When I first started in this biz only seven short years ago, one of the first educational experiences I had was the annual Wedding and Event Videographer Association (WEVA) Expo. It was STUPENDOUS! I was inspired. The networking was fantastic. And I came away with more ideas I could possibly implement. For the first two or three years in business, every WEVA Expo was like this for me. But somewhere down the line, if I’m honest, it lost it’s luster. It had seemed to reach a plateau. I had gained a certain level of experience and knowledge, and nothing new was being offered. As I mention in an upcoming episode of FilmFellas, the experience got stale. And I don’t even want to go into the drama that happened between 2005 and 2007 when some ex-WEVA “higher-ups” split off to do their own thing. Can we say soap opera?
And I know I wasn’t alone in my feelings. I spoke with so many colleagues who felt as I did, that there was nothing left to learn at WEVA. It was great if you were just starting out, not so much so if you were more experienced.
Well, I’m happy to see that there are changes happening with the expo that have got me excited to go again (which helps since I’m speaking, but that’s not why I’m excited.) I think largely due to the efforts of WEVAs educational guru John Zale, the line up this year is easily one of the best I’ve seen in years. Names like world renown cinematographer Phillip Bloom and his F-Stop Academy partner Dennis Lennie. Wedding cinematographers extraordinaire Patrick Moreau and Konrad Czystowski of StillMotion fame. USC film grad and director of the “Bourne Identity” style concept video “Snow“, Kevin Shahinian. And other amazing new speakers like Ray Roman, Phil Hinkle, Matt Davis, and the winners of the $1,000,000 Doritos commercial challenge, Dave and Joe Herbert of Transit Films. And you’ll have the “usual suspects’ like Mark and Trisha VonLanken, David Robin, and one of my favorites, Brett Culp.
If you’ve taken a break from attending WEVA in the past, I can sincerely say, this would be a great year to return. Taking place in beautiful Orlando, FL from September 14-17. Hope to see you there!