I met Nikki in 2015 in Brooklyn at an event for Munaluchi Bride, but it wasn't until months later that I actually reached out to her and hung out. We had a fantastic co-working date, and I cannot wait for the first time we work together. She is currently doing larger weddings, and I thought she would be fantastic to introduce to people who want elopement videography, too.
This is our interview.
What made you want to be a videographer?
Well, I LITERALLY never had an intention of going in to filmmaking of any sort! I was in college, because my parents said that's where I had to be, and really didn't know what I even wanted to major in. So freshman year I had such a diverse schedule of classes and had made up in my mind that whatever sparked my interest I would take a second class in that department and possibly declare it my major. Well, I took my first class in documentary filmmaking and was hooked! I immediately declared film/media studies my major and never looked back!
How did you come up with the name Mae B films?
"Mae B. Films" is a portmanteau or word blend of my great-grandmother's name. I was blessed enough to have my Great Grandmother in my life until about 4 years ago. Growing up I was with her and my grandmother every single day of my life. Like most African American families, grandparents play a HUGE part in your upbringing and my grandmother and great-grandmother were my caretakers when my parents worked. They lived within walking distance of me and so I was constantly around them even until I finally left for college, I literally saw them everyday! It was such a great experience growing up!
My great-grandmother was without a doubt the matriarch of our family, and when "Mae B. Films" was just a vision in my head, I had taken some time off to go back home (to Baltimore) to care for her as she was in her last days. Even still, her mind was as sharp as a tack and we had great conversations as she sat and crocheted. I told her one day that I wanted to start a wedding videography business and I wanted to name it after her. She was so encouraging, as always, and very honored! My great-grandma's name was EmMA JanE which blended into "Mae" The "B." stands for "Belle" whom was my Great-great-grandma aka Emma's mom. And I chose Belle because my great-grandmother would always tell me stories of how I reminded her of her own mother, Belle, because I shared Belle's LOVE of "the big city" aka New York. Belle actually lived a great portion of her life here in NY and my great-grandma always said I must've gotten my love of NY from her.
What do you want people to know about your work?
That I work really hard to make sure that viewers feel an emotional attachment to each of my couple's wedding story. I really invest a lot of time into sharpening my storytelling skills and am constantly looking for information, workshops, courses, on the art of storytelling. It's the same thing that hooked me in college with the documentary filmmaking. I love hearing and creating stories. I love the connection story creates for people regardless of age, race, gender, socio-economic background. We all can empathize through story.
Give me an example of a time you rocked out, and went above and beyond.
Recently, I had this adorable couple hire me about 2 weeks before their wedding. Why? They weren't going to have a videographer, they had their photographer and we happy but their parents kept telling them to add video as well. When I met them they were adorable, super fun, sweet, and easy to get along with, but still I could tell that photo was their main concern. Nonetheless I was super excited to shoot their wedding and capture their special story. I few weeks after the wedding I sent the couple their video highlight and it literally blew them away, lol. Here's the bride's review on a popular wedding site:
We decided to hire Nikki relatively last minute since we weren't planning on getting a videographer for a while. To be honest, I wasn't sure that it was worth the money at the time, but our family really wanted a video. Boy was I wrong! Ever since getting our 5 minute highlight video from Nikki I cry every time I watch it and I cannot stop! She captured the day so perfectly in a way that really is different from photography. Her ability to capture the emotion of the day is truly remarkable and is evident in all of her videos.
Here's their video: Colleen + Alex at Greenpoint Loft
A practical question: when should people hire their videographer?
I believe that photo and video go hand in hand, so couples should consider hiring their videographers right around the time they are hiring their photographer. If you really have your heart set on a specific wedding film company you should really look into hiring them at least 6-8 months in advance, some even sooner. You want to give yourself the best opportunity possible that they will be available to capture your special day!
What social media links should I send people to?
Instagram is my 1st love and you can find me @maebfilms
Snapchat is my 2nd fave and again I'm @maebfilms
Lastly Facebook, it's an oldie but goodie, and I'm also @maebfilms