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Andrea + Eric Engagement

I’ve been holding off on writing this post for TOO LONG! In my defense, writing is probably the hardest thing in the world for me. Funny story - many moons ago while applying to grad school I had to take the GRE. On it is a ~40 minute writing section, during which I think I wrote maybe five sentences. Seriously, that's it. However, those were some of the best sentences ever written. But Andrea and Eric deserve more than five sentences. Not that I’m going to write a novel or anything, just a nice hearty blog post. Because they’re awesome.

I remember our first meeting to discuss their engagement film and Andrea saying something along the lines of, “Okay, I hope you don’t think I’m a weirdo, but I have this entire video already planned out in my head.” Andrea, I told you this then and I’ll tell you again now: No way you’re a weirdo. You’re a wonderfully creative person! Hold onto that and never let it go. In the words of that one Bachelor contestant, “Don’t let anybody take your sparkle.” (Disclaimer: I never really watched that show by choice.)

Logistically, we couldn’t recreate everything in Andrea’s vision so we had to make some tweaks and get creative in our use of metaphors. For instance, instead of showing Eric’s early-on pursuit, we chose to shoot him running after her (which is super-accurate to their relationship because they completed their first marathon together in December!). The video was helped along by having Eric narrate for some context, and much of his lines were pulled from a Christmas letter he wrote Andrea in those early months.

Now I said I procrastinated with this post, and boy does time fly. It’s April right now and our first day of shooting was back in October! That initial day started with an early sunrise shoot at the Henry Clay Estate. The script called for donuts, but that’s probably because we knew we'd be able to eat them after we finished the scene. After the breakfast date it was off to Raven Run Sanctuary to shoot the running/hiking scenes, followed by a visit to Talon Winery (their wedding venue!) for the final scene. We also got together over the holidays to film at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. The whole process was an absolute blast.

Goofing around at Raven Run. 

Goofing around at Raven Run. 

Their picturesque wedding venue - Talon Winery.

Their picturesque wedding venue - Talon Winery.

In closing, I cannot wait to be there when these two get married this summer. Andrea and Eric have developed into great friends - the kind of friends who sneak in extra candy for you when you go to the movies with them (so, the best of friends). I'm so excited to create a wedding film for them that reflects all the joy and happiness they both have together and bring to others. Stay tuned!

P.S. If it wasn’t obvious, my entire goal with this post was to make Andrea & Eric laugh........*Holds hand to ear*.....What’s that faint sound on the wind? It sounds like…giggles? Oh, that must be Andrea.

~Carl

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Alisa + Andrew

There’s a really nice feeling you have inside when others trust you to “do your thing.” I think this is true with all aspects of life, whether work, sports, or in relationships (I don’t mean “Do your thing *wink wink*, but more so, “just be you.” Get your mind out of the gutter). To have others not just recognize your ability, but ask for it, unmoderated. I bring this up because Alisa & Andrew were explicit in letting me “do my thing.” In our discussions they understood the aspects of a film and what I’m continually trying do with my work. I am so grateful for their trust and that of my other clients, and it’s certainly not something I take for granted. There are times I’ll be driving in my car when recognition of this strikes, and I’ll let out a joyous yell in celebration (I don’t do this with passengers, as that would make it obvious what a goof I am. And I don’t think anybody reads my blog so I should be safe confessing it here). What I’m saying is that it’s a privilege to make my films and do what I do, and I want Alisa & Andrew to know how happy and thankful I am for their trust. Now, onto their film!

I spent quite a while simply thinking about the direction I wanted to go with their Highlight Film. I want things to ebb and flow, but there’s always a narrative backbone with a certain mood or emotion. This dances on a spectrum of upbeat celebration on one end to powerful emotion on the other. Typically with comedic and sentimental moments sprinkled throughout. In my longer Signature Films I can shift up and down this spectrum, but it’s much harder to do in the short span of a Highlight Film. However, Alisa & Andrew’s wedding day played strongly on both ends, with intensely emotional vows and one of the best reception dance-offs I’ve ever seen. So, I made the decision to start their film with an immediate emotional pull, and then witch gears halfway to a festive build and climax. This is certainly one of my more unique films and I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Just an epic dance-off involving pom-poms

Just an epic dance-off involving pom-poms

Filming at La Mariposa is one of my favorite venues in Southern Arizona. The large grounds and trees make for a beautiful backdrop in an otherwise desert landscape. They also shroud the venue to make it feel intimate and separated from the city.

La Mariposa wedding gazebo

La Mariposa wedding gazebo

I <3 cafe lights

I <3 cafe lights

I LOVE a clean and distraction free background for toasts

I LOVE a clean and distraction free background for toasts

*Gear talk* I had a commercial shoot scheduled for the week after Alisa + Andrew’s wedding, for which I had rented a Movi. It’s a motorized gimbal that keeps your camera nice and steady for shots with a lot of motion. Similar to a Glidecam, but more versatile. I had a lot of fun running around throughout the day with it. The most notable shots with it in their Highlight Film are during the processional, the dance-off, and the post-ceremony bride & groom filming session (something I always encourage couples to add to their timeline to get intimate shots. Typically about ~10 minutes).

Forgot to bring a monitor. Whoops. Still grabbed some stellar shots at Alisa + Andrew's wedding!

A photo posted by Carl S. Miller (@carl.s.miller) on

Here’s wishing Alisa, Andrew, and their son a wonderful future! I know good things are in store for you guys.

~Carl

Had an awesome time working with the vendors below:

Veronica Dominguez Photography & Priscila Matei Photography

William Olguin and The Ohhh Booth (Check out the gem below of me with my second-shooter Matt)

Gigi Bridal

Cakes by Genevieve LLC

Endless Decor

 

 
Wedding videographer photo booth
 

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Logan + Clark

Today is the perfect day to share a Highlight Film. It’s cold and rainy out, but I’m warm and cozy inside with coffee and excitement. I just finished Logan & Clark’s Film and it’s one of my absolute favorites. Not because of anything specific to their wedding video or the cinematography, but because of them. I’m lucky to have grown to know them, due in large part to the process of creating their Engagement Film (if you haven’t seen it you seriously need to click here). It’s a new friendship, but one that has allowed me a deeper appreciation for being present at their wedding, for seeing the supportive community of family and friends celebrate their unity, and for having a glimpse into their adventure ahead. 

Logan & Clark prepare in their Lexington home. Same-Sex wedding film.

Logan & Clark prepared and dressed for their wedding in their beautiful home in Lexington. Darcy, their Westie, told me it was going to be a wild party that night and that I should help keep her owners in-check (she makes a cameo at 0:22). I made her no promises. Prior to the ceremony, Gratz Park provided the backdrop for pictures of the family and wedding party. The colors of the changing Fall leaves had me captivated and I used the resulting footage to start their film. It was also the spot that we snuck back to after the ceremony for some golden-hour sunset footage.

Gratz Park in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky Wedding Video
Sunset same-sex wedding video in Lexington, Kentucky.

Both the ceremony and reception took place downtown at ArtsPlace, a nice & easy 100 yard walk from the park. The food (Selma’s Catering & Events; Martine’s Pastries) was fantastic and the band (Music City Rhythm Revue) knew exactly what they were doing: They covered Prince’s 1999 perfectly... to the point of having my non-existent booty shaking (though embarrassingly bad, compared to the dance skills of their guests).

Music City Revue wedding band out of Nashville, Tennessee.

I want to wish Logan & Clark the absolute best as they continue on their path as husbands. Thank you so much for trusting me to create your films. I can't wait to see what you accomplish together!

~Carl

Shout-out to Amy Campbell Photography and Resa Browning who coordinated. You both were awesome to work with!

 

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Jolene + Ken

Jolene and Ken had a beautiful "destination wedding" in southern Arizona this summer. From Phoenix, they wanted to get away somewhere different (but close) to create their wedding memories. They ended up picking some of the best venues the Tucson area has to offer. The ceremony was at St. Augustine Cathedral is in the heart of downtown Tucson, which is always a pleasure to film at. The Spanish Colonial style adds a rustic romance to the Catholic ceremonies that is hard to match on the west coast. Preparations and the reception were at the J.W. Marriott at Starr Pass, which is nestled up in the mountains just west of the city. If you'd like to see cactus no matter which way you look, stay at the J.W. Marriott at Starr Pass. 

Now gorgeous venues are important, but it's the atmosphere created by family & friends is what makes it a wedding. I had a blast getting to know members of their wedding party (many of whom are a hoot) and the reception had everybody on their feet. You can't really beat a choreographed first dance with confetti canons. Having an awesome vendor team definitely helps to ensure the day goes off without a hitch, and it was a pleasure working along side Lori O'toole Photography and all the awesome guys at Satyr Entertainment

~Carl

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Logan + Clark Engagement Film

I’ve been holding onto this post for quite a while now, and finally being able to share it makes me go, “BOOYEAH!” Please just picture me saying that in the coolest, least embarrassing way possible. We didn’t want any of Logan & Clark’s guests to accidentally see their Engagement Film on my social media page before having the full experience of seeing it on their wedding website. Now that all of the RSVP’s are in and their wedding is THIS SATURDAY, I’m sharing this puppy!

I worked with Logan and Clark from spring into summer to conceive and create their Engagement Film. After meeting with them and getting to know their personalities, a Ferris Bueller-esque, breaking the 4th wall sequence popped into my head. I pitched them the idea, hoping it wasn’t too off the wall for their tastes, and it wasn’t. In the following months we worked on a script, storyboard, and production schedule to make things come alive.

Hey, don't laugh at my drawings. So long as they convey the framing that's all that matters!

Hey, don't laugh at my drawings. So long as they convey the framing that's all that matters!

Shot list & production schedule

Shot list & production schedule

Shooting and filming everything was an absolute blast. Lots of bloopers, snacks, and wine would be a good way to sum up the weekend of filming. I was a one-man crew for this shoot (with the exception of my wife, Rebecca, who drove her car while I stood out her sunroof with the Movi. Thanks babe!). There’s certainly a reason you have a larger crew for narrative work. Doing all the of the lighting, camera operation, sound, and directing at the same time was tricky, but I'm glad I was able to pull it off. The first day of shooting was a long day, but not nearly as arduous as the production schedule makes it seem (again, see reference to snacks & wine). Some cool BTS shots:

Engagement video lexington kentucky bts pics

Part of the Engagement Film commission included a custom website to showcase it. All of the relevant information for their wedding was also included on the site that I built for them (ceremony location & time, links to hotel accommodations, activities in and around Lexington, Kentucky, and an RSVP form).

Their Wedding Website

Perhaps my favorite thing about Engagement Films (apart from how fun they are to create), is that in the process I learn so much about the couples I work with. I see Logan & Clark as friends first and clients second, and getting to know them and their relationship will be invaluable in creating their wedding film after this weekend. Stay tuned for their Highlight Film!

~Carl

A big thanks to Michler’s for letting us film on their grounds & in their greenhouse! 

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