Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blog Makeover!

Welcome to MDF's shiny new blog. Sometimes, you just need a little sprucing up and a makeover to keep things fresh. 

But first things first, we want to give a big shout-out to our ever-talented graphic designer, Audrey Quartier of Audyssey Designs who created our new header (that's the picture at the top!). Take a bow, Audrey!

Along with a new makeover, the Modern Day Films blog is also gearing up for our next giveaway in the New Year! So, be sure to subscribe at the top to our fancy-schmancy blog in order to be ready for what's in store (that's blog talk for a giveaway). BONUS: (don't you love those?), leave a comment below about the new blog makeover and you'll be entered TWICE for that New Year Giveaway!

In the meantime, what are you going to do to keep things fresh in your own life?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Behind-The-Scenes-Saturdays: Beach Art

Scouting the beaches and capturing a bit of B-roll on the Central Coast during the fall can be full of sweet and artful surprises. Couldn't resist taking a brief moment to ponder, reflect and take a deep breath.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Behind-The-Scenes-Saturdays: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!

Without geeking out on anyone yet again, let's just suffice it to say that we love our gadgets! And before you tune out completely thinking that we're going to discuss low-cut filters, X/Y stereo condensers and 24-bit WAV files, just hang tight! Instead, we'll simply say that when it comes to filming with a DSLR, you simply cannot capture top-notch audio without an on-camera mic like the RĂ˜DE VideoMic or an external audio recorder like the ZOOM H4n! And a fine pairing such as the Canon DSLR and the ZOOM is a match made in heaven like zinfandel and chocolate, white on rice, Scooby and Shaggy, rock and roll (somebody stop us please!). Bottom line, and in most cases, audio trumps video. If you have bad audio, it won't matter how great the video is. So, spending your greenbacks on a device like the ZOOM will be money well spent.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Behind-The-Scenes-Saturdays: The Evolution of Film

Captured with an iPhone 4

Ever since this filmmaker can remember, cameras have made her, well, just plain giddy! From grandmother's Polaroid to the modern day SLR, an obsession with capturing the world in a visual way has always been at the top of the food chain. And with the rumors floating around out there in the past 48 hours about Canon going Hollywood with the development of the new SLR, it inspired a trip down memory lane. Pulling out Gammy's Polaroid, snapping a pic of the office pooch and then quickly running into the windowless bathroom for some good 'ol fashioned development was frankly, quite the rush! But sitting back and gazing above at the camera collection, we suppose we could call ourselves camera extremists. Our picks are at both ends - the 1950's Polaroid and the Holy Grail, Canon Digital SLR! There is absolutely room for both!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Behind-The-Scenes-Saturdays: Las Vegas Art Scene

Art courtesy of the Aria & City Center of Las Vegas

If we're being real here, one doesn't usually think about art during a 'What happens in Vegas...' weekend trip. But then again, our collective crew aren't the typical Vegas goers where clearly, gambling was not on the forefront of our minds during a recent sojourn to the desert (although one crew member did break even with a hefty $20 bet on a roulette machine). 
But let us tell you, Vegas does in fact, have an impressive array of fine art and the first place to start is CityCenter right on the strip. From galleries to public art, an afternoon of viewing the collections of Maya LinRichard McDonald and Rodney Lough, Jr. will not disappoint. So, the next time you need a little break from the smoke-filled casinos, the Vegas art scene will be that breath of fresh air that your senses will be begging for!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Which Way Do We Go? - iPhone 4 Video

So what IS the proper way to hold the iPhone 4 when taking video - Landscape or portrait?

Well…if you desire to become the master iPhone videographer that we all know you can be, then shoot your videos horizontally, or what is called the ‘Landscape’ mode. This will not only produce a better looking video, but will also take advantage of the High-Definition capabilities of your nifty iPhone camera which allows you to shoot in 720p. What this means is that your video will look more professional as it will play in the orientation it was designed to be viewed in, that being horizontal with black letterboxing on the top and bottom.  Let me tell you readers, if you follow this advice and bust out with your new iPhone video masterpieces at your next family reunion, you’ll most certainly be voted as the king or queen of your reunion ball…or at the very least, master of ceremonies at the potluck/slideshow screening.

Oh yeah, and one more tip, oh new M.O.C. (aka Master of Ceremonies, just in case you needed help with your new title) …when holding the iphone in Landscape mode, make sure the home button is on the right hand side. This will ensure that when viewed on your swanky, updated YouTube channel or on your fancy, new HDTV which you just won at what you thought was going to be your boring family reunion…your image will not only be viewed as widescreen but also be rotated in the correct direction without having to fix it in editing. 

Now, if in the past you (or a friend…uh huh) inadvertently shot your video vertically and now it’s displaying as a thin vertical image, have no fear, there are ways to rotate your video in such programs as Quicktime Pro or iMovie. But why go to all that trouble when you, (or your friend) can easily shoot from the correct orientation the next time with just a quick flip of the wrist to the left and Bam!... you’re back to being the fabulous and talented iPhone Videographer that we all know you to be!

So when you’re ready to capture your next iPhone masterpiece, remember these 3 words…shoot in Landscape! Everyone will be happy and you may just be the next iPhone Steven Spielberg!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Behind-The-Scenes-Saturdays: Chicago Food Truck Frenzie!

Chicago has everything from 'The Bean' to the Cubs. You have the lake, the quaint neighborhoods, Millenium Park, theatres and class-act museums that rank among the best of the best.   But we weren't having any of that tourist-trap stuff.  Our mission instead, 'Operation Chicago Food Trucks.' Being the foodies that we are, we'd been tracking our savory trucks and their locations for weeks on Twitter in preparation of our trip. Corner of this and that at this time, heading over to Fulton River Park at 2:00, Lake and Michigan for our last stop... blah-de-blah. But being the food truck Chicago-driving rookies that we were, for one reason or another, we missed every darn one of those mouth-watering meals-on-wheels. Between the one-way streets, closed off construction avenues and that $%#!&! (insert your fave curse word here!) city traffic, we didn't catch a single one! One iPad and two iPhones later, we found ourselves at a loss! But, we didn't let this minor setback foil our search for delectable vittles. Instead, we opted for the non-food-truck meal of choice (shout out to the '90 Miles Cuban Cafe' in Logan Square) that we dined at with our fearless leader's Cuban cousin-in-law (AKA 'El Cubano') that served up THE best Cuban food to be had for sure (may we recommend the Bistec Sandwich and the Mariquitas). So, next time you're in Chi-town, get your Twitter on so you can have a better shake at tracking down some curb-side cuisine. P.S. Guess what we saw within 10 minutes of driving away from LAX on Lincoln Boulevard?....... Yep, a bustling food truck! Too tired....too late!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Steve Jobs: Remembering an iCon

Downtown Chicago Apple Store

The way in which people express one's grief and pay respects these days has certainly showcased a fresh and creative side. Some people write cards, some send flowers and many often prefer to deliver casseroles to family members in the deep throes of sorrow. But in light of the recent passing of Apple's Co-Founder and CEO, traditional customs, it seems, have been superseded by a more original approach to a tribute. Unequivocally a suitable and rightful remembrance for a visionary like Steve Jobs. So, as our crew collectively gasped as we drove by the downtown Chicago Apple store this past weekend while on a short stint out there, it was a unanimous thought that we pull into the closest parking garage and go pay our own respects to the colorful wall memorial. Between the hundreds of post-it notes, once bitten apples and dozens of onlookers, we all walked away feeling a little better having honored one amazing American innovative genius. It not only felt good to be there, but felt like the proper eulogy for an entrepreneurial virtuoso. To this we simply add what many others are saying - 'iSad.'

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

TOMS Revisited! What a Talk!

Listening to TOMS 'Chief Shoe Giver' Blake Mycoskie speak about his business model 'One for One' over the weekend in Santa Barbara was a complete treat! In a nutshell, his pay-it-forward attitude got us to thinking how we can also adopt this simple yet selfless-giving mentality within MDF. So be on the lookout for our own version of the  'One for One' business model which we will be kicking off at the 2012 New Year! In the meantime, go get yourself a pair of TOMS (you too guys!) and feel good about knowing that the pair of shoes you buy will donate another pair for a child in Argentina so that he/she can attend school and not have to share a pair of shoes between three siblings! We've got it good people.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes-Saturdays: Carmel Wine Tasting

Galante Vineyards - Carmel Valley

Never underestimate the value of a drive through the 'back country' of an area in order to get to the good stuff. And so, that's exactly what the crew did on a recent leisurely day in between scouting film shoots in Carmel-By-The-Sea.  'So happens that one of the MDF crew spent most of her childhood weekends on this land otherwise, we probably would have never pointed our trusty 'ViviVan' in this direction. Having seen the Galante Vineyards tasting room in downtown Carmel would have sufficed but the "no, no, we need to go to the winery in the hills" insistence had us going on a junket that turned out to be a gold mine. If I didn't know better, I'd say we were being driven to a remote area to be 'disposed of' but as it turned out, the afternoon was pure wine tasting utopia. With a little oak flavor this and complex aromas that, our wine guide extraordinaire, Conor spent an ample hour with us during our private tour. From the cool (literally!) wine cave to the viewing of the private wine collection of the owners, this vineyard visit will go down in history as one of our favorite spontaneous jaunts. Two hours and two wine purchases later, we left aptly satisfied with our wine tasting excursion and a vow to come back to try their Cowpoke Pinot!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Feel Good Friday: TOMS

Courtesy of Start Something That Matters

In staying with this year's theme to surround ourselves with only 'good media' we're heading to The Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA tomorrow afternoon for another dose of inspiration. This uplifting mission will be presented by the self-proclaimed "Chief Shoe Giver" (AKA, TOMS Shoes founder) Blake Mycoskie who will be speaking about his mission to put shoes on the feet of "every child in need," his thought-provoking book Start Something That Matters and his innovative "One for One" entrepreneurial business model. We'll check back in with you to tell you all about it!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes-Saturdays: Big Sur Scouting

Big Sur River Inn & Pfeiffer Beach

Traveling...ahem, we mean scouting is what makes this whole video production gig simply electrifying. And this week's assignment of taking a second peek at Big Sur for a future video shoot completely validated our intention of bringing breathtaking and awe-inspiring travel videos your way. Perhaps it was the first stop at the Big Sur River Inn where the MDF crew sat in the river adirondack chairs chatting it up with new friends from Germany for over an hour that we first crossed over into vacay mode. Or maybe it was the drive down famed PCH where the spectacular and rugged California coast cast a spell on our previously stressful moods. But, coming out of a fog bank and into the late afternoon sunshine at majestic Pfeiffer Beach surely sealed the deal and begged us to ask, 'Isn't this what traveling is all about?' 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes Saturdays: Cupcakes Anyone?


Somtimes, life just throws you a curveball, and when that happens - a cupcake is in order! So, when a beautiful, sunny, summer day hit Santa Barbara this week coupled with a day gone bad, a yummy cupcake was the antidote. Heading directly into Coast Village into the picturesque Montecito area of Santa Barbara, MDF foodie, Hilary took a down-and-out friend to the one and only place to cure the blues, Whodidily Cupcakes! That's right closet-cupcake-consumers, what'ya waiting for? Drive yourself directly to this whimsical and delish place and knock yourself out! Chat it up with the genuinely friendly owner Wendy Jones, and you'll be skipping your way out of there having just received a dose of joy and scrumptious sweet treats. Our faves: Lazy Daisy, Peanut Butter Yumptious or a 'little bites' assortment. Head to the beach with a couple of forks and all your troubles will vanish.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Video vs. Pics: Marketing Myth or Math?

The Huntington Library

The Huntington Library

Now here's a simple question that we're certain you have the answer to. Which keeps you on a website longer: pictures or video? If your answer was video, you are one of the 88.6 million people who watch online video per day (you know you are!). Don't get us wrong, pictures may speak a thousand words, but videos have the ability to engage the viewer in a way that most pictures simply don't.  And not only is video being used for pure entertainment but it's also used for marketing and advertising purposes on business and commerces' websites and their social media sites such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn; and that's just the tip of the iceberg! 

So why are so many companies choosing to use video instead of just pictures and text for their website content? (stay with us - it'll pay off!). Well, websites that contain videos will rank higher on search engines than those without video as stated by Bruce Clay of SMX, an SEO company. Why is this you ask? (there you go asking more good questions). One reason is that search engines such as Google look for those websites that have 'long clicks' (the length of time a user clicks and stays on your website) and users will tend to stay on a website longer if they are viewing a video; thus making the page more 'sticky' (are you getting pumped up yet?). In addition, Google tends to rank websites with videos higher because it's believed that video provides more highly engaging content than pure text or pictures and will therefore rank those sites with video first. 

Of course, Google has other motivations too  - keep reading...

This being said, we may be able to deduce this little mathematical equation:
Google (#1 SEARCH ENGINE ON THE PLANET) + Youtube ( #1 LARGEST VIDEO SITE ON THE INTERNET & OWNED BY GOOGLE) = Websites (WITH YOUTUBE VIDEOS & LINKS) that may get rated higher on Google.

So, if you or your company are ready to hop aboard the video train, contact MDF! We'll help you enrich your online presence and ultimately increase your sales; and hopefully your smiles, too! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Laguna Beach, Revisited!

                   image courtesy of The Orange County Register

If you've never heard of Tableaux Vivant, you're in for a real treat; if you have, you know what we mean when we say that you MUST take the opportunity to visit the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, CA!  It's located at the Festival of Arts and is literally a 'living picture' production of famous works of art. It takes place annually during the summer and involves hundreds of volunteers in the local area assisting in recreating masterpieces on stage; definitely a site to behold!  The theme is different each year and literally draws thousands of visitors each summer so make sure you get your tickets early in order to get the good seats! Word to the wise- bring binoculars as you wouldn't want to miss the miniscule chance of seeing one of the motionless models move an inch.

And while you're in the area, don't miss the Sawdust Art Festival located across the street- and yes, there really is sawdust.  Also held every summer, this art festival is laid back, family-friendly, and features more than 200 Laguna Beach artists ready to show you how they create their fine arts and crafts. 

If you want a sneak peak of this festival, you can check out one of our past videos of the Sawdust Art Festival located on our website.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes Saturdays: Romeo - TAKE 2!

How is it that this four-legged little 'Divo' (there's no 'Diva' equivalent), gets more camera time than the MDF crew? Sitting upon his middle-seat throne while we're doing all the work, our little MDF mascot is particularly gratified with his view from MDF's 'ViviVan.' Always quiet on the set, his temperate demeanor lends the crew the grounding and calm disposition often needed during a lengthy-light-chasing-hurried shoot. So, hail to Romeo - a crew's best friend! 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes Saturdays: Larry Jordan FCPX

MDF attended one of Larry Jordan's PowerUP seminars this week in Burbank on the new Final Cut Pro X. Not only was it informative, as Larry's seminars always are, but a great jump start into understanding the inner workings of this new and overhauled editing program. Although there are numerous new features of FCPX that look enticing, we're still not ready to dive in full force. Think we'll need to wait it out a bit until Apple can provide some much needed updates to the program and then we'll see. In the meantime, MDF won a fabulous $500 coupon certificate to Artbeats, a royalty-free stock footage company.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The ROYAL Visit...One Last Hurrah!

As written by MDF's own 'roving reporter' Amanda Hockham.

Late Friday evening I received an urgent email from my friends over at Modern Day Films asking if I wouldn’t mind covering the Royal visit for them as they’d be out of town during The Royal's visit to Santa Barbara (Oh, and they didn’t have a Press Pass!). No worries, I thought, this will be a piece of cake! I lept like a lord waiting for the 12 days of Christmas. Having grown up in the Commonwealth Country of New Zealand, The Royals have always been a part of my life, even going so far as to pop up when we went to the movies and compelling us to stand and sing the national anthem with fervor before each showing.

So, when Saturday rolled around, the excitement began to build. Rumors of helicopters landing at the Polo Club began early in the day. I put on my fancy faux fascinator and ran for the door, making sure to grab my camera as I ran to my coach. As my plans to carpool with Oprah were dashed, I realized I’d have to drive myself, so I plotted a strategy to bypass the crowds and park as close as possible. Once I arrived, I was surprised at the lack of a crowd and was able to park one street away from the event. I immediately strolled over to the Polo Club only to be stopped by a paparazzi who wanted to take a photo of my fascinator. I was even able to glean a few details from the paparazzi including which areas to avoid. Armed with my new knowledge, I sauntered up to the area in question and quickly realized that security was tight - very, very tight! They were not kidding around, and rightfully so, which made it very challenging to take pictures at first.... but a promise is a promise, so I set off to see what I could see. I became very creative and was rewarded numerous times with an up close and personal visit and lecture from several not-so-friendly officers of the law. Did I let this distract me from my task? NO! I forged ahead. At one point I noticed numerous people gathering at the hedge in the front of the grounds and wandered over. I was delighted to see that you could actually see something, anything. Even better, it was near our end of the field. Suddenly a horse was in front of us! We all tried to figure out if it was Prince William and came to the conclusion that it was hard to tell who it was at all due to our vision being obscured by a large thick hedge and a chain link fence. Suddenly someone said, “I think it’s him! I think it’s Prince William!” I was so excited to see anyone, someone on a horse, I just started snapping pictures willy-nilly! I figured that sooner or later I’d get a snap of someone. Well, let me tell you friends, it paid off! I was able to get two pictures of Prince William before security came to move us away. I felt so empowered! I could do anything! And as I walked around the corner near the private, fancy bathrooms, I was able to hear that Prince William had just scored a goal. Then I noticed a woman in a large, beautiful black hat so I stopped to ask if I could take a picture of it which, thankfully she agreed to.
Was it worth it? Well, aside from a small mishap when I twisted my foot in a hole, it was. I had missed the Queen when she had come to the area in the mid 80’s and had been rained out; this was my opportunity to make up for it. I had a lot of fun and met some interesting people. It was almost like being there.
So, thanks to Modern Day Films for going out of town so I could have the opportunity to have an excuse to wear my faux fascinator out on the town. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes-Saturdays: The Royals in Santa Barbara!

Well LA-DI-DA, the Royals have arrived! So, indulge us, if you will, and follow our 6 degrees of separation about this weekend's Royal Polo soiree here in Santa Barbara to which MDF's official invite apparently got lost in our American mail system (purely an oversight!). So, here it goes... 1st degree: our own imperial leader (AKA, Hilary) moved a half mile away from these same Polo fields just 12 years ago... 2nd degree: Hilary went to England 9 years ago and bought a Union Jack Flag and 4 packages of Hobnob cookies... 3rd degree: she also has 3 'Bri-ish' friends on her personal Facebook page... 4th degree: she's addicted to English Breakfast tea... 5th degree: she once rode a horse & played recreational lawn croquet in elementary school... And, the 6th degree: (drum roll please!) she drove by the swanky polo fields on her way out of town to snap these pics! Uh huh, there you have it! And, had she been notified ahead of time via a personal invite, or at the very least, had received her press pass in the proper amount of time, she wouldn't have scheduled a birthday weekend get away during such an exclusive affair. So, take that William and Kate; you'll just have to endure that empty seat at Chef Giada's $400 per person, ostentatious dinner party tonight cuz girlfriend's got other plans!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Editing Saga Continues...Argh!

Images courtesy of Google Images
As if editing itself isn't complicated enough, now comes the arduous task of making an even bigger decision of which editing program to use. Thank you Apple!

Should I stick with Final Cut Studio and run the risk of it eventually being incompatible with Mac's OS or bite the bullet and switch to Avid or Adobe Premier; not an easy decision. Or, do we wait it out and see what Apple's next move will be; seems a bit risky though.  Time will tell.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes-Saturdays: Social Network Tour

Still 'Geeking Out' from last week, we gave in to an impromptu field trip through Silicon Valley last weekend after coercing a family member to be our tour guide (shout-out to Marcus!). Using all three of these web applications on a regular, obsessive basis, we thought they were worthy of a drive by. And although there was no sign of Mark Zuckerberg putting in any overtime at the office on a Saturday afternoon (the parking lot was a ghost town!), we still found it amusing to see the home base for the companies that make our life and job a tad easier. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes-Saturdays: Geeking out!

Image Courtesy of Motion VFX
In our world, this is a BIG deal! After months of anticipation, our editing program has been updated (Final Cut Pro X) with all the new bells and whistles. It's literally taking the digital media world (and Twitter) by storm. So, it's time to geek-up and let the learning curve set in. And thanks to world renowned Larry Jordan, editor extraordinaire, re-entry to editing should go off without a hitch!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MDF Vlog #3: Asilomar

We're bringing you our 3rd VLOG from the Monterey Peninsula because we just couldn't help ourselves! With such breathtaking beauty in every direction and numerous places for filming, we made a decision to once again share another of our favorite spots. Of course, within 30 minutes of finishing filming, the sun reappeared after hiding it's pretty little head throughout the entire shoot; what a trickster! Regardless of the sun or not, who can go wrong with Asilomar!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes-Saturdays: R & R

Never underestimate the power and importance of taking some time out - especially after several video takes and forgetting to turn the audio on. Sometimes, it's time to ditch the stress and up the relaxation ante with a few moments in an adirondack and a breathtaking view of the ocean through a sparse forest of pine trees. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Still Editing...

This is where I was yesterday...where I am today...and where you'll find me tomorrow.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes-Saturdays: 'ViviVAN'

MDF just loves 'ViviVAN.' Why with all the miles that she's put in for us, we just had to tip our hat to her. She deserves the recognition and a name. She carefully carries and stores all of our gear, has more cup holders than you could imagine and graciously welcomes our MDF mascot, Romeo. (He so loves the middle seat and the side doors that glide open to give him the best views a pooch could ever want). So, here's to 'ViviVAN' - a crew's best friend. And yes, we're still sorry for driving you into the ditch in Big Sur! We'll be sure to make it up to you by taking you some place very special and fueling you with the highest grade of gasoline.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

MDF VLOG #2: Behind-the-Scenes in Carmel

Have a pooch? Need to find a California weekend getaway? Look no further and watch Hilary's new VLOG on Carmel-by-the-Sea and start planning your trip with your furry little friend.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes-Saturday: Vlog Shoot #2

VLOGGING from famed Carmel-By-The-Sea just last week had Hilary gushing about last year's hilarious shoot she was doing for the Travel Channel with dozens of four-legged, furry friends. A beautiful day indeed, this VLOG shoot was a great kick-off to the long weekend and a perfect place to revisit. This much MDF knows for sure, expect the unexpected and learn to just roll with things. It may actually turn out better than ever imagined. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

MDF VLOG #1: Hidden Forests

Thanks for tuning in to MDF's first VLOG! We dove right into this one by filming a new favorite place of our luminary (AKA, Hilary!). So, go ahead and watch the clip, and when you're done, comment below and tell us what you think about this gem-of-a-place or reveal to us, one of your fave places. And, if it's close enough, we'll film it for you, and give you, our faithful bloggie, credit. Better yet, VLOG US BACK!

MDF Vlog #1: Hidden Forests from Hilary White on Vimeo.

Friday, May 27, 2011

MDF's New VLOG! Are You Ready?

In hiding for way too long now, the captainess of our ship has decided to step out from behind the camera to greet you, our faithful followers. Loitering behind her Sony and in front of her iMac for the past couple of years has been a definite comfort zone for her until we posed the question, "What inspires you to do all of this?" And, with another gentle nudge and many rounds of playing "Wouldn't it be fun IF...." landed her front and center of that lens. Now, we've convinced her to share her inspirations, behind-the-scenes-shoot-stories and the occasional video tip in the hopes of connecting with you, her Royal (oops, we mean Loyal) followers. So starting next week, be prepared to learn, laugh and travel along with Hilary as she takes you on her new VLOG journey and the life of a videographer, producer, and editor. ACTION!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tuesday's Passion

Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.    
                       -Christian Friedrich Hebbel,  German Poet

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes Saturdays: Shoot Prep

Getting ready for a shoot always adds a heightened level of excitement, flurry and buzz in the air. But with that of course, comes the dreaded anticipation of our film equipment inventory. Equipment checklist, production schedule, tripod, monopod, shot lists, weather gear, lighting, lav, - CHECK. And we're off!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Documentary Review #3: I Am

I AM, another exceptional 'movement documentary' in our series of doc reviews, showcases the core relationship between science and human connectedness. Tom Shadyac, a successful movie director of such classic films like Ace Ventura and The Nutty Professor, was on the top of his filmmaking game when an accident awakened his new found sense of purpose. Facing death and embracing life, he hopped on a plane and on a path of global discovery to ask an elite selection of brilliant minds and individuals, a series of thought provoking questions that others have not dared to ask. On his quest to identify the 'wrongs' of the world in turn, led this small team of filmmakers to discover what's so very right. This documentary will fill you up on all of the necessary levels, goes beyond the feel-good genre and the exact prescription for a dose of inspiration.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

New BLOG! New Home!

WELCOME to our new blog home! We are so excited to be here with Blogger and look forward to all the bells and whistles that they offer (insert a big 'Woo Hoo' here!). In simple terms, it's all about the social media equation: Google + Youtube + Gmail  = BLOGGER! Enough said. Moving on! Oh, and don't forget to feed the fish below.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


We can't help ourselves with our love for organization! So when it came to our GIVEAWAY, we just had to pass this one along. Drum roll's the GRID-IT by Cocoon Innovations! This clever digital organizer will have you smiling from ear to ear and have your friends green with efficiency envy with the countless ways to organize your most prized gadgets! So here's what you have to do to win:  1) Hop on over to the MDF Facebook fan page and LIKE us if you haven't already, and 2) Post and tell us on the MDF wall what your favorite gadget is in order to enter. That's it. The giveaway runs from 5/4/11 to 5/7/11. Good luck, cross your fingers and have fun! We can't wait to hear what your fave gizmo is! P.S....As a bonus, we're going to put a surprise gadget in your grid-it just for you!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Documentary Review #2: Invisible Children

In our short series of showcasing the 'movement documentary' genre, we at MDF thought this week was perfect timing to introduce to you this very worthy doc called Invisible Children. On a mission to end yet another conflict that has been in existence way too long, these filmmakers aim to restore peace for the child-soldiers of Africa. With the sole quest to safely bring home the abducted children, this movement will have you wanting to hop on the social activism bandwagon in no time.

Friday, April 29, 2011

T.G.I.F. - Homage to the Royal Wedding

Hair Adornment by Ciara Obscura
Feathers, Flowers and Fascinators - Oh My!  That's right, if you're still flying high from today's royal headdresses, then look no further than our recent artist video that showcases a hair adornment collection that's perfectly in sync for the wedded event. Little did we know during our shoot that these whimsical headpieces would be all the rage in a matter of weeks. What we also discovered was that the royal invitation required 'hats' for all the ladies. From Princess Beatrice's Lady Gaga-esque adornment to Victoria Beckham's 'posh' topper, these fanciful hair embellishments were a big royal hit.  Out with the conservative and in with the quirky, stylish and whimsical.  Jolly good fashion I'd say, wouldn't you? Way to go, Brits!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Documentary Review #1: FINDING KIND

MDF has certainly seen their fair share of documentaries these past few months and apparently, we still can't seem to get enough of them which is why we are now dedicating the next few Tuesdays  to the documentary genre. And while they often portray sensitive and realistic subject matter, we at MDF are particularly fond of the 'movement documentary' which, is why we are today, focusing onFinding Kind. A definite good-deed-campaign which, exemplifies the passion of the two filmmakers Lauren Parsekian and Molly Stroud. Their movement started with promoting the simplistic act of being kind by ending the way-too-often viscious cycle of girl-bullying and the mean-girl-syndrome from friendships and in schools. We first met this BFF pair of inspirational gals during their film festival circuit at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February, as they spoke with great passion about their cross-country journey to schools and sororities where they met with thousands of girls to help mend friendships. Even more exciting, is that these recent Pepperdine film grads got picked up for a theatre showing which will premiere next month! But before then, you can also catch them this Sunday at the Newport Beach Film Festival if you're in the area. So, we encourage all you gals to gather 'round, step into the 'Truth Booth' and go see this very poignant movie that will surely change the way females interact and connect with each other. Be sure to watch the trailer and to also follow their campaign on Facebook and see if they might be coming to a school near you. More importantly, remember that a little kindness goes a long way.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes Saturday: The Art of Picking Music

When it comes to picking the perfect music for videos and filming, it's all about the feel of the piece and the essence of what we want to portray. When we heard two songs from these awe-inspiring groups, Cathedrals and A Movable West, we knew we had it right for our latest mini doc. We know you too will dig their incredibly smart, whimsical and unique sounds. And with the haunting yet light voice of the lead singer in both of these groups, Josiah Byars, you'll find yourself hitting that replay button repeatedly. You can also find A Moveable West on Myspace or their Facebook fan page to keep up with their latest gigs and awesome ways that they give back to their community.  So, be sure to check out these Northern California bands and support this inspiring, indy music. They'll make you want to put on a set of your best headphones, tune out the rest of the world and simply get lost in their engaging music.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Brooks Institute Documentary Premiere: FROM WITHIN

Well, this evening was quite an unexpected treat for MDF and one that made us believers of the student film genre. We missed the first showing last Saturday, but had the opportunity to see the annual Brooks Institute student documentary tonight which premiered in Ventura, California. From Within portrays a Vietnam from a modern day (excuse our namesake's pun!) perspective while preserving the past from a culture still rising from the trenches. With captivating vignettes within the film ranging from seducing landscapes, heart-wrenching personal stories to the B-Boy's breakdancing battles. This doc promises to leave you with that someone's-doing-some-right-in-the-world feeling. So, hats off to the 10 Visual Journalism students and Professor Myers!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lake Arrowhead Film Festival - Take 2

Because we just can't say enough of the Lake Arrowhead Film Festival, we decided it warranted a second post. First of all, the location of this film fest was quite gorgeous and the perfect place for some much needed fun for this crew. What we never envisioned was that such a great event would have us Lakeside and in the middle of the alpines. Water to the left, trees to the right and movies galore directly in the middle of this wonderful dog-friendly lodge (Romeo made us say that!). With a great line-up of films and documentaries and trips to the deer-antler-clad-chandelier-bar for some tasty eats in between showings, a great time was had by all. And for the record, we didn't dare go near the Sammy Hagar after-party, but from the looks of things, that crowd had a rockin' night. Guess we were a little off-kilter after unexpectedly seeing a thriller short that had us on the edge of our seats and the boss gasping so loud that the entire theatre heard her (hence, another trip to the antler-lounge for a martini break!).

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes Saturdays: Lake Arrowhead Film Festival!

The MDF crew has just arrived at the 12th Annual Lake Arrowhead Film Festival for Film, Television and Beyond. And let us tell you that it has been a beautiful day up here in the mountains and a great weekend for a film festival. So far, our little MDF sidekick, Romeo has enjoyed a nice walk along the Lake's edge and has endlessly tried to locate the tweeting birds up in the trees. Peaceful but fun, tonight's gala and tomorrow's line-up of films is looking great making it really difficult to choose which films to attend. Even Sammy Hagar, who is a local resident, is making his West Coast premiere of his film, 'Go There Once, Be There Twice' about a Mexican village, a cantina and a birthday bash. Of course he's hosting an 'After Hours Party' which sounds a little on the wild side , but we'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's LAUNCH time for Catherine Masi!

Officially launching tomorrow via our MDF Facebook page, this daydreaming, fun shoot was with the delightful, creative and talented Catherine Masi of Ciara Obscura. A clever and artful hair adornment and jewelry designer, Catherine was all aglow and illuminated our 12-hour, one-day shoot with her pieces, her wit, and her sources of inspiration. With her four-legged, BFF 'Mars' in tow for much of the day, this piece goes down in MDF history as one of the dreamiest pieces to date! Pulling us back to the days of taking chocolate milk breaks, laying in a meadow of flowers (so wanted to take a nap!) and staring at the ocean waves high above the Pacific in Santa Barbara, California, we were all ready to ditch our gear and head directly to the nearest artist's retreat by sundown. She was a natural on camera and taught us the art of enjoying the simple things in life like sewing by hand, watching ducks in a pond and doing what you love to do. Thanks for a great time Catherine! (Can we come back next Friday?)