10 Questions with Jonah & Marlene

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most popular and highly sought-after team of wedding videographers in Hawaii, Jonah & Marlene of Small Hour Films. Honolulu based Jonah & Marlene are the founders and owners of Small Hour Films.

Small Hour Films

Videographers - Jonah & Marlene

10 Questions with Jonah & Marlene

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hello, we are Jonah and Marlene, Co-Owners and Operators of Small Hour Films. We met over 12 years ago in Film School and have worked together ever since, starting our company in 2013. Our company has evolved over the years to include a variety of services, including branded content for businesses, narrative and documentary films, and family & pet videography, but Weddings and events have always been the biggest part of our company, especially living here in Hawaii.

We enjoy the creative process of filmmaking and the opportunity to collaborate with other people. We see weddings as a way to help our couples share their unique stories with friends and family. Everyone is different, so we do our best to work with our clients to bring their vision for their wedding to life, and to capture the little moments that they may miss along the way.

2. How long have you been filming weddings? How many weddings have you filmed?

We have been working in the wedding industry for a long time, since even before we started Small Hour Films. We're coming up on almost 14 years in the industry! Since starting Small Hour Films in 2013 we've filmed almost 400 weddings.

3. How would you describe your videography style?

Most videographers describe their style as "candid", but that's what videography should be! We're there to capture things as they happen and to help our clients relive their wedding day in full as much as possible. We try not to make the videos overly dramatic or serious-- that's definitely its own aesthetic that works, but we like the fun and lighter vibe of weddings. It makes the sentimental moments that much sweeter, without forcing it to feel unnatural.

We're based in Hawaii, so visually we like to accentuate the natural color palette of the ocean and nature. We lean towards keeping our colors true to life, or even slightly on the more vibrant side, as opposed to stylizing our videos too much.

4. How well in advance should couples book their wedding videographer?

Popular videographers will get booked far in advance, so if you're set on having a specific videographer for your wedding you should lock them in as soon as you have your date set, and as soon as they're accepting bookings. We typically won't take bookings too much earlier than 1 year in advance, and most of our bookings happen with 6-12 months of the event date.

In Hawaii, weddings are busy all year round, but are most popular in the summer months. If you're planning for a summer wedding, or a wedding with a unique date like "2-22-22" we recommend locking your vendors in as quickly as you can!

5. What are the different packages that you offer and which one is your most popular package?

Our standard base packages include either 1, 5, or 9 hours of coverage on the Wedding day, but we can do any custom amount of time as needed. We also offer Same Day Edit services, and add-on services like "How We Met" Love Story videos, and Slideshows. Our most popular package is our 9-hour coverage, which typically includes coverage from the Getting Ready time, through the end of the formal Reception program.

For every Wedding package, the client will receive one Highlight film edited to music, as well as a Documentary-style edit of the rest of the coverage. This means they will not only have a short Highlight video to easily share with family and friends, but a long-form video as well to relive the day beat by beat.

6. Are you the wedding videographer who will be filming on the wedding day? How many camera people and cameras will be operating on the day?

We are the primary videographers who will be with you on the wedding day, and we typically bring a third shooter for at least part of the day. Having three videographers allows us to capture a lot of coverage simultaneously, especially when you have a lot going on in a short amount of time. Imagine during your Cocktail hour that one videographer will be with you for your formal couples' session, while a second videographer is filming candids of your guests mingling and having fun, while a third shooter is capturing detail shots of your Reception venue setup. Having the extra hands makes a big difference in how much coverage we can capture.

For the formal Ceremony and Reception program we typically operate a 3-camera setup, capturing live reactions of your guests during speeches and other special moments. We normally have an extra camera on a gimbal or slider to get more diverse and creative shots, but for the main program we're typically running 3 cameras.

We always think about coverage in terms of 1) What we need for the Highlight video; and 2) What we need for the long-form Documentary edit. This involves getting unique and creative angles to best tell the story of the wedding day and to make the highlight video as kinetic and interesting as possible, while also making sure we thoroughly capture the program so that we can piece together everything in full.

7. Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?

We do not charge a travel fee for anything based on the island of Oahu. For traveling to neighbor islands or anywhere outside of Hawaii we do implement a travel fee to cover the costs of transporting our crew and gear for the duration of the event. We provide custom quotes situationally, based on the location of the event and the coverage and crew needed.

8. How do you back-up your footage to ensure no footage is lost and for how long do you keep the footage after the wedding?

We back-up our footage on multiple hard drives immediately following each event, and check each transfer clip-by-clip to make sure everything is safely stored in more than one place. After turning around the final deliverables to the client, we hold onto 2 backups of all assets (Raw footage, final edits, project files, etc.) for 1 year.

9. How long after the wedding will the couple receive the video? And how will the video be delivered?

Our average turnaround time varies depending on the time of year, but generally clients will receive all final deliverables within 4-6 weeks of their wedding, assuming they've sent us their song choices for the videos. All final edits will be delivered via a Digital Download link, from which the client can watch, share, and download the videos to their device. We also offer additional media for purchase, should the client wish to have a physical copy mailed to them on Blu-Ray, DVD, or USB.

10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?

The client reserves the right to terminate the contract for any reason at any time up to the date of the event. Should the client terminate the contract, all money paid towards the account balance, except for the Retainer, will be refunded.

We collect a Retainer of $500 to secure the wedding date, and this is generally non-refundable. At this point in time due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are including a COVID clause to allow for a 50% return on any Deposit paid should the client need to cancel our services due to the Pandemic.

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Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2021