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: Documentary on the upswing. by Love You Back Productions

RAW footage cross-section produced by Julia Elizabeth Evans and Ashley Spears with support from Erika Meggs in 2015-2016.

  • Documentary on the upswing.  Julia applied for a local artist funding grant in late January.  Funds will be assigned at the end of March; however, in the meantime, production is in full swing.  The project, Corner Stores and Cornerstones of the City, is a local documentary, which features the culture and stories of New Orleanians and their corner stores.  The truth is corner stores are disappearing. 

Here is a cross section of the raw footage captured for the Corner Stores documentary.  Note: anyone and everyone’s input is welcome. If you have any questions or any stories yourself about corner stores in New Orleans, please email Julia at loveyoubackproductions@gmail.com.  :) 

By Akasha Rabut. "Caramel Curves." | http://www.akasharabut.com/caramel-curves/

By Akasha Rabut. "Caramel Curves." | http://www.akasharabut.com/caramel-curves/

  • Retrospective refers to a conversation about filmmaking. We attended New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC)’s Retrospective.  Photographers and videographers, Deb Cotton and Akasha Rabut, shared personal stories and experiences on the subject of second line photography and video production.  

All I have to say is - Cotton is a dynamo, and now key inspiration.  Rabut is super splendid and oh-so talented.  Major takeaway from the night was, “Listen. Be respectful.….Don’t bring reality TV to New Orleans.”

Photo taken at NOVAC's Retrospective, Sunday, February 5, 2017.  From left Darcy McKinnon, Akasha Rabut, and Deb Cotton.

Photo taken at NOVAC's Retrospective, Sunday, February 5, 2017.  From left Darcy McKinnon, Akasha Rabut, and Deb Cotton.

Photo taken at Degas House on iphone 5, Sunday, February 5, 2017.  

Photo taken at Degas House on iphone 5, Sunday, February 5, 2017.  

  • Business alliances + wedding clients = Society culture.  That’s an equation, right?  Love You Back Productions and the Degas House are joining together to ensure every wedding hosted at the Degas House is documented in HD.

Last Sunday, Julia and Weenta enjoyed a tranquil afternoon at the Degas House.  Marathon runners fleeted down Esplanade while we convened with future bride to be married at the famous Degas House.  

Produced by Deadbeatniks Cinematography by Julia Evans www.deadbeatniks.com
  • Music videos are to be made with friends.    Julia and Weenta meet on the production set of a music video for local musicians, Tanks & the Bangas and The Heart Attacks. 

Back last summer, the Dead Beatniks somehow signed Julia on for a rousing time of video production.   Locations included High Ho lounge, Holy Cross Levee, and Port Street.   In our humble estimation, video editing could be cleaner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbQ6xBRsdvU

But that's all secondary. Daniel Turner and Anuraag Pendyal's mixture of rap and melody shines like the High Ho Lounge disco ball.  "Mouse" also sticks your head.  Have a look and a listen. Expect to laugh with us.

One more by Akasha Rabut.  "Edna Karr." |  http://www.akasharabut.com/edna-karr/

<3,

Julia Elizabeth Evans

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!

We nailed it!!! | Discussion on the Finer Points of Video Production by Love You Back Productions

"Please scroll down to read about 'Finer Points of Video Production.' "

"Please scroll down to read about 'Finer Points of Video Production.' "

This year is all about simplicity and serenity.  That means, this blog post will be be short and sweet! ... I hope. :D  

(Spoiler: Brevity and I have yet to realize our full potential.)

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Watch this video to understand the following discussion about the "Finer Points of Video Productions."

In a van, overnight, we traveled from New Orleans to Austin. Performing side by side two other local New Orleans artists - Fedi 'Grindz' Davis and JéCorleon - Erica Jackson proved her status as Queen E Marie. Angelei Star assisted with recording. Julia E took control of direction, shooting, and editing. Special thanks goes to the city of Austin, Esther Follies, organizers of SXSW 2015 Hip Hop Supreme, Isis , Eris, and Will. - Julia Elizabeth Evans, June 2015

Please scroll down to read about the "Finer Points of Video Production."  Also, thank y'all for your patience. Really.

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Meaning is variable. As in, themes like simplicity and serenity are subject to different interpretations by any given person at any given moment in time.  Right now, what simplicity and serenity means to me is: expectation is to be cut out of life. Cut out, all together.  

Hold those horses, Julia. Let’s be real.  Avoid expectations...?  Yup. Cut out expectations, all together? Yup.  But, that’s impossible.  As the easily excitable, happy-go-lucky human beings we all are, expectation is what we do.  To expect something of ourselves…of someone else….of other people....That’s intrinsic to being human.

Now, if that’s all true, then why would I seek to expel expectation from my life?   Do I have some kind of Sisyphus complex?  No.  I don't think so. Do I intend to go the way of a monk-on-the-mountain?  No.  Definitely not.  

Words like goal-oriented, talkative, inquisitive describe me best.  Okay, and now, you may be thinking, “expectations guarantee results, as in - certain, tangible outcomes. Right?” Also, one might presume,“expectations are part and parcel to business."  At this point, one might even be thinking outloud, "what is this lady talking about?? ‘Cut out expectations,’ huh?”

Here’s my interpretation/humble understanding of things:  

Expectations hinder peaceful outcomes.

Expectation, basically anticipation and attachment of and to a certain outcome or outcomes, guarantees nothing tangible and ensures quite the opposite, that is, highly palpable and deeply irritating, intangible, uncomfortable situations, i.e. stress and anxiety.  Moreover, there is no such thing as a "certain, tangible outcome." 

Weenta is better at memes than me. -Julia, Friday, January 20, 2017.

In my experience, expectations transform simple situations into messy, stress factories.   Oof.  How?  Well, expectation results from a desire to control circumstances and others involved within them.  This desire to control is cause for conflict.    Conflict can produce any number of crazy, stress factory outcomes - anxiety, of course; fumbled communication; confused resentment towards another (say, your super supportive business partner); despair; grief police; a frustration hamster wheel; etc., other unnecessary reactions.  That is to say, oof.  All that sounds messy and rather complicated to me.

Here's my philosophy on stress-factory resolution:  

Clear, open lines of communication are key.  

January proved its own stress factory.  (I went so far as to create a Spotify playlist, “2017 | January Calm.” Click, listen, and relax with me.)  

These past 2 weeks went on like a marathon.   All together, now.   Weenta and I completed our 5-year business growth plan - 40 pages in all! Woohoo!.  We made it through pitch competition trials. I submitted print article to local magazine. My best friend made Love You Productions an awesome wall for our very first bridal.  Lastly, we nailed it at our first bridal show.  Yipee!   I definitely cried a little somewhere in the middle of all of that.   I had placed too many expectations on myself to keep up.  

Finally, I voiced my feelings, "Weenta, I am exhausted and full of anxiety! I don't want to go to any more client meetings!"    She voiced her own feelings.  We were honest with each other and adjusted according to our combination of feelings and desires.   

In the end, we both felt clear and accomplished.  

But, the next point is key... When communicating about your experience of particular situation, e.g. "I experience _____x______ emotion while inside of  ______x______circumstance,"....

Do your best to disentangle your feelings from your desires/ideas/opinions/beliefs.  Feelings, desires, opinions are all separate things. 

For instance, at the end of last week, I realized- Oh no!

Love You Back Productions has a wedding commission scheduled at the same time as my family trip. 

Rather than reacting, I simply explained my feelings regarding the circumstance, "Weenta, I feel even more stressed than I did yesterday (feelings)Love You Back Productions has a wedding commission scheduled at the same time as my family trip.  I want to go on the trip (desires). Here is my plan:  We can hire an assistant camera operator for the commission date (ideas).  You can handle the commission on your own (beliefs).  You are free to not like this plan; however, I still have these feelings."

That last line is critical. 

You are free to not like....however, I still have these feelings." 

This experience shows that if I acknowledge the validity of Weenta's feelings, thoughts, ideas, and personal experience, my own feelings will be acknowledged.  So...  In making a collaborative decision, the other person/s' feelings, thoughts, ideas, personal experience/s, etc. are as valid and important if not more so than one's own.

The result was awesome: 

Love You Back Productions has a wedding commission scheduled at the same time as my family trip. I am going on the family trip.  Love You Productions is an assistant camera operator on the commission date.  

Looking back. Mistakes as well as ups and downs are all good and, perhaps, fun...maybe, but serenity is my main goal 2017.    The ups and downs are lessons!  That's key! That's much is true and really, very important, too. The ups and downs are lessons! 

"These past 2 weeks went on like a marathon." Photo taken by Ian MacLellan, photographer extraordinaire in at mile 9 along the Boston Marathon route, April 2013.

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Okay. I promised to use this blog to discuss the finer points of video production, and I have yet to do that in this post.  If you have made it this far, let me - 1) shower you with gratitude and praise.  You are so awesome and patient for getting this far into my long-winded blog post.  2) I must inform you that-

I have been talking about video production all along.  hehehe. Wait! Before you close your web page or quit Safari!!!  For what it’s worth, this blog will not end that opaquely. 

(Thought to self: If that’s true, Julia. it doesn’t help to make negative statements like "this blog will not...") 

Let me explain by video production example! :D

Discussion on the "Finer Points of Video Production" starts here:

No expectations went into the making of this video. Watch video above.  This video was a product of fun times and collaborative effort.  Production took a while- 6 months.   This is one of the first videos I ever shot and produced, solo. And I’m still proud of it. I’d say it’s relevant. Not to mention, the video is of my best friends - Erica, Ryan, Jessica, oh yah, Angelei and Anna, make an appearance, too.  Happy Birthday, Jess and Erica!!!!

If you take anything from this blog post, please take the following post-production advice: Do “ripple delete” all the gaps between video clips.    When making this video, I thought to myself, “Oh, gaps between video cuts looks cinematic. The motion simulates a real film reel.”  No.  It doesn’t.  Now, I know.  I think everyone else knows that much, but just in case, any one doesn’t know to “ripple delete” all the gaps between video clips.  You do now.  

"No expectations went into the making of this video."  Also, no expectations went into our pitch. What happened? I think.... We nailed it! - Julia Elizabeth Evans

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        Wishing everyone fun times, peace, and serenity! Oooop. Make way for Mardi Gras!

<3,

Julia Elizabeth Evans

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

[Bear with us, this is yet another post, unrelated to video production. ;) ] 

This year is all about simplicity and serenity.

Looking forward to 2017,  I resolve to quit my habit of multitasking.   The humble success Charles F. Feeney, advises "you can only wear one pair of pants at a time."  

...

New Year’s resolutions are valuable as self-care reminders, of course.  Yet, their imprint on the new year tends to be transient.  

Therefore, when considering self-care, especially around the new year, I say -  1) Forget hard and fast objectives.    2) Focus on general themes.  

[That way, there is no space for self-pity or self-critique, if, say, you didn’t meet your goal - finish War and Peace by January 31st.]

If 2017 is to be about simplicity and serenity, then 2016 was about lightness.  What does "lightness" mean?  Well, three pages into my 2016 daily planner, I stumbled upon this quote:

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.”  Though to be honest, I wrote those words down on January 3rd, 2016, and then totally forgot about them until this blog post.  

But, I guess that was enough.  As far as “doing everything lightly" in 2016, I think I nailed it.  

Everyone appreciates brevity.  I think this explanation about the concept of "lightness" from my Youtube channel is a bit more succinct. - Julia Elizabeth Evans, January 6, 2017.

How is that? Well, I resolved to take myself less seriously and to enjoy myself a little bit more.  

In the same journal entry as the Huxley quote, the following resolution is written,

“Be kind and ebullient. Ask for help. Ask for assistance.  Reach out.  Mark deadlines.  Meet deadlines.  Write films. Finish films.”

Now, let me break that down into a list.

[If 2016 taught me anything, it’s that the Internet loves lists.  Or, at least, a cross-examination of the internet articles I clicked and read versus the ones I neglected or glossed over in 2016 indicates that I love lists. (Check it out. I really like this New Year's Resolution list by my good friend Bryan Howe over at LinkedIn.)]

1. Goal: "Be kind and ebullient." => Lesson: Listen to your body. Learn what excites you!

A few too many late nights, tailgates, or bar crawls, of course, takes it toll.  But, I am not here to admonish anyone for excesses. 

I am more interested in guiding everyone’s attention to the small moments that our bodies speak to us.  We all experience different emotional highs and lows.  We feel consternation, bliss, tension, excitement, anger, or weariness.   Listen to those moments. Take note.  What resonates in those small moments?   

As for me, on December 3, 2016, I wrote in my journal, “hanging out takes it out of me.  Does anyone want to chill at 10:00 in the morning?”  

A few years ago, this would have been dreadfully embarrassing to admit.  This year, I celebrate my honesty.  In 2016, I learned, I love matinee movies, and 8:00 pm is “late night.”  Yes! Indeed! Because I listened to my body, 2016 boasted many more moments of exuberance than moments of exhaustion.  

Exercise: Think about this past holiday season.  Did your body feel at all tense?  What was the most relaxing part of the season?  Reflect.  Are there lessons about personal maintenance to glean, there?  

 We all experience different emotional highs and lows.  We feel consternation, bliss, tension, excitement, anger, or weariness.   Listen to those moments. Take note.  What resonates in those small moments?   - Julia Elizabeth Evans, January 6, 2016.

2.   Goal: "Ask for help. Ask for assistance.  Reach out." => Lesson: Personal boundaries are awesome!

It is my experience that by learning to listen to ourselves, we all move closer to fulfillment.   For me, fulfillment means setting boundaries.     No one can do everything, all the time.  Moreover,  I don’t think anyone has any desire to do everything, all the time.  Hence, the cultural idiom, “netflix and chill.”   

Setting boundaries can be difficult.  Limitations never seem desirable at first.  We all have a tendency to over analyze any situation, be it professional or social:  

I don't want to edit this interview. But! If don't "cut up" and edit this interview, it will never get done.  

If going out after 8:00pm does not excite me,  should I stop going out at night?  If I stop going out at night, will my friends still like me?  When will I ever see them?

Exercise: Return to point 1.  Listen to your body, if you don’t feel like doing something, you don’t have to do it.  Setting boundaries is basically, if you don't feel excited to do something, you are not the person to do it.   Once you realize that much, ask for help. Are people excited to help you? No.  

Keep asking.  You'll find someone. Trust me.

My best friend, Anna Gilmer, stopped by Weenta's house to take some photographs for our holiday blog post.  Thanks for the help, Anna! -Julia Elizabeth Evans, January 6, 2017.

3. Goal: "Mark deadlines.  Meet deadlines."  =>  Lesson: Be kind to yourself.

At the end of 2016, I found myself spiraling into a flurry of self-critique.  Now, I am not anxiety prone, but too many appointments and project deadlines makes Julia, well, a flustered girl.    The following thought track ran all day long, “ugh…Why can’t I get anything done?…I started that three weeks ago. How come it’s still now finished?… I am so inefficient…I am so easily distracted…” 

Until I realized - “Wait! wow, I am mean…I mean…I am really mean to myself.”

Personally, I have thought much less said any of the things to or about anyone else.  So, it follows that I don’t have to say these things to myself either.  Actually, I can say nice things to myself. 

Exercise: If you catch yourself in a bout of self-loathing...Say exactly the opposite.  "I am so easily distracted!" turns into, “I have great concentration. I am a focused person. My capacity to complete tasks is exactly as fast as I want it to be.” 

For a proper 101 crash course on proper emotional first-aid, listen to Ted Radio Hour's podcast on Emotions.  Now, get some sleep and keep muttering those sweet nothings to yourself!

This year, Julia started practicing Aikido, which loosely translated means "the way of peace."  Here is a photo taken from a recent Aikido seminar by Dirk Muëller Sensei at Nola Aikido, in which Julia learned about the importance lightness and softness in a martial arts setting. 

4. Goal: Write films. Finish films. => Lesson: Remember to enjoy yourself

2016 taught me many lessons, the most important being - remember to enjoy yourself.  Yes, I did finish War and Peace in addition to some other great projects. ;-)

Exercise: smile to yourself.

I wrote this poem while traveling in the Pacific Northwest.  The jolliness encapsulate the most important lesson of 2016.  Remember to enjoy yourself. -Julia Elizabeth Evans, January 6, 2017.

...

Heads up! Weenta and I are excited to get into the nitty-gritty of filmmaking from this blog forward.

<3,

Julia Elizabeth Evans

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