#ProjectAdventure Weeks 42, 43, 44 : The California coast

November 24, 2014 by Melissa No comments »

It’s almost December, winter is upon us. Autumn passed in a blur. Seriously, I blinked and it was gone. Part of the reason it went by so quickly was that I spent about half of it on the road. It was partly business and partly pleasure and it was a good percentage of adventure, too.

Back in October, Tom and I had two shoots in California: one was in Southern California, the other was in San Francisco and in between, we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway, taking in Big Sur and Napa Valley. Regular followers of Long Haul Films will know that I’m kinda’ obsessed with California. And by kinda’ obsessed, I mean I go there for work or play at every available opportunity. This trip did nothing to abate my California love (in the ciiiittyyyy, the city of Compton….). In fact, spending time in Big Sur just cranked it up by about a million.

There are not enough superlatives in this world to describe Big Sur. It’s a magical, mystical, marvelous place of incomparable physical grandeur. The views are so beautiful that they almost hurt. The air smells of unicorns and fairies. Ok, that last part was an exaggeration, but it’s not far off. We only got to spend two days in Big Sur, which was nowhere near enough. On one of those days, we got up and drove in the pitch black down winding roads and waited for the sun to rise above the Pacific. It will definitely go down as one of the best memories of my life.

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And most especially because it was one of the few hours of alone, non-working time I got on the trip with this guy….

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Words cannot express my love for Big Sur, and I have a feeling this will be the first of many trips to this incredible strip of coastline.

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Other adventurous highlights from this trip included…

  • Filming a wedding in Orange County
  • Shooting a commercial in San Francisco and dodging some seriously paranoid homeless folks in the process
  • Meeting a dream client in Napa (fingers crossed on that one, but I’m counting on you, universe….)
  • Our (finally) first-ever visit to In-N-Out Burger

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I did wimp out on one adventure opportunity when my friend J invited me to take a 25-minute swim in the Pacific with her one Sunday morning. I’ve spent a lot of time this year jumping headlong into cold water, but the big waves and my not-so-amazing swimming ability caused me to chicken out… But now I have it on the brain that I need to get out there and do the swim one of these days. Maybe with those swimmies that kids wear…?

California might be my favorite place for adventures, and I’m excited to have one more trip coming up this year to pack some more in…. until next time, Cali!

 

 

Nikhil & Shweta’s New England Indian Wedding | Long Haul Films Best Wedding Videography

November 20, 2014 by Megan No comments »

I don’t even know where to start with this one. Should I begin with describing the amazing settings? How New England nautical meshed with a traditional Indian celebration? Or perhaps I should go into detail about how it felt like joy and color exploded and then rained over the entire weekend? Or what about how we’ve maybe never shot this much beautiful and breathtaking footage in such a small amount of time? All of the above ring true, but I think I know where to start…with Nikhil and Shweta. Two of the most wonderful people in existence. I think I’ll start there.

Nikhil and Shweta are, simply put, ideal. They’re super invested, incredibly genuine, crazy in love, and filled with loads of creativity and trust. Most importantly though, Nikhil and Shweta are two insanely cool human beings.   We had the pleasure of hanging around for their weekend-long celebration and never once felt like we were “on the job.” We were like children in a candy store–we couldn’t get enough.

Leading up to the big weekend, the weather predictions were bad. We were supposed to get a weekend filled with rain. We obsessively checked the forecast and the predictions stayed unfavorable. But, if Nick and Shweta’s trailer is any evidence, the universe was smiling down on us that weekend. We worked with some of the most beautiful light we have EVER worked with. Period. And lucky for us, we had some crazy amazing venues to work with alongside that light. The Hyatt in Newport was an awesome place to kick things off on Friday, but the true star of the weekend was Mount Hope Farm in Rhode Island. I could ramble on for hours about the beauty of that place, but I think I’ll let the footage do the talking.

Super duper special thanks to our fellow vendors from the weekend. Leila from Leila Brewster Photography is just the coolest, and we can’t wait to work with her again one day. Sarah True from True Events was beyond helpful and wonderful, and we can’t wait to collaborate once again. Thanks to the DJ on Friday Krupal Soni, and band from Saturday The Elements–both tore the roof off and got everybody groovin’ in no time. Music in the trailer is “Dark Matter” by Andrew Belle, licensed through The Music Bed.

We’re so filled with excitement to share this trailer. To be able to do justice to such a stunning, epic weekend feels phenomenal. Nick and Shweta–you two are our spirit animals. Congrats again and thank you for letting us be a part of your day!

 

 

 

Introducing Long Haul Films UK | United Kingdom video production

November 18, 2014 by Chris 2 comments »

If you’re on the Long Haul grapevine then, much like Marvin Gaye, you may already have heard rumours about possible overseas expansion plans (that’s what he was singing about, right?).

Well, as we start the home run towards 2015, it feels like it’s the right time to confirm those whisperings and get the news out. For yes, as you may have guessed from the “u” in “rumours” (and, possibly, the fairly self-explanatory title of this post), Long Haul Films is now a fully-fledged international operation.

I – along with my wonderful co-founders Tom, Melissa and Lucy (who is also my much better half) – have been working hard behind the scenes over the past few months to get the UK office up and running, and now here we are…. the Long Haul Films UK doors are open! The kick-ass filmmaking foundry that you know and love in the US is now up and running in Britain too.

A little bit about us resident Brits: Lucy and I met in 2007 and got married last year. We live in a picturesque old town within a stone’s throw of London, have a psychopathic cat named Noodle, and both love running around with cameras in our hands. You can find out more about us in our bios.

Natural redheads.

Natural redheads.

For some time now, we’ve been enviously eyeing the awesome work of our US colleagues. Earlier this year, we decided that it was time for us to muscle in on the action. We love everything about what Tom and Melissa have built, from their passion and creativity for their subjects to the phenomenal team they have around them today. We’ve been inspired by the incredible fire they’ve shown in achieving what they have to date. And, frankly, we were just insanely jealous of the wonderful toys they get to play with as part of their day jobs.

There were also some perceptions we wanted to change that prompted us to start talking about opening the UK office: that UK wedding videos tend to be the badly shot handicam work of Dave’s Uncle Terry, for instance; or that small businesses can’t afford to create gorgeously shot films (and you’ll know already that neither of these are true if you’re a regular here).

But there was also another, much bigger, motivation that led us to where we are today, and it’s very much in keeping with the spirit of the Long Haul Project. It’s because we wanted to make a change that would let us do what we do best; work together, play together and spend our time together. And that’s one of the most exciting and inspirational reasons that we can think of for embarking on this adventure.

We don't normally just film our own cameras.

We don’t normally just film our own cameras.

Creatively, Long Haul Films UK will be a small but perfectly-formed recreation of our US big bros. We’ll be shooting and editing on the same equipment, use the same visual techniques and styles, and work our butts off to make sure that our clients are never less than blown away by what we do for them.

You can expect to hear more from Lucy and myself as we put the pedal to the metal, so please don’t be shy. We’re taking bookings for both wedding and commercial work throughout 2015 (and beyond!), so please say “hi” if you have an enquiry. (For reference, we travel nationwide and to parts of Western Europe for work, too).

Thanks for reading. Long live Long Haul!

Melissa & Cory’s sun-filled Castle Hill Wedding | Long Haul Films Best Wedding Videography

November 17, 2014 by Megan No comments »

When you have a venue on the edge of a cliff that overlooks the water and the weather is absolutely perfect, then you’re going to get one hell of a beautiful wedding day.  And guess what? Melissa and Cory happened to get married in perfect weather on the edge of a cliff overlooking the water.  So it should come as no surprise then that they had one hell of a beautiful day.

It certainly is one thing to have a gorgeous venue and to have the weather cooperate, but what makes Melissa and Cory’s trailer truly great are the words they promised to one another. Their vows were heartfelt and funny, honest and genuine. It truly has been a year filled with ahh-mazing vows. Also, the dancing at this wedding was off the hook. There’s maybe nothing I love more than a bunch of goofy dancing at the end of the night.

Special shout out to the great vendors we worked with that night. Castle Hill is continually stunning, Snap! Photography were fun to work alongside, and East Coast Soul tore the roof off the place. Music is the trailer is “Beautiful” (Instrumental) by Austin Plaine and “Spinning Around” (Instrumental) by The Sky Life, licensed through The Music Bed.

Melissa and Cory–we wish you the best!

Jon & Brigitte’s Gorgeous Connecticut Wedding | Long Haul Films New England Wedding Videography

November 13, 2014 by Megan 2 comments »

Now let me start this post by confessing my love for Connecticut. Already there are tons of you undoubtedly reading this statement with blank stares, asking, “…Why?” Well let me ask you this, have you ever met anyone bad from Connecticut? The answer is no. No you have not. You need proof? Well, besides yours truly, Jon and Brigitte are from Connecticut, and they are two of the most kickass, invested and creative clients we’ve had this past year. No one bad is ever born out of Connecticut.

We make a pretty big effort here at Long Haul to befriend our clients and get to know them before we show up on the wedding day. When we arrived in Connecticut for Jon and Brigitte’s wedding back in September, not only would I consider ourselves good friends with Jon and Brigitte, but we were on a first name basis with parents, siblings, cousins and friends.  I mean, I even got to partake in eating cannoli nachos in the bridal suite with Brigitte and her sisters. What are cannoli nachos you ask? Only the greatest things to ever grace this earth.

It certainly helped that we had the pleasure of hanging out and filming with Jon and Brigitte several times over the past few months. They drove up from CT to meet with us, we drove down from Boston to shoot an “I Love Us” film and an ultimate homage to John Hughes and 16 Candles.  We talked about movies and hung out with their pup Molly, who may be the sweetest dog to walk the earth.  And then we filmed their wedding day on a flawless September day, and it was amazing. It was one of those Indian Summer days, where you forget for a moment that summer is indeed over. Check out the light in the trailer. The universe was on our side that day.

No part of the day felt like an obligation. We felt privileged to be there alongside Jon and Brigitte and everyone they loved. It was a day that reminded me to my core what I love about filming weddings. It was also a true privilege to work alongside Leah and Audrey from Leah Haydock Photography, who are not only insanely talented, but are true goddesses.

Jon and Brigitte, thank you for being more than I could ever ask for in a client, and for proving once more that truly only great people exist in Connecticut.

Special thanks to Dolce Norwalk and St. Mary’s Church in Stamford for being so welcoming to us. Music in the trailer is “Earthship” by Falling Up, licensed through The Music Bed.