Talk Story with Ohana Films | Hawaii Wedding Videographer

Talking Story with Ohana Films - Hawaii Wedding Videographer

I have a confession to make: my husband and I have never watched our wedding video, not once, not even a little bit, and I don’t have any desire to. It’s not that we didn’t have a beautiful, fantastically wonderful wedding day. It’s because I wasn’t thinking about my personality when choosing someone to film our wedding.

You see, I like to stay behind the scenes. I’m not very comfortable in front of a camera and I cringe when hearing myself on tape. So while I did hire a professional with great reviews, I didn’t think about how his editing style would mesh with my self-consciousness. Why oh why did I think that I would be able to or want to watch a whole half hour show starring me as a main character?!

I regret not doing more research into my own wedding film. Please, I urge you. Do NOT make the same mistake I did. It is so true that film – both photography and cinematography – are the most lasting parts of your wedding. Invest in preserving those memories. Choose professionals with a style that you absolutely love and, if at all possible, try to pick pros that you get along with, could see yourself becoming friends with.

To help you get to know these Hawaii wedding professionals better, we’ll sit down and talk story (Hawaiian expression for chat, shoot the breeze) and then share our conversation with you!

We recently had a great time hanging out with Kent and Darlene (and their cat Miso) of Ohana Films. They create stunning documentary-style wedding films that are just the right length to capture the essence of your wedding day. A great big thank you to Angie Diaz Photography for the photos.

Talking Story with Ohana Films - Hawaii Wedding Videographer

So, Kent, you’re a Chicago native and Darlene is from Cleveland. What brought you to Hawaii?

The short answer is winter! The long answer is a common story in Hawaii. Like many other people who live here, we visited Hawaii on vacation and felt instantly compelled to move. We had lived in the Midwest for our entire lives and felt it was time to move far away from our comfort zone and do something kind of risky and scary. We sold 90% of our possessions and bought one-way tickets. It was a little crazy because neither one of us had ever stepped foot on Maui until the day our plane landed. We had been to other islands but never to the island that was about to be our new home. Maui welcomed us with open arms from day one!

Talking Story with Ohana Films - Hawaii Wedding Videographer

What do you love about the islands? What are your favorite things to do here?

I think the thing that we love most is simply being more connected to nature. It has changed our lives in many ways I had not anticipated. Our health and diet became more of a priority right away. We became much more active with hiking, snorkeling, paddleboarding, surfing… the usual stuff. We love how active everyone is here, although it’s easy to get jealous when we are stuck inside editing for weeks and we see on Facebook all the fun everyone is having.

One thing that we REALLY love is how friendly people are. It makes life so much better. In Chicago going to the post office or the DMV is like going into a war zone. The level of hostility there is ridiculous but on Maui going to the Kihei post office is actually a pleasant experience. It’s amazing how quickly it spreads when people are just nice to each other.

Talking Story with Ohana Films - Hawaii Wedding Videographer

How about other faves (shows/movies, places, etc.)?

We are obsessed with documentaries, which I think is obvious when you see our filming style. We especially love documentaries about subcultures that on the surface might seem silly but are actually filled with drama. ‘The King of Kong’ and ‘Spellbound’ are great examples of this. Who would have ever thought adults playing Donkey Kong could be so filled with real drama and emotion?

The Maui Fair has a very special place in our hearts too. We had only lived on Maui for a couple weeks when we first went to the fair and it was such a wonderful night. We love the way the entire community comes out for the fair. We never miss it now. I had a cheap camera with me the first time we went to the fair so I made a little movie. It’s funny to watch it now and think about how fresh we were to the island and how many things have changed since that night. At that point we had no idea yet how good life on Maui was going to be for us.

Maui Fair from Ohana Films on Vimeo.

What drew you to cinematography?

I’ve been making films ever since I was a kid. It started with my parents’ Super-8 movie camera even before the home video camera revolution began. Right away I fell in love with the idea of taking an idea from my mind and making it real. I fell in love with movies and movie making which ultimately led me to film school.

We both love the power of cinematography to tell stories and evoke emotion. The smallest change in your framing, music or even your lens choice can make a huge difference in the story you tell. Cinematography operates on an almost subconscious level and we really love that. We are very lucky to get the chance to tell the story of so many people’s important day. We love what we do.

What is the best part of your job?

There are many things we really love about our job. We have been lucky to meet incredible people from all over the world. It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of their important day and many times we end up becoming friends with our couples after their weddings. Probably the best part of our job is the knowledge that we are giving our couples something that is truly special. The comments we get from our couples are just incredible and it means so much to us. They are trusting us with one of the most important days of their lives and we take that very seriously. Making people happy and exceeding their expectations is absolutely the best part of our job.

Talking Story with Ohana Films - Hawaii Wedding Videographer

Why should couples hire a cinematographer?

You know, one of the most common things brides tell us after they have seen their film is how thankful they are we were there to capture all of the moments they missed. Your wedding day zips by in the blink of an eye but a film saves that day forever. Darlene and I work hard to capture small but important moments that would otherwise be missed. Also, it’s just such a perfect day to capture on film. How often are all your friends and family together, looking their best, in the beauty of Hawaii? It’s a day filled with joy and emotion and that is worth capturing forever.

Do you cry at weddings? Any touching moments that stand out?

Not only do we both cry at weddings, we get choked up watching our finished films even though we have spent weeks looking at the same footage. Watching two people begin their married life together can be an incredibly powerful thing. The more emotionally invested we are with a wedding the better our film is going to be. We have witnessed so many touching moments, both big and small. One of the more dramatic weddings we filmed was for a bride who was told by her doctors she shouldn’t even be buying tickets to Maui, implying the worst for her future health. She proved them wrong and had her dream wedding in Hawaii anyway. It was a powerful day and it helped us put our own lives in perspective.

Talking Story with Ohana Films - Hawaii Wedding Videographer

We hear you two are getting married yourselves. Care to share some of your wedding plans?

Yes, we are so excited to get married in September! Our basic concept is a party at our home on the beach. Of course we don’t actually own a home on the beach so we will be at our home away from home, Kukahiko Estate in Makena. We have a lot of memories from working and socializing at Kukahiko so it will feel very personal. Darren and Shane from Bliss Wedding Design are like family and they are coordinating for us. Lots of details to figure out still but we are very excited to have Manutea Nui E perform and our friend Ashley Camper doing the photography. I guess when I think about it, we are friends with everyone we will be working with for our wedding… Rio Event Design, Dellables Floral Design, Maui Catering Services… the list goes on.

Last but not least, I’ve noticed your Instagram is filled with cat pictures. Tell us more about this pretty kitty.

Talking Story with Ohana Films - Hawaii Wedding Videographer

Are you sure you want to get us talking about our awesome cat, Miso? We rescued a very skinny and sick Miso from Big Beach 2 years ago. When we would see her there it was obvious she was not one of the feral cats and was probably just dumped there by her previous owner. We brought her home and nursed her back to health over a few sleepless and stressful months. She is the best! She’s so sweet and loving, I feel like fate brought us together. Last year we donated a film to the Lana’i Animal Rescue Center because we love it there and are so impressed with their organization. It quickly went viral and helped raise awareness for their incredible shelter. It is an awesome place!

So yeah, we are crazy cat people.

Talking Story with Ohana Films - Hawaii Wedding Videographer

They might call themselves “crazy cat people” but don’t let that deter you from checking out their vendor profile and website. Seriously, I dare you to watch one of their wedding films and not tear up.

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Photography: Angie Diaz Photography
Videography: Ohana Films

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