Pete Carroll Tells Our Couple to Fight On...

Thanks to Joanne's maid of honor Christine, we are honored to have this clip of famous USC Coach Pete Carroll giving them the "go ahead" to fight on and last forever in their marriage. We have added this to their love story, that we will be showing at their wedding as a surprise to Andrew the groom on their wedding day, at the Ritz Carlton, in Pasadena.

Now with David's mother as a staunch die hard UCLA Alumni, who every year wants the Bruins to kick some you know what Trojan butts, we might have been afraid to post this, for fear of rejection from her, but come on, it's Pete Carroll!!! This isn't the first time we've had this privilege, however. When working for PBS, I was fortunate enough to have the privilege of setting up our episode of USC's Travler (the horse that Tommy Trojan rides), so USC football has always had a place in our heart- even if we are Beach Alumni. Hey, we never had a football team to support, that was nixed in the 1970's when The Beach lost to Michigan like 10 to 180, and in the third quarter the replacements were getting broken arms from the Michigan boys. So they canceled football forever at the Beach- so if you can't beat them... join them. Where did that USC sweatshirt I had go to?? ;-)


Freedom Writing

Kelsey and I finally saw Freedom Writers last night. It was a film that was true to what happened while trying to make a connection to the book and diaries that it was really based on. I know Erin Gruwell through video projects that I did with her and the Freedom Writers after they went to college, for archiving and documentary purposes. I was moved to tears every time they worked on new material and practiced telling their passionate stories. I was honored to have worked with them and have included at the bottom of this post a page from their book that they autogrpahed and gave to me. After seeing the movie, I had to bring that out and take a look at it again.
I know how hard Erin Gruwell had to work to make what she did happen with her kids. The Long Beach School District acted exactly how they are portrayed in the film. Many of my friends from high school and college are teaching now in the Long Beach and the LA Unified School District. The bureaucracy and vain attempts to come up with ideas, get messages across and be efficient is blocked so often that many of them have thought about quitting after only a few years of teaching.
If you are interested in social change or teaching you should see the movie.

This was one of those times when people came together to make amazing connections and create brilliant ideas that caused actual change in a community and the country. Many of the writers and Erin spend most of the year on tour doing speaking engagements at schools and corporate events around the country. Just remember that true passion, the kind you need if you want to grow to your true potential, often doesn't involve people you used to relate to. The people around you in life need to grow with you. If they don't, you need to move on.
If you don't want to see the movie, the book has much more emotion.

Arts in The Beach

Kelsey and I are privileged to do a lot of work with The Arts Council for Long Beach. We have made grant videos, spent months capturing the learning of children and finding the perfect moment from Long Beach's city council. Click HERE to visit the Youtube channel that we set up for them.

Happy Summer!

The last few weeks have been very exciting and busy times. We have filmed eight weddings and all of the CSULB graduations since the last post. We have created about 80 hours of tapes. I thought I would share a blog posting from one of the couple's whose wedding we captured during the time. Michele and Philip had a very hard time finding a videographer. They met people in their dirty homes, others who they had appointments with never showed up and left them waiting at Starbucks. I can promise you that you will never have that experiece if you come visit us for a consultation. People have said that our meetings are more like friends talking and watchng TV in a living room than an office consultation.

One of the coolest weddings we did during the break was Evan and Elena's. It was at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica. The ceremony was outside on the sand, and as soon as Elena walked down the sandy aisle, everyone on the bike trail stopped to watch. Evan is an amazing guy and is very connected to the natural world. As I stood with him on the beach waiting for Elena to have her picture taken, a bee landed on a bouquet he was holding and he began to pet it! At the same time, someone in his bridal party found a sea shell that was small and red which looked identical and was the same size as the design on his red tie!

The next day we were very lucky to work on Jennifer and Wayland's wedding. This was a Chinese/American wedding where Kelsey and I split up at 7:00 to film each of them getting dressed. Then we met back at Jennifer's house for the traditional entry game where Wayland has to prove his worthiness to Jennifer's bridal party. Then we went to Wayland's house for a Chinese Tea Ceremony. Then they had a party downstairs with a real roasted pig. After that everyone went to Pickwick Gardens for formal pictures and the tradiational American ceremony. Then they took more pictures as we went to Ritz Gardens for a huge Chinese feast and celebration with dancing dogs, a 10 course meal, nonstop activities and dancing. All day there were firecrackers going off, flying in the air, flying towards my camera, flying at the neighbors. It was cool.

I'll talk about more next time as we prepare for Corrine and Kenny's wedding this weekend. The ceremony will be in one of her realtive's backyard. When people invite friends and family to a private home it makes for very personal and emotional experiences and I am looking forward to it. It is all happening around our old office location in Long Beach and Lakewood.