Top Five Movies of 2014

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Twenty-fourteen turned out to be another great year for movies. While so many movies come out every year, rarely do I get to see many of them on the big screen. Fortunately, I was able to see more this year in theaters, than in years past. This is only based on the movies I did get to watch this year, although I'm 100% sure that Big Hero 6 would be on here if I had seen it.


1. Interstellar (drama)

I love a good space epic, and Interstellar did not disappoint. Thankfully, I was able to view it on the intended 70mm IMAX that director Christopher Nolan filmed most of it on. I went in with low expectations and came out completely blown away. Although the story was confusing at times, and I left with many questions (this isn't necessarily a bad thing), it was the most satisfying movie I experienced in 2014.

Interstellar

Interstellar


2. Guardians of the Galaxy (blockbuster)

Best blockbuster was a close one. I loved The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, but GotG was just so much fun! I'm loving all the good comic book adaptations coming to the big screen, and this one was just perfect. It was just as good, if not better than The Avengers of 2012.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy


3. Mom's Night Out (comedy)

I love a good clean comedy. I like to laugh, and when the humor doesn't make me feel dirty after watching, it makes it so much better. My wife turned me on to this one. After she saw it in the theater 4 times (record for her), I knew it would be great. You don't have to be a mom to enjoy this movie, but it does help if you have kids. So much truth, and good clean fun!

Mom's Night Out

Mom's Night Out


4. Damnation (documentary)

I LOVE documentaries. I can't wait to make my very own some day. When I first heard of Damnation, to be honest, I wrote if off because...who cares about dams? Well, after I read an article about the directors on Music Bed, it sounded much more intriguing so I gave it a watch. I'm glad I did. It was funded by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia and the last movie he funded, 180 degrees South, was simply amazing! The saying, don't judge a book by its cover, should have a similar phrase with documentaries...maybe don't judge a documentary by its subject, especially if you have no interest in it. Just goes to show that great storytelling is key. 

Damnation

Damnation


5. Grape Soda (independent)

While I don't get to go to the theater that often, I do watch my share of short films on Vimeo. I have a handful of filmmakers that I love to watch anything they produce, and one of them is Justin Robinson. He seems like the kind of guy I would love to learn from if I had the chance to. Since I don't, at least I get to watch his behind-the-scences footage. Out of all these films listed here, I would suggest watching this one. Especially since it's around 17 minutes long, and you can watch it for free here

Grape Soda

Grape Soda


BONUS: Anomaly

This is another indie movie directed by another one of my favorite storytellers, Salomon Ligthelm (& Dan DiFelice). I missed the Kickstarter campaign to help fund this film, but I'm sure they will continue to make more amazing films. Anomaly is a great re-telling of the Christmas story. Beautifully directed/shot/scored. Make sure you watch it! This one is also free to watch here.

Anomaly

Anomaly


Well, that's it for 2014 movies. I can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for us! Especially in the independent and documentary genres. 

Behind the Scenes: Trisha Gwin Stacey

The room we rented out at Lowe Mill. Note the large fan because this floor isn't cooled, not sure about heated.

The room we rented out at Lowe Mill. Note the large fan because this floor isn't cooled, not sure about heated.

In the past two years of starting OBF, I've been able to film a variety of content. The first year primarily consisted of weddings, while year two allowed me to venture into new areas of filmmaking. In 2014 I'v been able to film multiple interviews, live events, photography, more weddings, and lots of musical performances.

One of the things I love the most about starting my own business is that I'm always learning. Learning how to run the business, learning how to market the business, and my favorite...learning how to do what I'm in business for, which is filmmaking. I've heard from multiple people that have been in the industry many years that they are always learning. I think this is a silent fear that I have, of one day getting bored and closing up shop because it all becomes a process. I don't think this will ever happen. 

Enough history, this is a BTS.

My crew for the day consisted of Lee and my 10 year old daughter Aspen. Both just happened to be partially disabled at the time. Aspen with her slightly fractured wrist (ended up not being fractured), and Lee with his gimp leg. Sorry Lee, I've joked on you too much about it :)

Our talent for the day was Trisha Stacey, and Jon Muccitelli of Yeshua's Brand fame. OBF previously spent an entire day filming with Yeshua's Brand back in April so we were very comfortable working with Trisha and Jon. Having a previous and good relationship with clients always helps, especially in stressful moments and time constraints.

The whole filming/recording time took the entire four hours we had booked. We recorded three cover songs that day. The first song was Rita Ora's, I'll Never Let You Down. The second song was Cold Play's, Fix You. Lastly, Hillsong United's, Oceans.  Having a dedicated sound guy is a must for this type of shoot, but that wasn't an option that day. Thankfully Jon was able to help me out with setting up the mics, interface, levels, etc for recording everything. It was both his and my first time doing something like this, and I think it turned out great!

time-lapse of the setup

First wedding of 2014

Meet Lauren and Zeke. I met them through a mutual friend (always the best way to meet) and we were able to tell their story of their wedding day earlier this year in June. We wish them the best!

Filmed at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Huntsville, AL on June 6, 2014

music by Emily Hearn - Found a Heart
Licensed by The Music Bed

Vision

This is the video I wanted to make even before I started Orange Beard Films. Little did I know that God would give me this opportunity only a few years later… 

Around three years ago in 2011, I was attending the morning church service at Whitesburg Baptist Church's North campus on Pulaski Pike. At the time, I was leading a high school boys class which takes place after the service, but I had never been to the worship service beforehand because I would attend service at our South campus. Thankfully, I was able to attend that morning and I even brought my two oldest kids along as well. 

At this particular worship service, I had the pleasure of being introduced to Jon and Trisha. I was immediately blown away by their talent. Jon with his gifted ability of leading worship, even barefoot I might add, and Trisha with her…well…VOICE! It was truly an amazing moment that took me by surprise! 

If you have ever attended our church service at The PLACE (Pulaski Pike campus), you will know that it's not a real "showy" worship service, which is what I love most about it. No flashing lights, no grand entrances, just authentic worship. It's what makes our church welcoming to everyone, no matter what place you are in life.

I can still remember standing on the 3rd row, in a room full of mostly people that I didn't know, with my two oldest kids, singing my heart out. At that moment, I got so caught up with worshiping the Lord, that I started crying…like ugly crying, and I couldn't stop, but for once I didn't care…and it was so refreshing to lay all of that down. 

Somewhere in the midst of all kinds of emotions, I can remember thinking that I would love to record Trisha and Jon one day. Maybe some kind of live music video or just an audio recording of some sort. The problem was, I had no idea how to do any of that. First, I had no audio/video equipment or even knew what I needed, and second, it felt like such an unattainable goal to even get to a place where something like that could even happen. 

All I can say is that isn't God good! Fast forward only a few years later and here is the video I always wanted to record when I first met Jon and Trisha. The audio you hear is straight from the microphones and interface. No mixes, no pick ups, no punch-ins, "just" an authentic, live, single take, multi-cam recording. 

I hope everyone enjoys this video as much as I do! I am so thankful that I will always have this as a reminder of when I first met them and the worship experience they provided to me that day. To them, I will always be forever grateful. 

PS - I was also able to bring my 10 year old daughter, Aspen, along on this shoot. She assisted me and even operated Camera A for me. I think she did an amazing job! Plus, she got to hang out and listen to Ms. Trisha which she loved.