Vendor Profile: My Interview With Abraham Joffe of Untitled Films
April 5, 2013
As many of you know, my now husband, Theo, and I were married on Valentine’s Day and were honored to have the crew from Untitled Film Works on site to capture our special night on film. I would like to thank Abraham and his amazing crew for their professionalism and giving Theo and I such a gorgeous documentation of one of the most wonderful moments of our lives.
First, I would like to thank you for being a part of my special day. How did you feel about the overall event?
Thank you! It was a true honor to be asked to shoot for you and Theo. The experience of shooting your amazing wedding is one I will never forget. The midnight timing and the Empire State building setting were just incredible. It created such an electric atmosphere for everyone involved. I was blown away by the incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail that your team invested into every element. Filming some of the preparations at your studios gave us a much greater understanding of the huge efforts required to make your designs come to life. Also, I must thank you and Theo again for opening your home to us and letting us record some of your thoughts and feelings the day before the wedding. That moment in time for you both will never be repeated, and capturing your anticipation was priceless.
You are a leader in the industry. How long have you been in the business?
I started filming weddings and events even from high school, but professionally it’s been almost 14 years. I remember when I started meeting clients, it was from my bedroom at the family home. Couples would arrive and they’d be offered a cup of tea from mum and then lead to my room. I’ll never forget some of the looks of bewilderment from couples. How things have changed!
How has your professional outlook changed since then?
Well, things obviously evolved to become a much larger production house, but ultimately we work in a service industry, so what hasn’t changed is listening and getting to know our clients well. You have to be genuinely interested in a couple’s story if you want to create a heartfelt film with real meaning.
How do you feel the industry has changed since then?
When I began back in 1999, wedding videos had quite a stigma to them. In the past few years, cinematic filmmaking techniques have become more accessible through the DSLR revolution, which is very exciting for the industry. Now there is no excuse for poor looking images and really it’s up to the filmmaker to decide how to best tell a couple’s story. The stunning imagery that is now possible to capture through these new tools inspired us to take our storytelling to a new level. Because at the heart of it, it doesn’t matter if you have captured loads of pretty pictures. If there is no heart to the story, or people can’t make a connection to the couple, it doesn’t matter. You can compare it to going to the movies; how many times have you watched a visually striking action film, but perhaps forgotten the whole thing as soon as you left the cinema? On the other hand, films that totally immerse you in the story stay with you for months if not years!
What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve received in your career?
Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s a cliché for a reason – it’s so true.
What would you tell someone who wants to achieve your success?
I think you need to find your own voice. It’s totally acceptable to watch, learn, and be inspired by those around you, but you’ll always be that better off if you strive to create original work of your own. For those wanting to be better wedding filmmakers, I would also look outside wedding videos for inspiration. I love watching old films, foreign films, commercials, really anything that displays great filmmaking and storytelling. For color inspiration, fashion magazines like Vogue often have amazing photographic spreads. I find that great photographers really inspire my filmmaking too.
How do you feel your respective craft enhances a wedding?
The film is one of the only things that remains after the wedding for perpetuity. We are a very “live in the now” generation, but I know in the years and decades to come, the films we are shooting now will be watched and cherished by many families. I like to compare films to great wines; they only become more and more special with age. The moments, people and words that we capture are precious and will be watched by the couple’s children in years to come. When people ask what they would save from a burning house, they nearly always say the same thing – photographs, films; as these memories are incredibly important to people and truly irreplaceable.
What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment thus far?
I am very proud of my exceptionally talented and hardworking team. Finding the best people to work alongside and creating a great team dynamic is of the upmost importance. I’m positive that it’s the reason we have continued to grow as a small company. Striving for new innovation is very important for the success of any business but probably even more so with a creative one. We have been fortunate to have filmed weddings in many parts of the world. Each one of them was different and special in its own way. I think our dedication to always producing an original film for each couple has helped build our reputation to what it is today.
How did you feel about the way we incorporated your expertise in the wedding?
I really appreciated the trust that you and Theo showed us in filming your wedding. Nothing was off-limits. I think it gave us a really good understanding of the week as a whole and I hope this was reflected in the film for you. What I thought was really lovely was how you both also acknowledged that even though it was a great spectacle of an event, and you had a lot of fun with it, at the very heart of it was this very special relationship you both have. The reason everyone was there wasn’t lost for a moment. The freedom you have given us in putting your film together was very much appreciated.
Where can readers find out more about your work (website):
What was the most unexpected part of the evening for you?
I absolutely loved your entry to the reception in that stunning 10 foot Reem Acra dress! The gasps and awe from your guests which soon turned to laughter and applause will never vanish from my mind! Best entrance ever!
Share what you’re working on now with us!
We have been working on a number of special film projects.
Thank you so much for your wonderful work!