Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexander Ma.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today. You can include as little or as much detail as you’d like.
Growing up, I was extremely shy. I was negative, lazy and hated going to school. I hated school so much I dropped out when I was 16. After dropping out, I didn’t have any purpose or goals in life. But, I knew that making silly home videos and playing music/guitar was something I was decent at.
In 2012, discovering how passionate I was about filmmaking and music, I offered free music videos for my musician friends. When it was time for me to upgrade my gear I started charging people $100 for my services. Surprisingly, people started booking me and were willing to pay me more. So $100 videos turned into $500 videos and it kept increasing to the point where I could pay my bills. It was at that time when I saw some potential to turn my hobby into a business, naming it Alexandher Films. From there, the music videos transitioned into short films, commercials, and corporate videos. After a couple years of these type of videos, I felt limited in my ability to grow as an artist.
Around that time, I was attending a friend’s wedding. And of course, the wedding videographer caught my attention. From there, an idea sparked. I had done almost every type of filmmaking except for wedding events. I knew that wedding videos would challenge me as a filmmaker because they were so different from the type of videos I was previously creating. So I went for it. I decided to start AndHer Visuals as a side project in late 2014.
Fast-forward to 2016, WPPI awarded me with best Wedding Film. Amazingly, I won not only First Place, but also the Grand Award for the entire filmmaking category. It caught me completely by surprise!
At this point a time, a lot of couples wanted to work with me. The (good) problem with this though was that I began double and even triple booking some weekends! I wanted to shoot everything, but I just physically couldn’t. That’s when I decided to scale my business and started sending out teams of talented filmmakers and editors to satisfy my clients. Couples all around the world loved my work so much, they were willing to fly me 100s of miles away from Los Angeles to capture their wedding. Now that I have a big and trusted enough team, AndHer Visuals sometimes shoots 3 to 4 weddings in one day.
As the time passed, a lot of other filmmakers began asking me for advice on how to bring their wedding business to the next level. I began realizing there’s a need out there for more wedding filmmaking education. There might be a few tutorials here and there on the basics, but I couldn’t really find too many accessible educators that taught wedding filmmakers STEP BY STEP on how to go from where they are now making a living doing what they love as a filmmaker. That void in the industry sparked the idea and motivation for my education business, Wedding Filmmaker Mastery. And that brings me to the where I am now. With passions for filmmaking, capturing moments, and educating.
Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
A lot of people are probably going to say no. For me, as far as filmmaking goes, it’s been a pretty smooth road! Since I started filmmaking as a hobby and passion, I didn’t see it as a struggle. Because I enjoyed the process of creating and filmmaking, it didn’t feel like a challenge. If you love what you do and are having fun doing it, there shouldn’t be too many struggles along the way.
My main struggle was transitioning from a filmmaker to an educator. As a filmmaker, you have clients with deadlines. This almost forces you to finish all your projects. As an educator, you’re working on your own time and there’s no one giving you a deadline. As an educator, I always want to perfect each lesson. So projects always take a long time to get done because of that perfectionist mentality.
Tell us about your business/company. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
We know that our couples put their hearts into their wedding — making them unique, memorable, and reflective of their own personal taste. We honor their dedication by giving our couples a beautiful final product equivalent to their love.
AndHer Visuals is a wedding cinematography business based in — but not limited to — Los Angeles, CA. Given our experience, we understand the value of highlighting raw emotions with our cinematic style and go above and beyond in featuring those moments.
We are hands-on with each project because we do not want to leave our couples with a generic and uninspired wedding film — meaning, you won’t find us, “just showing up and pressing record.”
As an educator, my programs are going to show aspiring filmmakers step-by-step what to do from cinematography and editing, to creating a six-figure business FAST! My proudest moment is seeing my students succeed and them telling me how I impacted their life and business. That’s the most rewarding part.
Do you feel like our city is a good place for businesses like yours? If someone was just starting out, would you recommend them starting out here? If not, what can our city do to improve?
LA is such a big city, it’s great as a filmmaker! Even better for couples because it really gives them options and choices to find exactly the type of videographer that they want. However, that also means aspiring filmmakers might see some competition. For business, it’s still a great location just because there’s so many couples constantly getting married.
- Mentoring Program – $49/mo.
- Wedding Video Services – Starting at $2600
- Filmmaking Courses – Starting at $297
- Website: AndHerVisuals.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/AndHerVisuals
- Facebook: facebook.com/AndHerVisuals
- Other: WeddingFilmmakerMastery.com
Alexandher Films, AndHer Visuals