece of our set up would be Julia's desk, which has a similar feel to the one you see pictured. It has white metal legs and a light wooden tabletop. On the desk we would place our main Mac desktop monitor, and on a side table we would place a second monitor. Both of them would be playing a different wedding film on a loop. 

We also printed awesome bridal show booking cards, courtesy of Office Depot (and the most awesome printing attendant ever--Desiree, shout out to you, you're the best!). They looked like this:

17.01.04 - Bridal Show Pricing Pamphlet.jpg
17.01.04 - Bridal Show Pricing Pamphlet (back).jpg

Julia had the idea to create lavender essential oil makeup remover as our bride show giveaway. Julia and Nik were up pretty early getting the makeup remover ready--screwing on 200 mini dropper caps was a bigger task than we realized.

The witch hazel stripped our fingers and by the end, the house was filled with witch hazel and lavender essential oil fumes. Don't get me wrong, lavender essential oil is great aroma therapy, but the concentrated smell did leave us pretty heady. 

Oh! We also decided to have a giveaway for one free Save-The-Date Teaser video to people who signed up on our contact sheet.

We thought this would be an ingenious plan for getting brides to sign in and give us their phone numbers and real email addresses, but actually no one noticed the giveaway sign. It didn't end up making much of a difference anyway. I think brides still gave us the same contact info they normally would. 

Even though the day was stressful and we felt crunched for time, by the end of the show we scheduled meetings with 20 brides!

We were beyond impressed with our performance, especially for our first time out. By the end we felt like bridal show pros...and we're so excited to go to our next one!

Cheers to a year of lightness and making lists! 4 Ways to Celebrate Success! by Love You Back Productions

"There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.  That’s why you must walk on lightly.  Lightly my darling… Learn to do everything lightly.  Yes, feel lightly..even though you feel so deeply."  Here, Aldous Huxley gets to precisely what I mean by “lightness.”   - Julia Elizabeth Evans

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Starting With "Why?" by Love You Back Productions

Simon Sinek discusses the principal behind every successful person and business. A simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?"

Why? Why do I do what I do? It's a question I've returned to after watching Simon Sinek's powerful TED talk about how to win in business and connect with customers. 

"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it," he says.

As I discussed in my last blog post, Julia and I have been preparing to pitch as a part of the 2017 Women In Business Challenge. Julia and I want to model our pitch after the structure that Sinek lays out in his talk; start with why, then move to how and what. 

So why do I do what I do? The short answer is that I love listening to people's stories, especially if their views and experience are radically different than my own. I've always been a rule following, law abiding, perfectionist as far back as I can remember, but luckily for me, that also comes with a deep curiosity for people living on the other side of the spectrum. 

When discussing "why?" I told Julia about one of my oldest and best friends Alice*. Once when we were 16, Alice took me on a joy ride in a stolen car.

I remember talking to her on the phone before she picked me up. She told me to tell my parents we were going to the mall and to make sure to wear gloves and a hat. It was only once I got in the car that she explained it all: the car was stolen by neighbors who lived on her block who let her borrow it. The gloves and the hat were to prevent leaving any prints behind. 

The car was hot wired. She had to stick a screwdriver in the ignition to start it. She had barely any practice driving, and no driver's license, but what she lacked in practice, she made up in confidence. 

As a part of our joy ride Alice offered to ram in another friend's parked car because I was jealous of her. No one would ever know who did it, so why not? 

She drove to the friend's car in a parking lot and came as close to bumper to bumper contact as she could without quite touching. She revved the engine.

"Should I do it? Should I do it?" she asked, egging me on.

It was so tempting...but I turned down the offer.

Would I have normally found myself in that car? No. I was a goody two-shoes in high school and would normally be at home buried in my books. 

The thing is, I loved being friends with Alice. I loved being friends with her because she broke rules I would never dream of breaking. I loved listening to her stories because they were so different from my own and because while she told them, she was being her truest authentic self. 

When I produce a video, that's the magic I'm looking for. A story with authentic characters.  A story with a unique perspective.

That's my why. 

*Name has been changed to protect privacy

"All I Want for Christmas is You!" by Love You Back Productions

This post is akin to a holiday card. You know the kind-

The holiday card reaches your mailbox anywhere from early November to late January.  The card is an update from all walks of life - extended family and estranged friends - ranging from a quick paragraph to a long-winded anecdote.

As a holiday card, "a family photo and a short reflection" of the previous year will do just fine for this blog post.

Weenta and I met back in February 2016, working as camera operators for New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC) music video production.  We were on set for the production of 1) Tanks and the Banga’s “Oh Heart” and 2) Trumpet Black and the Heart Attacks memorial video, “Good Life.”  Following production, we joined as business partners in June 2016.

Y’all have probably ready or heard most of this, so let’s skip to right now - December 2016.  

It's the end of the year, and our business continues to “rev up”….  Note: Yes, gross annual revenue is up from 2015! Woohoo!….  At this point, I spend more time with my business partner of half a year than I do with my boyfriend of 4 years.  Between us, running your own business is fun, but it is a lot of work. My work week averages at 70 hours.  

But, y’all, right now, I'm in my feelings.  And I feel lost for words. Almost.  Words never abandon me.  

I'll just go ahead then and exclaim my gratitude and praise.

Why? I love what I do.  Without sounding overly prosaic, video production connects me with so many incredible people.  The bottom-line of video production is connecting with others, storytelling, and sharing experiences.  Every single client is gracious and humble in this regard.

To every single person, who has entered my life through my work as a video producer that includes you reading this blog post right now, thank you.  Thank you to you all.    Your support is boundless, and your encouragement enables me and Weenta Productions’ growth.  

Again, thank you to each and every single one of you!   And finally, thank you - Weenta.   Our dynamism is gold.  I love working with you.   You dot my “i”s. I cross your “t”s.    I cannot wait to see what 2017 brings!

All I want for Christmas is you! And you! And you! And you! And you! Annnnnd you!    

- Mariah Carey

Side note: Oh, those late January folks and their better-late-than-never philosophy always touches me.  The letter arrives and exudes a sense of urgency and sincerity that those early November letters cannot emulate.

Every year, a collage of glitter-glam cards, store-bought stationary sets, and bright red cardstock makes a teetering heap in an all-too-often, much-too-small winter-themed wicker basket (that my Mom refuses to toss out because... she's sentimental about her deals) - bought on clearance, 70% off at the now closed Bed, Bath, & Beyond off Bowman Road in Little Rock, AR.  By Christmas day, the stack is a ticking bomb, an inevitable kitchen counter mess.   For the benefit of all, Weenta Productions sends good tidings over the internet.

...

<3,

Julia Elizabeth Evans

The Evans family went above and beyond with tree decorations this year. :) - Julia Elizabeth Evans, December 2016