Cinema Week 2017: Meet Candis Press

Cinema Week 2017: Meet Candis Press

Hello, Candis, tell us a little bit about yourself and your company Press Film & Media. What was your road like to becoming a cinematographer?

Hi! My name is Candis Press and I'm a videographer located in Southern California. I've been a videographer for over 7 years and specialize in wedding film and social media marketing.

To be honest, I would have never thought I could be a business owner. I didn't do great in school, and really only applied myself to my art classes.  I started out in many careers, and somewhere along the way, videography found me and it is definitely my passion. Also, I'm married to a super rad guy and have a 4 year old little girl and both of them are the best support and inspiration a gal could have. 

What drives you to create films? How does cinematography fuel your passions and keep you inspired?

My love for video goes back to my grandfather. Growing up, he always had a camera to his face capturing our memories. After he passed away, those videos became irreplaceable. They became a way to hear his voice again and see ourselves through his eyes as we grew up. They are videos full of feeling and heart. I'm completely inspired by trying to bottle the feelings of our special moments in a film so that we don't lose them, and can look back and relive those times.  My clients entrust me to do that, and they all have a different story to tell.  It  is a true honor to be able to help them capture those.  

You video all different types of films, from wedding and engagements, to babies! How do you balance them all? Does your workflow differ from each kind of session/event? 

I love being able to offer a variety of films, because telling another person's story is inspiring, and the variation helps me to grow as a filmmaker. Balancing workflow, though, can be super difficult. Different genres of film usually have varying feels, which results in each needed specialised attention and different deadlines. I'm a true believer in the "one bite at a time method," so there are a lot of sticky notes and lists involved to help me with my workflow and keep on track. I also like to switch off back and forth between easy and hard tasks until the jobs are done. I will say that the smaller shoots have smaller edits, and those can be refreshing.  

Do you have a favorite video that you’ve produced? What makes it your favorite?

Dear Babies... from Press Films & Media on Vimeo.

My favorite film is probably my ‘Dear Baby’ film that I have started as a series.  When I became a mom, I became very aware of this mom paranoia so many of us have - the fear of having to leave your baby behind when they are very small, and them growing up not knowing you. I have personally seen the pain and heartbreak of terminal illness in young mother’s and the impact on their families. It is the inspiration behind this film series. A video letter to your babies. Something tangible they can see, hear and feel. 

I cried when I filmed it. I cried when I edited it. I cry when I watch it. 

And I cry at the thought of making one for my own daughter, which I haven't yet, because of all the crying. These films are a gift I hope I can give to more mothers, and especially those who suffer from illnesses who could take them too young and too soon to help cope with that fear and heartbreak.

What are your 5 tools you wouldn’t be caught without at an event/session?   

  • Comfy shoes.
  • Coffee, water + snacks.
  • An Emergency Bride Kit (which has everything from safety pins to bobby pins to spare rings).
  • Advil.
  • Spare phone battery. 
What’s your workflow like? Take us through your whole process from shooting the video to delivering the final product to your clients.

My workflow is a bit crazy most of the time. First and foremost, I am a mom. I try my hardest not to work when I should be spending time with my daughter. This means a lot of late night into early morning editing for me.

As for the whole process? It starts right when I'm done with a wedding. First things first: I come home, pour myself some wine, soak my aching feet, and rip all my cards. Then backup, backup, backup! You can never be too prepared.

I organize and cull a little bit right away and get my clients a short teaser of my favorite moment of their wedding or shoot.  It keeps them excited and happy that they have a teaser so quickly! 

This keeps me excited about the editing process, so I don't lose steam later and feel like I don't know where to start.  

After that initial rush, I take it in bites. I’ll go through and organize all of my footage into folders and sequences, picking music and syncing audio/multiple camera angles. Now for the fun part! Lining music up to crucial emotions, bringing in audio at the right points, and laying in the feels. Sometimes I get stuck.

It helps to take breaks. I try to remember this is an art, and with any art you can't really force it.

You can push through, but they are two different things. So I'll exercise, drink coffee or wine, listen to some music or watch a good movie to get re-inspired.

After the final sequence is all lined up and I have sufficiently watched it about 200 times to make sure it's great, I give it a color correction and audio comb over.  And then I render! Voila! You would think it would be more exciting, but it's a lot of me staring at my computer screen in my PJs while coffee cups and dishes pile around me.  Very unglamorous and not what you will see in my Instagram. But I love it.

p+s engagement from Press Films & Media on Vimeo.

What products do you use to help ensure your workflow goes smoothly?

Other than my hand calendar, because I'm super old school, I love the program PluralEyes for multiple camera angle and audio syncing.  And I also love Planoly which I use to help me with my social media marketing.  It saves me a lot of time!

What’s your biggest piece of advice for someone looking to start a cinematography business?


DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK! Ask for what help. Ask for tips. Ask for opportunities. The worst answer you can receive is no, and it's not the end of the world. But when you get a yes it is the best feeling ever and can open up so many opportunities for learning and experience. Also, on that same note, stay humble.  We all need to keep growing and learning and be nice to each other. I know they say nice guys finish last, but having a good reputation as someone who is humble and plays well with others will get you farther than you think. Because it's not really about the camera you have, or the gear you have, but what you do with that camera and gear and your relationships with other vendors and professionals that will carry you on your way. (That sounded so cheesy, but it's pretty true, so I'm going to lean into it.)  

Anything else to add? 

Don't forget to have fun! And be yourself! Always.


My name is Candis Press. I’m a quirky + fun videographer located in LA.  But if you are located outside of California you should know the only thing I love more than hanging with my family, is traveling with them to new destinations, and having all sorts of adventures. See more of my work on my website and check me out on Instagram!


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