Filmmaker Joe Mastrino: How To Capture and Preserve the Heart and Soul of Your Subject

“With weddings, there are no retakes” says wedding filmmaker Joe Mastrino of ojo Creative. “There are no do-overs…. There’s no, ‘Hey, can we do that kiss again?’” As a result, a key priority for him and his ojo Creative production team is making sure that at the end of the day all of the footage is efficiently managed, curated and backed up.

ojo Creative’s philosophy is that their clients’ wedding day should be fun and easy — and of course most of all, memorable. The team works together as one unit to offer a combination of reflective cinematography and thoughtful photography, from an engagement session through to the final wedding package — delivering stunning films and capturing breathtaking images to ensure it’s just that.

Watch our video to see Joe in action, then read on for his advice and insights about some essential skills and tools for any filmmaker or photographer.

How photographers make their subjects comfortable, open, relaxed and natural

“Part of being a producer is really making sure that all the wedding guests — including the bride and groom — are being themselves, and not timid, not worrying about ‘Why are these cameras in our faces?’” advises Joe, emphasizing the empathy, relationship-building and planning that are crucial skills for any photographer.

“When you have a relaxed bride and a relaxed groom, you do truly see their heart and soul. Not only their heart and soul, but their love for each other.”

“The challenge with that is trying to convey that, and trying to capture that. And the way that we do accomplish that is having multiple cameras on site.”

What are the best tools to capture emotion and action on film

“We’re using the latest film technology. Whether it’s a drone being used to capture an amazing, breathtaking establishing shot of a church or a wedding venue. Or a stabilizer that enables a long tracking shot or push-in or pull out of a bride and groom on the dance floor. Or even a slider that does a nice move from side to side, showing a reveal of the bride and groom or a wedding ring. All of these things help us tell a better story.”

And then, the film and photography team needs to manage all the image data being captured.

“With a full ojo production unit, there’s two photographers, three cinematographers — and myself mitigating all this talent. So at the end of the day we have an abundance of information, an abundance of data. We have close to a terabyte of information on our cameras and on our cards.”

“What we need to do with that data is make sure that it’s safe and secure. Because it’s not just data to us — those are people’s memories. And we’ve got to make sure that those memories are safe and secure.”

ojo creative — a photo shoot should be fun and easy for the subject

Data management and storage tools that help a creative pro focus on creating

“With LaCie hard drives being as fast as they are, that allows me to work the way that a creative works,” says Joe. “And I don’t think a creative likes to slide footage in, wait for the circle of death to show up, wait some more …”

“The moment we’re pulled out of our creative zone — the moment we’re pulled out of an edit — we don’t want to come back to it. And I notice that in the way I edit films. I tell myself ‘All right; you’re not going up out of this chair; get it done and let’s have fun doing it.’”

In other words, Joe appreciates a tool that’s designed and built for a creative person. “At the end of the day, having a drive like the LaCie 2big Dock for a wedding cinematographer, for a photographer, for anyone who has mass amounts of data — it’s essential.”

“It’s absolutely imperative that you have something like this, and I’m so happy that LaCie made something aimed at people like me. Because this only makes our job much more easy, and allows us to get out into the field and create more beautiful content.”

ojo Creative - LaCie is technology that allows me to be creative