The story of Marty and Adele: The world’s first cardiac service dog | Long Haul Films documentary filmmakers

March 25, 2015 by Melissa 1 comment »

Sometimes you travel far and wide to tell a great story, other times you discover one living right across the hall. The latter was the case with Marty and Adele. Marty is our neighbor, and when we learned about her story, we knew it was one that we were meant to tell.

Marty has an untreatable heart condition, which makes her pass out. For years, she never knew when she’d next wake up on the street or in an ambulance. She suffered more than 30 concussions. She was unable to live a rich or full life. Then, Adele came along and changed everything. Adele is the world’s first cardiac service dog. She can detect when Marty is going to pass out, and “alerts” her, which is essentially an advance warning that lets Marty know she needs to stop, sit down and wait. Thanks to Adele, Marty now has a full life as an artist, traveler, wife and Mother. For nine years, she and Adele have been constant companions.

Now the time has come for Adele to retire from service and we’re capturing the journey as Marty transitions to working with a new service dog. It’s a life affirming story about personal struggle, illness, relationships and the incredible bond between human beings and dogs.

You’ll be seeing a lot more about this documentary, but for now we hope you enjoy this short film we made to help Marty raise funds for training expenses related to her new service dog. If you’d like to find out how you can help Marty, check out her Indiegogo campaign here.

Alix and Matthew’s elegant winter wedding | Long Haul Films UK Notley Abbey wedding videography

February 11, 2015 by Lucy No comments »

I’ve always been overly excitable in the run up to Christmas. It is, as the song goes, the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also a wonderful time to get married, as we discovered when we arrived at Notley Abbey on a crisp, clear December day for Alix and Matthew’s beautiful winter wedding.

Alix and Matthew told us they fell in love with Notley Abbey as soon as they drove up the long, tree-lined driveway and their decision to hold their wedding there was pretty much made at that point. You can see why. The house, steeped in history dating back to medieval times was once the home of Sir Lawrence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, and has welcomed the likes of Kirk Douglas, Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe through its doors.

Notley’s glamour and elegance fit Alix and Matthew to a tee (see also: Alix’s stunning dress). They’re a charming and warmhearted super-team of two, and we were honoured to be there as they began their married life together. Seeing their little glances and smiles at each other through our lenses was a special privilege, and testament to the love and respect they have for each other. And if there was anyone who didn’t melt at a first dance set to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, we certainly didn’t see them.

We had so much fun filming this wedding. We were surrounded by Alix and Matthew’s wonderful families and friends, a magnificent location, a fabulous set of people to work with and a truly astonishing early-winter sunset as well. On top of all that, our dearest Tom manage to make his way over to England to work with us, which is always a massive plus.

We owe some big thank-yous, too: to all the team at Notley Abbey and Bijou Weddings who were so accommodating; to the super-talented Neale James, who was a pleasure to collaborate with (check out his gorgeous photography); and to both Sam and Bonnie for their hair and make up brilliance and adding extra smiles to an already happy occasion.

Music is Kings by Ryan Taubert & The Father’s Heart by Tony Anderson, both licensed from The Music Bed.

Exploring the Jackrabbit Homesteads: Long Haul Films travel photography

February 2, 2015 by Melissa 2 comments »

Not Joshua Tree, but TwentyNine Palms. Not even TwentyNine Palms, really, but a place called The Wonder Valley. As in, you might wonder what inspired an intrepid group of settlers to make a community here back in the 1940s and 1950s. They were called Jackrabbit Homesteaders, and they were lured by cheap land and driven by, I imagine, that American pioneer spirit we all read about in school books. Go west, young man.

I could half understand what brought them here: the fathomless space and the sparse, scrubby beauty of the landscape. But I could see what drove them away: the ease with which solitude could become isolation; how you might come to the end of gazing at the endless sky. And water. You had to get it there, miles away from the nearest town, down slim and sandy roads.

A few cabins have been reclaimed and renovated, set up as retreats for artists and explorers, like the one we stayed in. These were the exception, though, and all around us were the skeletons of homes, bleached by sun and wind, belching their innards on to the sand. When people went, they left it all. Furniture, clothing, an unexposed roll of film, a baby’s toy. Now Wonder Valley is a beautiful ghost town.

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If you’re curious to learn more about the Jackrabbit Homesteads, check out this link, which also has an interesting documentary short about the area….

The Doppelganger is coming to Kickstarter: Long Haul Films holiday video 2014

December 18, 2014 by Melissa 3 comments »

It’s been tough to keep this a secret for so long. For months on end, we’ve been hard at work: experimenting, testing, fine-tuning, drinking…. And now, it’s here.

THE DOPPELGANGER.

The Doppelganger is set to change the way you experience the holiday season. Work parties, family dinners, that pesky to-do list. You’ll never look at them the same way again.

The world is changing, and you can be a part of it. Pledge today and bring The Doppelganger to life.

We hope you enjoy watching the Doppelganger Kickstarter video as much as we enjoyed making it, and we hope you have the happiest of holiday seasons– even if you can’t get out of those irksome obligations.

Vickey and Jason’s magical California wedding | Long Haul Films Southern California videographers

December 17, 2014 by Melissa 2 comments »

Look up fairytale wedding in the dictionary and you know what you’re gonna’ find? This wedding trailer. What do you mean, wedding trailers aren’t in the dictionary?

Everything about Vickey and Jason’s sunny, Southern California wedding was pure magic: from Vickey’s fit-for-a-princess dress to the beautiful sunset ceremony in front of the reflecting pool at The Richard Nixon Library in Orange County to the sparklers that accompanied the cake-cutting at the end of the night.

It’s tough for me to choose a favorite moment from this day. Was it Vickey and Jason’s personal and heartfelt vows that had all of us welling up with emotion?  Was it the expression on Vickey and Jason’s faces when they caught sight of each other at The First Look? Was it giggling along with the bridesmaids during a Friends marathon while everyone got ready in the morning? Or was it the fully choreographed music medley that Jason and the groomsmen performed for Vickey and a cheering crowd of friends and family?

Honestly, it’s impossible to pick. So I’m just going to say that I had a lot of favorite moments, not least of which was getting another chance to film in California. Oh, that west coast light. Seriously, it’s the best.

We would like to give a huge thank you to:

  • Planner Melody Walker, who was a delight. The day run seamlessly, and the venue looked incredible thanks to Melody’s hard work. Hope to work with you again, soon.
  • Brandon Wong Photography- check out his STUNNING photos from the wedding here
  • The awesome Dwight Kennedy Band, who had us laughing (and dancing) all night long
  • Also big thanks to The Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda. What a breathtaking venue

Music is We’re All In This Together by Katie Herzig & You Were Made For This by Spencer Combs, both licensed from The Music Bed.

Huge congrats to Vickey and Jason, and wishes for many magical days ahead.