THE MOTION BAR'S GABE SCHWARTZ: Design A Dream Rustic California Ranch Wedding
One of the most exciting parts of this business is meeting and collaborating with some of the most passionate and creative minds in the Bay Area. We’re so honored to have met and had the opportunity to work with Gabe Schwartz, a talented Creative Director and Motion Designer who founded The Motion Bar based in Berkeley, CA. He also produced, directed, and edited our incredible “Meet Bonnie" film on our website, which we're completely obsessed with.
We met Gabe and Cassie through mutual friends back in 2013, the year that we decided to buy the vintage VW bus of our dreams and turn it into a way to share our passions with the world. After we launched Das Bus in February of 2014, we knew we wanted to find a way to capture the essence of our concept that went beyond photos and text on our website. We approached Gabe for some creative insight, and he suggested creating a short film that showed our day to day operations and how our clients feel when they interact with Das Bus. Sold.
He worked with us to film and capture all the different types of events we do (and we do A LOT of different events!). From weddings in the redwoods, to street fairs in San Francisco, to private parties in the East Bay, he took beautiful footage and then composed the perfect upbeat, catchy score to set the scene of it all. We honestly had a blast during filming, and couldn’t wait to see how all the shots turned out! After he showed us the final cut, we were floored by his ability to capture our hearts and souls as we roll through the world (and we do mean slow roll) in our bus, Bonnie!
Naturally, we were elated when Gabe and Cassie asked Das Bus to be a part of their wedding at a private ranch in Woodside, CA. While Gabe is a visual effects master, his wife Cassie is a planner/organizer/DIY extraordinaire and essentially designed and coordinated most of the aesthetics and details of their wedding! From the chalk tagged mason jars, to the custom made lawn games, to the colors and greenery all over, it was an incredible event!
Gabe and Cassie agreed to answer a few questions about their planning process, work/life balance, and more! Check out their answers below along with pictures of their perfect wedding!
DB: You designed your wedding website as well as your invitations and branding, why might it be beneficial for couples to hire someone like you to help with their design process?
GS: Many reasons. When planning an event of any kind, it's important to provide a comforting, fun, and cohesive environment for your guests, many of whom have traveled far and taken time off to celebrate you and your significant other. One way to make everyone feel at home and valued is to brand the event properly. You want your guests to feel like a part of something. Furthermore, the time, energy and effort you've put into throwing this event should show. One of the best ways to do this is to brand everything flawlessly. From the invitations to the venue signs, plates and glasses- they should all represent the event. By hiring a designer or a company like mine, you can feel confident that your guests will feel this sense of pride in your event and also know exactly what to expect. In our case, we immediately knew that we wanted our guests to know our wedding had a laid back vibe and that it would take place in a serene redwoods setting. One way we did this was with our wedding invitation, the first thing we sent to our guests. We also wanted the invitation to reflect our personalities and be something special that you would want to hang on the refrigerator. In order to achieve all of this, we decided to design an old concert style poster with redwoods. Definitely a unique invitation and everyone seemed to love the concept. You can learn more about it and all of the design process here.
DB: What surprised you about the wedding planning process? Would you have done anything differently?
GB: Although everyone told me how expensive weddings can be, the cost was still one of the most surprising parts. The moment you say the word "wedding", everyone's rate goes up! We knew from the beginning that we would rather put our money towards a down payment on a home or an educational fund for our son than a wedding. So we tried our best to stay within a small budget. This proved to be one of the hardest parts. Again, thanks to our amazing friends, we did in fact stay within budget, finding an inexpensive, yet amazing place to host the wedding, and locked down a close friend's terrific band.
Would we have done anything differently? Nah, no regrets!... Really, it was an incredible experience and probably tied for best day of my life along with the arrival of our son. Looking back, I think I would have been a bit more strict about the invitation list. Cassie and I have extensive family and friend groups and the list began to balloon out of control quickly! We didn't have the opportunity to hang out with everyone as much as we would have liked to. So if I could have done one thing differently, it would be to have either lengthened the time of the wedding (which unfortunately wasn't an option with our venue), or made it a more intimate event so I could have had more than 30 seconds to talk with each guest.
DB: As a young Creative Director, business owner, entrepreneur, and new father, what are your tricks of the trade in order to stay balanced and motivated?
GS: Deep deep breaths... No seriously. I'm taking one now... In all honesty, there is no true answer to this. Half of the time I feel like I'm running around in the wrong direction with my head cut off, all the while I just want to take a nap. Of course, there are some things I do to stay focused and ahead of my work and navigate my new life as a father. First, and most importantly, is the incredible support of my wife, Cassie. Without whom, none of of this would be feasible or a reality. Not only is she an excellent mother, but an amazing early childhood educator with years of experience as a pre-school director and teacher. This comes through huge and I'm so grateful for her. With that said, it's been a juggling act of supporting one another and stepping up to the plate to help raise Chayton and make sure he is cared for first and foremost. Which simply came natural as we both love him so much. That's not to say it hasn't had it's difficult moments or long sleepless nights... In fact, he's asleep on my chest in his carrier while I'm responding to this question. The best motivator I've gotten, is asleep on me right now.
As far as staying balanced and motivated, or on top of work, the first thing that pops into mind, is lists. Lots and lots of lists. I love making lists. Lists of what projects are coming in, lists of what still needs to be completed, right on down to, adjust trapezoid 1px to the left, or remove single frame at 0:34 sec. Seriously though, I make lots of lists. Otherwise, it's easy when you're self-employed to get sidetracked or procrastinate. If I'm not hanging with my wife or son, the next best thing in my mind is to be creating. Everything I do in my job is creating. Even if it's creating a list. Part of the way I make sure that I stay on top of work is to force myself to work 8 hours/day and maintain a somewhat typical working schedule. The reality is, I'm usually working closer to 14-18 hours/day simply cause I'm a bit of a perfectionist, with an acute sense of detail. Other tricks for me include having great playlists and music to listen to while working on projects that don't require sound design, making sure to get in exercise (even if it's just walking the dog around the block), and remembering to balance work with play. Oh, and coffee... sweet sweet coffee.
DB: What's on your agenda this year for The Motion Bar and Artistic Arrow?
GS: I feel incredibly fortunate to have a lot of projects I'm currently working on and many more in the pipeline. Aside from the work that's coming in, The Motion Bar has started focusing more on producing inspirational and socially positive content. I want my son to grow up in the best world possible and it's always been my goal to take what I've learned with my sociology degree and combine it with the creative content I make to better the world and leave a positive impact. One example of this is a recent project we did for Stanford University about Global Education Reform, something that's always been important to both me and my wife. The video focused on private vs public models of education and sheds light on statistical revelations about both, through the use of storytelling and animation. Another passion project I've been working on is creating gif animations in the little free time I find myself having these days. I began with the sole purpose of having fun with it, while honing my craft and learning more. At first I was creating some abstract animations, compiling our wedding photos into animated sequences to bring them alive, and contributing to other great art projects like 9 Squares. Most recently, I've decided to use the gif animations as a call to action or to promote a positive and socially relevant message, like this animation created to help bring awareness to water conservation.
Artistic Arrow has been another passion project for my wife and I. Both art enthusiasts, we saw so many of our talented friends wanting to share their work, but not having the tech savvy ability or gumption to do so. We thought, why not create an online gallery that can host these artists' work, both giving them a portfolio and means to sell prints. Although a side project, it has since blossomed and we are in the throws of setting up the front of The Motion Bar studio as a boutique gallery with incredible works on the walls. Please check out our artists or setup an appointment to come by and see the work at www.artisticarrow.com!
To inquire about using The Motion Bar for your next event, media project, or to just learn more about their services, check out their website at www.themotionbar.com!