#ProjectAdventure Week 27 : Jet skiing in South Carolina

July 24, 2014 by Melissa No comments »

The spirit of Project Adventure is powerful and infectious. Over July 4th weekend, I went to visit my Dad in South Carolina, and he let it be known that he was DFA (down for adventure).

So off we went to Lake Murray for a morning of jet skiing. There was only one jet ski available to rent, so I let my Dad be the driver first, then we switched off halfway through our 4-hour session. Dad took it pretty easy on the controls, but once I took over things got a little speedier….


Jet skiing was an amazing adrenaline rush, and I could easily see myself getting hooked. For a novice, it was easy to pick up and the only challenging part of the whole experience was navigation. Lake Murray is 50,000 acres and has 500 miles of shoreline. The jet ski rental place gave us a sketched map, but after many twists and turns around the lake, we realized we had NO IDEA where we were.

We rode around aimlessly for quite a while before finally calling the kind people at the jet ski rental place to have them locate us via the onboard GPS and talk us in. I guess lack of navigation skills run in the family. Below is a screen grab from my iPhone, as I tried in vain to use the Maps app to figure out where we were in a vast sea of blue.



Other than wondering if we’d be lost on Lake Murray forever, jet skiing was a pretty amazing adventure and one I’m hoping to do again soon.

#ProjectAdventure Week 26: Strawberry picking at Brooksby Farm

July 21, 2014 by Melissa 1 comment »

I am a berry fiend. On my cereal every morning, in smoothies, as a snack. The only healthy food I love more than kale is my berries.

Yet somehow I’ve never been berry picking. It’s been on that list of things I know I’d enjoy and will eventually get around to doing… one of these days.

Project Adventure is really good at inspiring me to check items off that bucket list. Week 26, Tom and I went to the charming Brooksby Farm in Peabody and managed to snag the last of the season’s fresh strawberries.

Brooksy Farm stawberry picking


Tom proved himself to be an exceptional picker. I think it might have been our recent trip to see Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men on Broadway that inspired him. If the whole filmmaking thing doesn’t work out, I think he has a future in the berry picking industry.


Brooksby Farm Peabody


And for those of you following along at home, you know that baking is always an adventure for me, since I kind of hate it and suck at it. So just to up the adventure ante, Tom and I decided to make mini pies from all our fresh-picked strawberries. Yes, you heard me, mini pies. We’re predicting these are gonna be the new cupcakes. Watch out.


mini pies

Ainsley and Scott’s Boston Wedding | Long Haul Films Boston’s Best Wedding Videographer

July 18, 2014 by Mia No comments »

The moment Ainsley turned around to greet the Long Haul crew, it felt like we had stepped directly into a scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Not only did Ainsley’s hair, make-up  and dress (gloves included!) replicate Audrey Hepburn’s sophisticated style, but her charm and elegance also mirrored the classic actress.  While Ainsley was putting the finishing touches to her Hepburn look, Scott and his groomsmen were perfecting their “twist”.   We must have stepped through a time-machine.

Oh, and don’t get us started on the letter readings.  If you’re looking for some serious tugs at your heart-strings, wait for the moment where Scott reads “I knew in my heart of hearts that I would marry you someday“. So good.

One of the biggest challenges for a wedding filmmaker is to find new perspectives when working in the same places. We sneaked away from the reception to get some footage of Ainsley and Scott enjoying a private moment in the Public Garden. Now, this is a location that we’ve shot in dozens of times, but with Ainsley and Scott, it felt fresh again. These two have a palpable chemistry, and it  inspired us to film from new and different angles that truly reflected Ainsley and Scott, and their unique classic-meets-modern sensibility.

Ainsley and Scott, it was a pleasure to get to know you through the planning process and thanks for letting us share a fresh, fun and inspiring day with you. Cheers to many wonderful days ahead.

Special thanks to the charming Father George Dragas and St. John the Baptist for the beautiful Greek Orthodox ceremony, The Taj Boston for an amazing beginning and end to the day, Jill Colwell for hair, Stacey Frasca for make-up, Seth Isaacs at Beat Train Productions, and the amazing photographer, Eric McCallister, who we hope to work with again! Check out his work from the day here and a sneak-peek below.

Music is Fragile Love by Adam Agin and Goodnight Moon by Said the Whale licensed through The Music Bed.






#ProjectAdventure Week 25: The Los Angeles abandoned zoo

July 16, 2014 by Melissa No comments »

I was working in LA a few weeks ago when I made a discovery: Los Angeles is home to an abandoned zoo. I pretty much knew right away that exploring this zoo had to be my adventure for the week.

The Griffith Park zoo was built back in the 1930s, on a hilly area in Griffith Park canyon. By the 1960s, the cages had been deemed too small and inhumane to house animals (too true). A fancy new zoo was built a few miles away, and the Griffith Park zoo was abandoned. The cages remain intact, and the abandoned zoo actually became a tourist attraction, complete with picnic benches where urban explorers can have a snack break in between roaming through former animal enclosures.


I had to see this place for myself. My fellow intrepid adventurer, Megan, came along for the strange journey.



The abandoned zoo is an amazing and surreal location for photography. As long as you don’t mind climbing fences, dodging drug paraphernalia and the strong smell of pee (Megan’s quote of the week: “Every time I think of LA, I imagine the smell of pee...”) I was glad to have my lomo with me, and I’m definitely planning to lure some adventure-loving Long Haul client back here for a shoot…. abandoned zoo music video, anybody?

LA abandoned zoo

LA abandoned zoo

LA abandoned zoo

LA abandoned zoo

“They will now be referred to as The Chang-Tangs” | Melissa & Morris’ sweet Mandarin Oriental wedding

July 9, 2014 by Tom No comments »

From the first time we met Melissa and Morris, we knew their wedding was going to be a little different. There’s something about the energy between them that is at once charming, disarming, a little bit geeky and unique. They refer to themselves and each other as the panda and the hamster. Their shared love of food – and ability to consume it in quantity before running it off over 10 miles the next day – is legendary among their friends and families.

Megan, who was the other shooter for this wedding, calls Melissa and Morris “silent badasses” which I think makes a lot of sense. When I was looking for a shot to use to close the opening section of the trailer, I knew it had to be the fist-bump. We are totally at home with romantic and dramatic, but when a couple matches our inherent goofiness and sense of fun, it definitely makes the  day even more enjoyable to shoot, and on this day we had an absolute blast.

The only sour note to the whole wedding was discovering that Morris is a Manchester United fan. Just goes to prove that no-one is perfect.

Special thanks to Jeff at the Mandarin Oriental for being amazing, Emilie from Pink Orchid for being the best wedding planner ever, DJ Mike Amato, and the ever-incredible Leah Haydock who is not only an enduring pleasure to work with, but who also – as you’ll see below – takes incredible photos.

Music: You’ve Come Home by Bradford Nyght and The Black Sheep And The Shepherd by Quiet Night, both licensed from The Music Bed.