Love Letters from Scammers

Spams and Scams

Spams and Scams:
There was an uptick in spam we received in 2016. And 2017 it’s been off the charts. I don’t know what list my phone landed on I’m ready to change the number.

Email has been the same, and two months ago we received one of those targeted wedding inquiries that screamed scam. I enjoy wasting their time but normally they drop off, but this time Ms. Jessica Wright thought she found a pay day. Here’s her initial email unedited:

Good Afternoon,

My name is Jessica. I am having a wedding coming up on the 4th of March 2017, I will be having a guest list of 50 people. the location will be in Asbury Park.
The vows and reception will be at one place ,tho the venue is not confirmed as yet. The wedding will take between seven to nine hours i would like to hire you.

I will be awaiting your response
 
Kinda Regards,
Jessica Wright
If not for them trying to rob me, the ‘Kinda Regards’ at the end would be cute.  Who knows how many inquiries we’ve had, but all but 10 of them had a good grip of English. So, I emailed back our packages pricing because why not extend this. She quickly emailed a return.
do you need a down payment to book the date?
There were no follow-up questions nor did even they pretend to choose a package. I asked if she was on the Knot. I wanted to see how far down the rabbit hole she was willing to go.  Her reply.
I am currently not in the country. I have a cheque written out that i can post it up to you,is that possible
Jessica has a busy life, but I’m glad she has time for videography.  Let’s see the ‘cheque.’  I requested general wedding email. Who she was marrying and what were her possible venues in Asbury Park.  Let’s make her work. She returns:
may u kindly send me the following details to proceed:
Your Full Name, Address( Include apartment or floor number if any), City, State, Zip Code, Valid Phone.
can i get back to your about the venue before friday, grooms name is Jason Mayor.
A ‘valid’ phone? No one Outside the DMV uses the word valid. Like a season of The Bachelor, Jason and Jessica will never walk down the aisle.  I commented on how much Asbury Park has changed and gave her our PO Box. My goal is to have them waste as much of their time and money before walking away. She replied vaguely to the Asbury question:
Afternoon
yes it has really changed over the years,so much.
Could
i have your valid phone number
I gave her my number with one digit removed.  More work Make sure we waste maximum time. This person was in South Africa based on Google Analytics. She returns:
hey will let you know as soon as the check is posted
Fine.  I email later that day but of course:
Your message wasn’t delivered to jessicawright722@gmail.com because the address couldn’t be found. Check for typos or unnecessary spaces and try again.

A week later I receive a USPS 3-day package from the exotic lands of Indiana from the odd named Kroger Kroger. The return address is a Candlewood Suites. Inside the package, there was nothing but a check. I was pleased to see they spent at least $6. I tracked the package. It originated came from Arcadia, CA.

They did good work; it looked like a real check. Of course, the address of the bank is only half right, but if you don’t know to look for it then.

So, now  I think this is where the payoff would come to play for the scammer. They pay more than a deposit. Then call you to which in this case was just a random number they chose.  They ask you to send back the difference.  Then you and the bank are SOL.

They did call, but my phone blocks restricted numbers, so I missed them. Eventually, they gave up, but the did try me at least a dozen times.

I posted this because scammers will only get better at this.  Eventually, A.I. will be available to all and scams will get crazy. We’ll have no idea who is real and who isn’t and this story will be a folksy tale.  Just be aware and be sure share the scams so no one will be taken advantage of.

 

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Favorite Maid-of-Honor Speech

Maid of Honor Song

Sometimes we neglect our YouTube page.  On the occasion we need to reference it, I end up seeing videos we should have shared long ago. This is the raw footage from our Favorite Maid-of-Honor “speech” we shot at the Carnegie Museum in DC.

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Maria & Michael \ Wedding Highlights \ New York, NY

Guastavino's Wedding HighlightsGuastavino’s Wedding Highlights – Maria and Michael’s wedding was an incredible celebration.  The ceremony was held in a beautiful Greek church.  Greek weddings have beautiful touches that are so cinematic. The reception was held at Guastavino’s in New York. Thanks to Chuck and James for their expertise behind the camera. They captured some of my favorite shots of the year on this day. Thanks to Maria excellent planning skills and personal touch requests to ensure the video was exactly what she imagined. What follows are some of the wedding highlights.

Maria & Michael | Highlights | New York City from Forever Lucky Films on Vimeo.

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Fredericksburg Virginia Wedding \ Courtney & Jeff \ Videography Highlights

Fredericksburg Virginia Wedding Videography

Fredericksburg Virginia Wedding Videography

It’s been rare for us to do a February or early March wedding. When we do it’s often the offseason for the couple, like when we did one for a pro football later or in Courtney and Jeff’s case he’s a baseball coach. We flew down to Fredericksburg Virginia expecting winter but it was a lovely day. We were able to spend much of the day outside as the Videography highlights will show.

It’s always a pleasure to work with Raye and Kristie from  Gillette Portrait Arts.  Check out their work from the day on their blog.  The wedding ceremony took place at the United Methodist Church in Fredericksburg and the reception at The Inn at the Old Silk Mill.

Then take a lot of some of our favorite highlights.

Jeff & Courtney / Wedding Highlights / Fredericksburg from Forever Lucky Films on Vimeo.

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10 Soundtracks I Listen to for Focus and Motivation

Soundtracks for focus - The Hours

Soundtracks for Focus and Motivation

As an editor who works from home and has kids, finding a productive work pattern is essential. Time’s limited and focus tends to wander. I love music in all forms. I’ve written before Sirius, Spotify, and youtube have all been essential in discovering new artists.  They’ve all helped in, motivation as well, but there is something about a great soundtrack that is particularly good for focus.  So here are ten Soundtracks I use for Focus and Motivation.

The Hours
Soundtracks Focus Motivation Music from the Hours

I have never watched the movie, but Philip Glass’ soundtrack is extraordinary. It is the one I listen to when editing, writing or daydreaming on a long car ride. Depending on your mood it can be serious or amusing. Seeing the movie may end up putting it into one of the categories so I’ll continue to avoid it.
PURCHASE: The Hours (Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Standout Track: morning passages

Interstellar
Interstellar soundtrack

A great movie never has a bad soundtrack and sometimes a great soundtrack can fool the audience into believing a movie is better than it is. That’s often the trick to good editing.  I watched Interstellar when it was released and thought it was terrific. It has excellent filmmakers and actors, but was it a great movie? The soundtrack fooled most, including me, into thinking it was a great film. I watched it again and there are some incredible scenes, like the drone chase or the water planet but it is deeply flawed and clumsy.

The Hans Zimmer’ soundtrack for Interstellar lacks the clumsiness, save for perhaps the schmaltzy poetry reading at the end. Zimmer is a regular at Oscar time for his inspirational soundtracks. Christopher Nolan pushed him out of his comfort zone for Interstellar and Inception. Inception is excellent as well, but the repeating theme of Interstellar works better in the background for me. Both are worth a listen.

Standout Tack: First Step

A Beautiful Mind
A Beautiful Mind Soundtrack

If Hans Zimmer is Tom Brady then James Horner is Peyton Manning.  I’ve grown up with Horner. He scored the Karate Kid and Willow. There are some duds on his list and some movies you’ll enjoy and not give it much thought after it’s over. A Beautiful Mind is one of those movies for me, but I find myself returning to its soundtrack repeatedly. Its whimsical nature is excellent for editing or writing fiction as I like to do.

Amazon

Standout Track:  A Kaleidoscope of Mathematics

 

Master Spy
Masterspy

I’m a huge fan of RAC. I don’t know anything about them but their remixes take songs I don’t like to ones I love. If you can apply that formula to your life think of the amazing things we’d accomplish. They also write original music and a couple years ago scored a video game called Master Spy. As with The Hours, I have no experience playing Master Spy, but its upbeat tempo is the perfect background for coding or late night editing sesh.

Amazon

Standout Track: Misson 2 (Mansion)

Birth
Birth Soundtrack

Jonathan Glazer, the director of Birth was an early inspiration for me. While the opening scene of birth is expert level, the rest of the movie left me empty. Glazer directed some of the best music videos of the 90s as well as the underrated Sexy Beast. The soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat is gorgeous. I’ve used it as a temp track for years and it has a luxurious tone that elevates your work when you share space with it.

Standout Track:  Prologue

Bastion
Bastion - Original Soundtrack

Video game soundtracks are built different than movie soundtracks. The goal with music in video games is to heighten focus, but not so much so the user burns out.  That’s the reason, you should look to video game soundtracks when looking to increase focus.  I’ve no idea what genre of game of Bastion is but the music alone almost makes me want to try it.

Standout Track: Slinger’s Song

The Virgin Suicides
The Virgin Suicides - Soundtracks

Bringing rock stars to cinema scoring was nothing new. Mark Knoffler scored the Princess Bride. Sofia Coppola employing  Air, a French electro-pop band was a risk, especially considering it was her first feature and Air’s as well. The movie was a bit uneven but on atmosphere alone, it garners a thumbs up.  The soundtrack is outstanding. I’ve loved every Air album and this would stand alone even without a film attached to it. It has personality and that makes it a great soundtrack to work to or play in the background at a dinner party.

Standout Track: Playground Love

Tron Legacy
Tron Legacy Soundtrack

This is one everyone knows.  It works especially well when editing political ads calling for 60 cuts in 25 seconds or driving home after a 24 hour shoot.

Amazon

Standout Track: The Son of Flynn

Journey OST – Complete Soundtrack
Journey Ost

I know nothing about this.  Is it a game?  Not sure.  I know that it’s a terrific soundtrack to your next project. Composed by Austin Wintory and it’s been on my favorites list for years.

YouTube

 

Alien
Alien Soundtrack

Take your afternoon walk with your pup to a new level.  Pop this masterpiece in, then get back to work. This is my once in a blue moon, late at night soundtrack.  It hasn’t aged a day in nearly 40 years and it’s that attention to detail in Jerry Goldsmith’s work that motivates me when I not feeling creative.

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Sarah + Kyle | Wedding Highlights | Corbin Hall

Corbin Hall Wedding

Sarah and Kyle’s Corbin Hall wedding was a blast. It was a huge celebration with more details than there time to film. We were lucky to work with the excellent Ocean City photographer – Kim Tucker. Kim is a friend and I’ve watched her skills develop over the years. She’s a must book if you’re getting married in Delmarva. Sarah and Kyle brought the band came up from Georgia and brought the house down. I came down from Vermont and shot with Maurice who’s from Maryland, so the entire east coast was represented.

Here are some of our favorite highlights from their big day.

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Our Wedding Venues Mapped

Wedding Venues

Thinking back on the first few weddings we shot, it’s amazing how vivid those memories are. When filling in the wedding venues we’ve shot over the years there are specific memories for each. Spending 40-100 hours watching couples and families celebrate and create their wedding film is like being a temporary family member.

It’s not until I see how many churches, beaches, cities, and states we’ve been to does it really sink in to how lucky we’ve been. We’ve likely celebrated with 75,000 – 80,000 people. Shot 3-4000 hours of footage and spent tens of thousands of hours editing them. Each year with new customs and styles and each wedding with its own unique personality.

We’ve taken a few minutes and added a couple more years worth of wedding ceremonies and receptions spots. We shifted north to Vermont and South to Virgina as well. Time will tell where we’re heading this year but each year there are some surprises and venues, like backyards that will hold on a single wedding and a backyard that became next year’s hot venue.

We don’t advertise destinations as much but we can travel to or located great talent across the country and the world. So, if you have a Tuscan wedding planned we’ll do it! We need to get an international flair going.

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Lili + Paul | Mountain Top Inn | 1 Year Anniversary

A year ago this weekend the weather in Vermont was unseasonably warm and despite that, there was a very tiny window when the temps dropped enough for snow to happen. It happened just as the first look was to commence and despite it being Vermont, in the wedding videography business, it felt like a tiny miracle.

It seems every year we shoot one Vermont wedding and in the course of those trips, we fell in love with the area. It is truly beautiful every season.  It’s rare to find a location that looks beautiful in a different way almost every day. Located close to Rutland Vt, Mountain Top Inn offers all the inclusiveness and beauty you would want for your wedding. Check out their website and you’ll see what we’re talking about.

Lili and Paul brought their family and friends to Vermont, an area with special meaning to them. A wedding in a warm church, by the time they kissed and walked the aisle, snow lay on the ground.

Fast forward a year, Forever Lucky Films has moved our International Headquarters to Vermont, where it’s -1 degrees and doing anything wedding related outdoors would be a major health hazard.  So thanks to tiny miracles we got lucky!  So happy 1 year anniversary Lili & Paul!

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Happy 1st Anniversary to Randi & Keith / Mallard Island Yacht Club

Mallard Island Yacht Club Wedding Videography

Mallard Island Yacht Club Wedding Videography

A year ago it was the 70 degrees it was December in the Northeast and if you’re in the wedding videography business you won’t complain. The location was the Mallard Island Yacht Club. Randi and Keith were prepared for cool weather, with fire pits, marshmallow roasting and warm

Randi and Keith were prepared for cool weather, with fire pits, marshmallow roasting, and warm shawls to make sure the cold air did freeze their guests.  It largely went unused and they had the luxury of taking their time for photos.

We’re ready for more unseasonable warmth.  Until then, though, we can relive that beautiful day.

Randi + Keith | Mallard Island Yacht Club | Forever Lucky Films from Forever Lucky Films on Vimeo.

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Current Edit: Jen + Jim / Wye River Estate

Wye River Estate Wedding Videography

Wye River Estate Wedding VideographyWe are working on Jenny Robert’s gorgeous footage from Jennifer and Jim’s wedding at Eastern Shore’s beautiful Wye River Estate. Jenny partnered with us on many shoots over the years. She’s a patient videographer and I always look forward to getting her footage in the edit suite. The Eastern Shore has a dozen unique wedding venues, but the Wye River Estate stands out the venue with that Eastern Shore look. Wye River Estate is an incredible backdrop. Jenny and her boyfriend are taking over the Asheville currently but we were lucky to get her for a weekend!

Updated with a beta link. On Vimeo.

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