BDLB Education

As many of you may already know, but many more might not, my background before video production was in education. I taught middle school and high school, and then went on to coach teachers in a K-8 charter school here in Durham.

My heart, and a lot of my professional skills, remain in the world of education, so it probably shouldn’t have been unexpected when a past client gave us the (very helpful) feedback that we needed to share this more with potential clients.

So while we’re never very good at making films for our own business, we’re excited to share OUR newest promo film, spotlighting our expertise in schools and with education organizations. Hope you enjoy (especially the throwback pictures and my awesome teacher outfits…)! 😬👍🏻😁

Case Study: Fairview Garden Center

End Products: 3-5 minute Brand Story Film* and Instructional Videos for Content Marketing**


What made this project special/unique

Fairview Garden Center has the most heartfelt story behind their store, and I loved getting to know the main characters. I won’t give away all the details (you’ll have to watch the film to see for yourself), but anytime a business has a good story that we can help bring to life through video, we’re in our happy place. Because at the end of the day, marketing films are infinitely more compelling when they’re telling a story behind your business, rather than just outright marketing what you do, why people love you, and why others should come spend money there.


In addition, we LOVED venturing into the world of Video Content Marketing for the first time when working with them. In addition to their Brand Story Film, we helped them create useful, informative content for their email newsletters and social media. This included container garden recipes, tips for different kinds of pruning, and planting in clay soil. Again, rather than straightforward marketing you’re creating and distributing content that’s genuinely useful to your current and potential customers. In this case, as a gardening center it made sense to create films that would help support homeowners with some of their most basic questions. We’re including two examples below for you to take a look at the kind of content they’re putting out for their customers and anyone else its helpful for!


Brand Story Film

Planting in Clay


Container Garden Recipe

*Brand Story Films are 2-3 minutes in length, include up to four interviews (with the main character as well as supporting characters), and an additional half day shoot to capture visuals. The goal of a Brand Story Film is to tell one story of your business in a compelling way that will connect with your ideal clients and inspire them to action.


**Video Content Marketing is providing video content that is useful to your ideal clients and gives them reasons to connect regularly with your business and your brand. It isn’t about explicitly marketing your business so much as it’s about providing resources that help your clients do things in their everyday life, which may or may not require them to shop at your business J


Instabrand + Social Media

In November of 2017 we launched our Instabrand Films. It came from a realization that our signature brand films (what we call a Brand Story Film), wasn’t a perfect fit for smaller, newer businesses, often with only 1 employee.

SO, we created a film just for them. We took away all the frills, cut back on the shooting time, and made a shorter version of the film (60-90 seconds). This also allowed us to cut back significantly on the investment, making it more attainable for a new business who can benefit the most. Let’s take a look side by side…

Social Media Films

Regardless of whether you invest in a Brand Story Film or an Instabrand, you always have the option of adding on ‘Social Media Films’. We find that when we’re sitting you down for an interview we live with way more good content than we can use in a short 60 second-3 minute film. Yet what is left behind on the editing room floor is often good content; just not the right content for your brand film. So a couple years ago we started creating add-on films that are short and pulled directly from your interview (or interviews with your employees/clients. It helps you get the most bang for your buck when you’re already taking the time to capture you business on film. Don’t believe me? Here’s what one of our clients had to say about it…

But enough from me. Time to see an example! Below I’m sharing with you an Instabrand Film we made for Early Bird Photo last year, and then two examples of social media films we made from interview content that didn’t make the final film.



2019 Oscars: How Bohemian Rhapsody Epitomizes Hollywood in 2019

Written by Tyler Schwartz

With the Academy Awards approaching, I’ve been doing my best to catch up on the nominated movies of the year. I’ve now watched all eight films nominated for Best Picture. It’s a scattered field that provides a good litmus test for the industry at large. We have the first comic book nominee ever (Black Panther, deservedly so), the first Netflix nominee (Roma,also deserving), a definitive cinematic version of A Star is Born (starring Lady GaGa’s nose and Sam Elliott’s voice), the most nominated Spike Lee movie ever (finally the Academy Did The Right Thing), Christian Bale playing an evil Dick (and somehow becoming more likable as an actor), a race relations film directed by the man who brought us Dumb and Dumber (Green Book, destined to fade and join Crashand Driving Miss Daisyas divisive movies about the “black experience” made by “white filmmakers”), and the strangest nominee of the field, the proudly fierce and feminine The Favourite(featuring some of the best written female characters of the past decade). Yet despite the many pleasures of this lineup, the film I find myself thinking the most about is the final nominee I haven’t mentioned. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s called Bohemian Rhapsody.

Let’s get this out of the way first. Bohemian Rhapsodyisn’t a badmovie. No film that features a performance on the level of Rami Malek’s as Freddie Mercury can be classified as all out garbage. Malek (like his predecessors in the music biopic genre Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles) is amazing in the film, completely absorbing himself in the role from bedazzled head to toe. But putting Malek’s performance aside, Bohemian Rhapsodyisn’t good either. It’s shot like a TV movie. It’s factually incorrect. It shys away from the more obscene aspects of Freddie’s life. If you take away Queen’s music (what monster doesn’t like “Don’t Stop Me Now”?) and Malek’s performance, this turns into a bad movie really quick. So how the hell did this movie get nominated for Best Picture? For starters, it was a BIG hit. Currently sitting at 817.6 million dollars at the worldwide box office, it’s the 7th highest grossing film of the year, earning more money than tentpole films like Mission Impossible – Fallout and Deadpool 2. To put that number in another perspective, that’s over double what Solo – A Star Wars Story made. Think about that! A Freddie Mercury biopic made doubled the money of a Han Solo biopic! That’s a testament to both the lasting impact of Queen’s music and the iconic persona of Mercury. Whether Bohemian Rhapsody is actually good or bad doesn’t matter. It’s a success story, the kind we don’t see enough in Hollywood these days. If the story ended here, everything would be fine, it’s not the first time an iconic performance combined with uplifting material has lifted an otherwise subpar movie to a Best Picture nom (I’m looking at you The Blind Side). But unfortunately that’s not where the story ends. Not even close. Because Bohemian Rhapsody was directed by an accused sexual assaulter named Bryan Singer.


If you haven’t heard the details of Bryan Singer’s sordid past, I’ll leave that to your own personal Google browser (start with an article in The Atlantic called “Nobody Is Going To Believe You”).What I will say is that the evidence presented clearly outlines Mr. Singer as a longtime sexual predator of underage men. And yet even with this evidence and the fact that Singer was fired off the film with three weeks left of principal photography, he still received sole directing credit. In fact, it was recently reported that with the movie’s success, Singer stands to earn nearly 40 million dollars for directing the film (with his mounting legal fees he’s gonna need it). If this bothers you (like it does me) you’re not alone. The backlash to the film has been swift and vicious. GLAAD who originally praised the film upon its release, recently failed to nominate it for a single award (not even Rami Malek) at the GLAAD Media Awards. They released a statement saying “…the legacy of Freddy Mercury deserves so much more than to be tainted in this way.” Critics who originally derided the film for not embracing Mercury’s sexuality ( described the film as “phobic”) are now piling on, all decrying the film as a disgrace to both Queen, Mercury,  and the film industry as a whole. To put it in a way that Queen fans can understand, Another One Bites The Dust. Except Bryan Singer’s not going anywhere. At least not yet. He recently signed on to direct Red Sonja, a comic book adaptation about a female warrior with a backstory of brutal sexual assault. He’s reportedly being paid 10 million dollars. When will the hammer fall?


This unfortunately is representative of the times we are living in. People can write exposes and scathing reviews, but the man is still getting work. But, think about it, of course he is, his most recent film just made more money than Star Wars. This is the paradox of the movie industry in 2019. On the eve of their biggest night of the year, Hollywood is consumed with talking about Bohemian Rhapsody: a film about a gay icon, that’s been disavowed by gay organizations, that’s made more money than Han Solo, that’s directed by an accused rapist still working in the industry, that’s nominated for Best Picture. Read that sentence over a couple times. Welcome to Hollywood in 2019.


Oscar Predictions


Best Picture: BlacKKKlansman

Actor: Rami Malek

Actress: Glenn Close

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Elliott

Supporting Actress: Regina Hall

Director: Alfonso Cuaron

Original Screenplay: The Favourite

Adapted Screenplay: BlacKKKlansman

Cinematography: Roma

Editing: Vice

BDLB Travel: AirBNB

For those of you following along on social media, you likely already know that last fall/winter was full of travel. The mountains of North Carolina, the Czech Republic, Japan, and back to the mountains. I LOVE traveling, so much so that I had to institute a travel ban for this winter to catch back up on life. Yet I still somehow found myself booking trips to Key Largo (for a retreat), Scottsdale (for a wedding) and Maine (for family)…

And after a month full of travel I looked back and realized how much of that travel was impacted by AirBNB. I’ve been a host for a little over three years now, both a room in my house here in Durham and the Cozy Cabin out west in Boone, but I also use it every time I travel. I can’t remember the last time I stayed at a proper hotel, and their recent addition of ‘Experiences‘ has certainly added some cool adventures to my last couple of trips.

So earlier this month we decided to create what we call an anthem film sharing my personal experiences with AirBNB as both a host and traveler. To be clear, we were not paid by AirBNB to do this, I just love the brand and my experiences with it so much we decided to turn it into a passion project. Hope you enjoy!

BDLB Travel: Thanksgiving in Japan

This past Thanksgiving my Dad and I got to travel back to Japan, a place we called home when I was in middle school. While my Dad has been back since we moved home, this was my first visit in 20 years. It included stops to our old house and my old school, visits with some old family and middle school friends, and a new stop in Kyoto. Here’s a collection of some of the shots I captured along the way…



While in Tokyo I got to catch up with an old friend from middle school and take some family photos with her sweet little ones at the beautiful Grand Hyatt Christmas display!

My old school!

A new friend…

Our old house! Not really a house anymore…