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Meet Jay Yoo of Seven Production in Mid-Wilshire

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jay Yoo.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jay. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
After graduating college with a degree in communications and film, I began to work in Photojournalism for various news outlets. At first, it was great! I was having a blast doing what I’ve always wanted to do—work behind a camera. As the days went by, I soon realized that there were many creative limitations and restrictions in this field of work. I wanted to learn, experiment, and expand my creativity and storytelling skills.

While continuing my normal day to day job, I began to search for something new—something that would challenge me creatively—and that is when I found wedding videography. When I first started, wedding videos were very simple; it just had background music and clips of the wedding day for the entirety of the song…It was boring. I wanted to try something new and use the skill sets that I’ve acquired through photojournalism and apply it to wedding videos. I wanted to creatively tell a story of the Bride and Grooms’ special day.

This challenge I’ve placed upon myself to grow and expand continuously. My experience and knowledge in news/documentary production have helped me start a new business in the wedding industry. In return, the new business has helped me to expand creatively which naturally bled into my job as a photojournalist and has rewarded me with a number of Emmy Awards in photojournalism. A natural cycle of challenges and learning is what got me to where I am today.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Because I was pioneering paving a new road for myself with this new challenge, I found it very rough over these few years. The initial struggle was trying to break out of my filming and editing habits. I found that I put myself in a template that was engineered to produce average news coverage; breaking out of that and finding new ways to film and edit was the most difficult. The struggle I face every day is searching for new editing techniques, reading the trends in cinema, and keeping up with the new styles. Not only that but now as new technology emerges, it is a struggle adapting the new technology into the filming. These things have been a struggle and will continue to be a struggle but I welcome it; it challenges me and motivates me to move forward and experiment.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Our company, Seven Productions, only specializes and focuses on wedding cinematography. Many companies move onto doing commercial work, but we want to solely focus on weddings and give it our best. We are known for and emphasize on having very smooth, clean, and crisp cinematic footage; we like to have a clean modern cinematic production. What I am most proud is that all the staff has an innate hunger for new creative challenges. I initially started this company to broaden my creative perspective and I am proud to say that I have a team who shares the same hunger.

Our team is what really sets us apart from others. We put a lot of emphasis on pre-planning and preparation so that we are able to focus on capturing the day at hand and nothing else. The team and I aren’t after money; as I’ve mentioned, I started this company as a creative outlet and all my team members are the same way. To better cultivate our creativity and give 110%, we make sure to take only one wedding per weekend. We want to put all our efforts and creativity on one day of the weekend; the team and I feel that it would be unfair for the newlyweds if we aren’t able to give our absolute best because exhausted from working the day before. And lastly, we love to have a personal relationship with the Bride and Groom. This relationship allows us to get closer and more personal to have the Bride and Groom comfortable which allows for a more natural and captivating footage. Plus, it’s fun to see the newlyweds’ Facebook posts about their new life together and pictures of cute babies!

What were you like growing up?
I’ve always had an interest in media and entertainment. When I was younger, I was interested in musicals and plays. I would always be a part of stage directing and stage productions at school or at church. The lights, the costumes, and the stage design were always so fun to be around and be a part of. My interest in stage production made me want to become a graphic designer so I can design stage sets. Until that one day… A family friend sent our family an invite to watch a commercial shoot in Hollywood. I got to meet the producer, the director, and the director of photography; watching them work was like watching Harry Potter conjure some sorcery—they were making magic. Ever since that day, I knew I wanted to work behind a camera and that’s what lead me to where I am today.

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