So much has happened since my last visit with Chuck and Jewel that it was time for a new interview. Just three days earlier, Chuck had been inducted as President of the Bay Area Professional Videographers Association. Since bursting onto the video scene, this couple has made the fastest ascent of any event professional I know. Within their first 18 months in business, they received the prestigious Aegis Award for Excellence in Videography and were voted Videographers of the Year by their peers.
The Savadelises are known for setting the standard and raising the bar of excellence in wedding videography. No matter how busy their schedule, they always have time to answer questions from other videographers. During my visit to another videographer he proudly told me, "I offer videos in the Savadelis style."
Chuck, a former photographer, and Jewel, a former business executive, looked around for a business in which they could work together. Both are movie buffs, and are still in love after many years of marriage. They chose videography rather than photography because they considered it a more powerful storytelling medium. From the beginning, they set out to achieve a high-quality film look in wedding videos.
Jewel and I were talking about a wedding that I wanted to feature on the BRO Web site. Coincidentally, Chuck was editing the video of the same wedding while I was visiting. "Do you want to see what I've completed so far?" he asked. The scene showed the groom walking in San Francisco from the Mark Hopkins Hotel to the Fairmont Hotel where he then waited to present the bouquet to his bride. It was short, lively and stylish, and belied just how much preparation went into creating it.
Chuck then showed me another segment later in the same video. The groom had arrived at the meeting place and was nervously waiting for his bride. He anxiously squirmed in his chair, turned the flowers in his hands, and scanned the empty corridor. Each of these moments was skillfully punctuated with the bride making her way towards the meeting place, with rising anticipation. When she finally arrived, the groom's face said it all, reflecting love, pride, and relief all at the same time.
A few days prior to filming the wedding, Chuck and Jewel went to San Francisco and walked the same route during the same time of day. Jewel filled in for the groom. Chuck looked for the best vantage point, taking traffic, sun, and background into consideration. For these two perfectionists it is not enough just to attend the rehearsal for the wedding; they act as location scouts before the "stars" arrive so that they can be both efficient and fun on the day.
As important as the filming is, the editing may be even moreso. This is where the emotion comes to the fore, and where the personality of the couple really shows. The music plays a very important role and subtly determines whether you experience more romance or more reality. "Creating a 35- to 45-minute video from hours of raw footage is very labor intensive," Jewel told me, "but watching the couple's faces when they see the video for the first time is the sweetest reward."
And how do couples feel about Chuck and Jewel? One well-respected event coordinator put it this way:
"All of my clients absolutely love Chuck and Jewel. They always seem to know what small detail or gesture perfectly captures the heart of a relationship. They weave hundreds of such moments into a movie of astonishing quality. I have never met a warmer couple whose clients stay in touch long after the wedding is over."
Please read: Jewel's Tips:
Before you hire a videographer