iron

take a moment and think of the person, or, if you’re lucky, people, in your life who are willing to confront you. 

go ahead. i’ll wait. 

think of someone? good. each of us, i believe, are lucky enough to have one, maybe two of these people in your life at a given moment. 

while it may be obvious why these people are a huge boon to your existance and well-being (who doesn’t lile trust and open communication?), they are of a rarer cut than immediately presents itself. the reason for this is that i have come to the realization that no one exists to be your personal life coach. 

that’s right. nobody cares about you. 

and why should they? what have you ever done for them? 

we’re always aghast when we hear someone speaking ill of us, and wonder why so-and-so didn’t have the balls to say that to your face. while their actions may be terrible have you ever stopped to think about the fact that maybe, just maybe, you are the terrible one, and why would they go out of their way to make themselves uncomfortable confronting you when the only upside is a marginal improvement to your own perception, while drastically increasing the lilelihood of further confrontation or poor perception and reputation propogated from the action? yeah. 

in other words, little chance of that situation turning out good for anybody. just think of all the times you’ve not confronted someone and took the easy way out. 

be mindful. be self-aware. ask yourself the tough nagging questions. if the answer isn’t ideal, do something about it. and hang on to your dear friends who are brave enough to risk their comfort and reputation to bring an issue to light. 

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grateful

i absolutely, positively love what i do.

i am so privileged to work with some of the best minds in real-life documentary video to-date, and we are lucky to have some of the best clients in the wedding business. whenever people comment to me that we must run into a lot of “bride-zillas”, i shrug and tell them… nope! i’m convinced that’s because at something new media, we’re experts at setting high yet realistic expectations, and over-delivering. we know the aspects of film production, from preparation to final production, that make a difference, and we double-down on that. i am daily floored by the quality of work from the people who are something new contributors and employees.

what i love comes from the challenge of “what’s next?” as a producer, it’s one thing to make sure the interference is being properly run, projects are being finished on time, and expectations are continually being properly set, and it’s another thing entirely to ensure we’re pushing ourselves as a business, and as creatives, to grow and evolve.

my grandfather, who i am proud to say was a big innovator in general motor’s machinist department, once told me that you’re either growing or you’re declining. how true that is! it’s not enough to just do your job and meet expectations; i’m finding i have to constantly be on the lookout to make sure we’re playing a good offense and making progress against some of our more audacious goals, while making sure everything in our wheelhouse continues with flawless execution.

this year we’re launching an entirely new business practice. going into an entirely new market. and creating one of the sickest back-end systems a media company could hope to have, reducing communication errors and amplifying the personalization in the customer experience. these are huge projects! and on top of that, we have dozens of clients we are lucky enough to serve in our home market. it’s insanity!

of course, big hats-off goes to the founder and my business partner devin, who keeps us on track with who we are as creatives, a company, and as conscientious people towards one another. without him, none of this would even be here, and we would all be focused on something else respectively, and definitely on something a little less cool.

while i’m at it, a big shout-out to vic, alex, kendyl and sabrina for being absolute rockstars in helping us accomplish our major initiatives this week.

i’m grateful for our people. i’m grateful for my partner. i’m grateful for this amazing job.

if you haven’t checked out where i work, make sure you visit our website, our facebook, and our instagram to get a load of some of the coolest, most legit, and most sincere wedding films & photos on the market today.

cheers!

the way home

long days are long days. it’s better to have a good long day than a bad long one. either way, long is long, and exhausting at the end.

at the end of this long (good long) day i decided i’d take a quick photo essay of the moment i realized my work and productivity were done. from the moment i looked at the items on my desk i use throughout the days’ work, to the last view of the dusk i get before heading into home for dinner and winding down, sometimes it’s noticing the normal beauty around you that helps to make a full life.

god created an amazing world, and we should take note, and focus on its beauty.

remi’s first swim

we have a dog in the james squared lee household. her name is remi. she’s a complex canine with a mild and watchful temperament, and a huge proclivity to play. oh, also it’s one hundred bajillion degrees outside. so naturally, we decided we would go just there (outside) to take the dog for a spin in the local watering hole – the hoa pool.

now, pools have rules. yes, even ones run by kind, understanding homeowners associations. but this story isn’t about the hoa, or how we blatantly ignored the no dogs/no cats rule towards the top of the posted rules chart. no. this is a story about how our dog, while being a very natural swimmer, absolutely hates the water.

mom (jaime) decided to walk in slowly with the pup, who all the while is clinging to her master for what seems to be dear life, then positioning the dog to the surface, released her close to me. like a computerized gadget to an rfid, she bee-lines straight for me at the edge of the pool closest to her. we repeat this process three or four times, mom hovering behind her, to find remi is smart enough to make a swim to the side of the pool closest to her… and she’s apparently very adept at gauging distances.

after the whole affair, she clung to mom so hard there were claw prints afterwards.

enjoy some pictures of remi swimming.

movie review philosophy

once i attended a movie critics’ workshop in los angeles, wherein they discussed the origin of the critic. apparently it was some guy who raised his hand in a newspaper meeting and agreed to cover movies. that’s it.

also apparently, a critic isn’t supposed to tell you whether or not the thing (in this case, movie) is good or bad. he is simply supposed to give you perspective. in the spirit of perspective, he can then give you an assessment of how well the mark was hit on what the artist (filmmaker) was actually trying to say.

for what it’s worth, dolby (the guys who brag about how good their sound systems are at the beginning of every movie you watch in theatres) has a terrific blog post about what makes a good movie. you should look it up.

when i review movies, i will do my best to give you:

  • context – what, if anything, the film hadto say at the time it was released, about the time is was released
  • summation of themes & devices – keep a larger perspective on what tactics the filmmakers used to bring together a point, statement, theme or set of values
  • what stood out to me
  • what i thought (because i can and i’m selfish)

i’m doing this becuase, if i don’t write about what i watch, it all tends to just… blur together. and then why would i spend any time watching them, if they aren’t going to enrich my life past the 90-180 minutes my eyes are locked  straight forward?