Archive for the Blog Category

Gabrielle & Andre: Teaser Trailer


Gabrielle & Andre
9.5.14
Wedding Teaser Trailer
Licensed by TheMusicBed

Director/DP/Editor – James Lee
Cinematographers – Julie Selnekovic-Lee and Dan Ho

We here at James Lee Films are crazy about love stories, which is why we love capturing the “Love Story Films” before their wedding day. It gives us an opportunity to see who the couple are before the day-of, and this gives us the opportunity to know what to look for. When I heard how Andre and Gaby spoke of their love for each other while shooting their Love Story Film at Hopewell Valley Vineyards, I somehow knew right away that their vows would drive the narrative of their wedding day. They were fun, funny, and romantic. Above all, it was very apparent that they were in love with each other. Tears and laughter aplenty, this couple was a complete joy to capture.

Gaby and Andre made their vows before God and loved ones on September 5, 2014 at the beautiful Maritime Parc in Jersey City, NJ. The day began with some drizzling rain, and we were worried for a moment for the weather. But not only did the weather clear up in time for the ceremony; a double rainbow was visible over the New York cityscape while Gaby and Andre stood facing each other and promised to love one another for eternity. Truly, God’s favor was over this couple.

It was a pleasure working alongside Steven Govel, a talented, cool photo cat. Also props to DJ Sean Tylor of POSH Entertainment who helped make the screening of the Love Story Film during the reception possible. This was also a special wedding for us, as this was the last wedding I shot with my wife Julie before she was full-term. While I have very talented fellows with me at the moment, I can’t wait till she’s able to come back to shoot alongside me again. Any interested babysitters? :)

Congratulations again, Gaby and Andre!

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Newest Member of the JLF Crew


I realize that I’m quite overdue for a non-wedding-film blog post. There have been many changes in my life this past year, but the increase in weddings (which I’m certainly not complaining about) has kept me from sharing every single event with you all. BUT there is one that I simply cannot go on without mentioning.

We have a new member in JLF. 

Earlier this year in January, Julie and I found out that we were pregnant with our first child. Since we always wanted to have a large family we decided to start trying this new year, but it did happen sooner than we had thought. We were excited and nervous when we realized that while many joys of having a child awaited us, so did many changes to our daily routine. Julie and I had shot every wedding together up until that point. Was that going to change? And how? Over the months we asked many questions and began figuring things out.

Julie came out to weddings up until the day she was full-term; Sandra and Phil’s wedding late September was the first wedding I did without her since my very first wedding ever. While I had trustworthy colleagues alongside me and all the weddings were smooth-sailing, not having my partner-in-crime was certainly a change in workflow. I guess one of my other largest concern was what if Julie goes into labor when I’m in the middle of a wedding? I did not want to be that dad that missed to birth because of work! I arranged all the weddings in October so that if I had to leave suddenly, another shooter would be on-call and come to replace me. Also lots prayer went into this concern. Thankfully, I did not have to call that other shooter.

October 3, 12:13am, Amy Lee was born. Every day since then has been a journey full of joy and love, but also trials and struggles. Julie and I had a pretty set routine before the birth; all that went out the window after Amy showed up. Nowadays, I’d been editing like this:

And it really depends on her mood whether I’d be editing like that for 3 hours or 10 minutes. But I don’t want to miss any moment of her childhood! Better keep her strapped to my body for as long as I can (I realize the day would come when she doesn’t want anything to do with me. Figured I’d enjoy her presence till then…) .  And for those of you who are curious, I’m using the Moby Wrap. It’s basically a really long cloth and keeps her tied onto me. The baby is very snug in it and if asleep can stay for hours. Julie tells me it’s very similar to how she felt when she was pregnant, only the baby is attached to your chest rather than your belly. For the most part it’s very comfortable. JLF stamp of approval.

Apologies to our couples whose wedding films are slightly delayed at the moment due to this change. Do not fear, for I am editing away and they are coming! We want to make sure that each film is well-crafted before we send it to you, and I personally edit each and every film. I don’t want this change in our life be an excuse for a decrease in quality of our work. If anything, I’d want it be even better than ever before.

As part of our general workflow, for us to consider a film a “completed film” it needs to “wow” Julie (and I’m sure Amy will join in once she reaches a certain age). Our hope is that they will “wow” you as well.

Thank you again, all our 2014 couples for choosing us to capture your films! We’ve officially finished our last 2014 wedding and are now looking ahead to 2015, which looks like it’ll be quite an exciting year. Stay tuned!

- James

Rose & Steve: Teaser Trailer




Rose & Steve
8.23.14
Wedding Teaser Trailer
Licensed by TheMusicBed

Director/DP/Editor – James Lee
Cinematographers – Julie Selnekovic-Lee and Youmin Woo

I must say it’s been an interesting journey for James Lee Films these last few years. We only started in 2012, but we’ve always challenged ourselves to become better with each wedding film, and because of that mindset we’ve come a long way. Looking back, I’ve noticed that our first clients were all Korean (as I am a Korean-American), but that really changed since 2013. We’ve now done Filipino, Catholic, Afghani/Muslim, and Sikh weddings, among others. I love the diversity of cultures and traditions we’ve had the opportunity to witness these past years. This year, Rose and Steve were our only Korean couple, and the first time we’ve gone to a wedding completely in Korean. Honestly, there was a bit of a culture-shock going in when it came to how/where the ceremony and reception are held and what is/isn’t proper to do in the wedding setting – but overall we had an awesome experience in a going-back-to-my-roots kind of way.

Steve and I met in grad school and quickly became friends. When I heard about this new girl in his life and the amazing story behind it, I knew I just had to capture it.

For those of you who don’t speak Korean, you might be wondering what is being said (if I get requests I might consider including subs?). Rev. Kim begins by telling the story of Rose and Steve: Steve is from the East Coast (Queens, NY) and Rose from the West (Seattle). Their paths crossed as if against all odds and finally lead to the two deciding to make their relationship permanent. On August 23, 2014 they proclaimed their love in front of God and family at Daedong Manor in Flushing, NY. Though very few words were spoken by them during the ceremony, Steve took advantage of the more relaxed setting of the reception to get down on one knee and promise his wife to “always be her cheerleader.”

It was a pleasure working alongside Ryan from DH Studio. He was courteous and professional, and a joy to work with. Overall, it was another smooth JLF wedding.

Congratulations again, Rose and Steve!

Amanda & Hassib: Teaser Trailer


Amanda & Hassib
8.15.14
Wedding Teaser Trailer
Licensed by TheMusicBed

Director/DP/Editor – James Lee
Cinematographers – Julie Selnekovic-Lee and Daniel Ho

Amanda and Hassib met while working at Albany Medical Center. After Hassib visitng Amanda many times to “check up on her,” he finally got the courage to ask her out for coffee. Years later, they decided to tie the knot in New Jersey where Hassib’s family mostly are. Like how “Wali”‘s friend says, Amanda and Hassib has to be the nicest couple ever. I usually have words to described our dear couples, and if I had to choose one for Amanda and Hassib, it has to be “kind.” They are so kind and sweet to the people around them and to each other. Needless to say, capturing their wedding was smooth like butter.

They celebrated a beautiful Afghan wedding on August 15, 2014 at The Tides Estate in North Haledon, NJ. We were excited to witness two cultures colliding at this wedding. It was a pleasure working alongside photographer Tom Harmon and his second Jenna Perfette to capture the story of the day. Actually, one of the screws on my mic had gotten loose during the night, and awesome Jenna pulled out a multi-tool for me – in minutes I was up and running again with my mic fixed. Jenna, you are awesome! :)

Congratulations again, Amanda and Hassib!

Allyse & Kevin: Teaser Trailer

Allyse & Kevin
7.12.14
Wedding Teaser Trailer
Music licensed by TheMusicBed

Director/DP/Editor – James Lee
Cinematographers – Julie Selnekovic-Lee and Youmin Woo

Allyse and Kevin had a cute love story; they met at work and were attracted by their love for country music and his sense of humor, but had to date in secret because of their work relationship. Years later, they decided to tie the knot and now profess their love to the world.

Allyse and Kevin said their vows in the beautiful St. Brigid Church in Gladstone, and celebrated the night away at The Palace at Somerset Park. We had the privilege of working alongside photography veterans from The Studio Photographers, fellow storytellers and just joyful and wonderful people. Overall we were blessed to witness this love story and the promises for many more years of love.

Congratulations again, Allyse and Kevin!

Marisa & Justin: Teaser Trailer


Marisa & Justin
6.14.14
Wedding Teaser Trailer
Jordan Critz – Echo
Licensed by TheMusicBed

Director/DP/Editor – James Lee
Cinematographers – Julie Selnekovic-Lee and Daniel Dai (m3crew.com)

I met Marisa through Julie because the two of them were classmates at Teachers College. I was amazed at her ability to plan and organize calmly and thoroughly – a perfect teacher. When I met Marisa and Justin over Skype, I knew this was going to be a fun and creative wedding.

Marisa Militello and Justin Russo became Mrs. and Mr. Russello at the beautiful Flowerfield in St. James NY. The staff there is perhaps the best we have come across. Many were amazed at how deeply in love these two people were and how well they fit for one another. The way they looked at each other and talked to one another showed that often they spoke a language of love only the two of them understood.

Congratulations again, Marisa and Justin!

Megha & Chirag: Engagement Highlights Film


Megha & Chirag
Engagement Highlights Film
Blake Stratton – Leave On A Light (Instrumental)
Licensed by TheMusicBed

Director/DP/Editor – James Lee
Cinematographer – Julie Selnekovic-Lee

Julie and Megha were friends since the first grade, and Megha was the Maid of Honor for our wedding. Whenever we hung out with her, she was always full of life and had a certain level of peace, like she’s got everything under control, and I always had high regard for her because of it. Then one day, Julie told me that she started seeing this guy named Chirag, who she used to date in high school. Now, before Megha and Chirag, I firmly believed that once a couple goes their separate ways, coming back together will never work out – this of course, completely changed when I met with the two of them. They told me how they were very young in high school, and the time apart let them mature and become better partners for each other. While the four of us were painting ceramics together in Philly, I realized they were perfect together – and I knew that if it were to ever happen, I wanted to film Megha and Chirag’s wedding.

On May 17, 2014, Megha and Chirag held an engagement ceremony at Megha’s home in Browns Mills, NJ. The day was not only a joining of two individuals but of two families as they shared their respective traditions. The day was fully of laughter, joy, and love.

Congratulations, Megha and Chirag!

Patricia & Ryan: Same Day Edit




Patricia & Ryan
As screened on 5.10.14
Wedding Same Day Edit
Ben Rector – When I’m With You
Licensed by TheMusicBed

Director/DP/Editor – James Lee
Cinematographers – Julie Selnekovic-Lee and Daniel Dai

Cinematography: James Lee Films
Photography: JR Pena Photography
DJ/Entertainment: Daniel Linares Entertainment
Venue: St Mary’s Church, Nutley, NJ and Highlawn Pavilion, West Orange, NJ

James Lee Films begun the wedding season a bit late in 2014, but these last few months we’ve been quite occupied with non-wedding video production works such as nonprofits and church media. We’re excited to share with you our first step into 2014 with our now quickly-coming line of wedding films with Patricia and Ryan’s wedding. Patricia and Ryan said their tearful vows on May 10, 2014 before God and many at St. Mary’s Church in Nutley, NJ, and finished the night celebrating at the Highlawn Pavilion.

Photography by JR Pena (jrpena.com)

This wedding was such a blessing for the JLF crew. From earlier in the week, we were aware that the forecast for Saturday was heavy rain – and as the day approached the forecast eventually became scattered thunderstorms! We were especially bummed with the weather because the beauty of the Highlawn is that you can see the NYC city scape when the weather is clear. But Patricia and Ryan were cool and didn’t let the weather forecast phase them at all and simply focused on one another. The awesome, manly-man Ryan broke into tears as he saw his beautiful bride walking down the aisle. The amazing thing was, rain poured down heavily while we were in-transit from the church to the reception venue – but when we arrived and parked the car, the rain stopped and we saw several rainbows appear in the sky. Surely, God’s favor was over this wedding day! The rest of the shoot and night was full of love and joy.

Photography by JR Pena (jrpena.com)

Photography by JR Pena (jrpena.com)

Same Day Edits are always very difficult to pull-off and yet highly rewarding when you do. When we first turned on the video, not many people were there watching it – but soon a crowd began to gather, and laughter and tears ensued. When I saw Patricia and Ryan in tears to see their day and coming over to give me a hug, I know I did my job. Every time I make a film, I challenge myself to do better than before, and this time I feel as though I succeeded. Please, take time to watch the film and even the reactions of the couple below!

An another amazing thing about this wedding was that every vendor attached to this wedding was top-class and absolutely a joy to work with. Shout out to JR Pena for being an awesome photographer as always, and Daniel Linares for being awesome with holding a party and helping us run the SDE presentation. I highly recommend both of these vendors. Our crew consisted of my partner-for-life Julie, who was making a wedding film while making a baby, and good friend and fellow wedding filmmaker Daniel Dai from M3Crew helped us out. It being a Same Day Edit wedding, I wanted to make sure I had the best with me, and looking back I know I made the best choices.

Congratulations again, Patricia and Ryan!

Lina & Anthony: “I Belong to You”

Lina & Anthony
7.27.13
Wedding Highlights
Marie Hines – “Perfect Kiss”

Director/DP/Editor – James Lee
Cinematographers – Julie Selnekovic-Lee and Sam Choi

Lina and Anthony were perhaps the cutest and most interesting couple we’ve met so far. Julie and I first met them at the lobby of their apartment in LIC. Their personalities were fun, animated, and later Julie and I grabbed coffee from Sweetleaf across the street based on Lina and Anthony’s recommendation. It was the best coffee I ever had, and I knew we had a connection with this couple right away.

The couple said their personally-written vows at an outdoor ceremony at the New York Botanical Garden on July 27, 2013. It was an honor working alongside photography legend Susan Stripling, and collaborating with her was smooth as butter. It also was amazingly helpful that Lina and Anthony took our advice and decided to have an unplugged ceremony. And yes, the guests obeyed the request and kept their phones and cameras away! What resulted was a calm, peaceful, and beautiful ceremony where everyone was fully-present.

Congratulations again, Lina and Anthony!

Jaclyn & James: Teaser Trailer

Jaclyn & James
8.23.13
Wedding Teaser Trailer
Sara Swenson – All Things Big and Small Instrumental
Tony Anderson – Hope
Licensed by TheMusicBed

Director/DP/Editor – James Lee
Cinematographers – Julie Selnekovic-Lee and Hayeong Choi

Jaclyn and James said their vows at the beautiful St. Rose of Lima in East Hanover, NJ and celebrated the night away at Meadow Wood Manor in Randolph. The whole day was full of tears and laughter, and just by the way they looked at one another you knew they were deeply in love and have been waiting for this moment for a very long time.

Congratulations again, Jaclyn and James!

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