Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy birthday, Brooke!

That's Kara, proud mommy Judy, birthday girl Brooke, proud papa James, me and Lissa

What a cutie pie—and we’re not talking about you, James!

James Brennan, director/producer of our web videos and Style Kit DVD, had his daughter Brooke’s first-year birthday party this past weekend. Of course Lissa, Kara and I were there to celebrate with them, along with our three little girls, who just like their moms never miss a party!

It was absolutely adorable—almost as adorable as Brooke’s smile. James is Irish and his wife, Judy, is Filipino, and for favors they had these cute Hershey’s candy bars that read, “Ingredients: 50% Irish, 50% Filipino."

Being a producer, James knows how to throw a shindig. There was a clown, a magician, a videographer and a photographer who took pictures of you and instantly put them up for you to take home. The room was decorated in a butterfly theme. Our girls loved the whole evening.

Since I’m such a stickler for detail, I appreciated Judy and James’ following the butterfly theme throughout. There were butterfly balloons, butterfly photo stands, the goodies for the kids were in butterfly bags, there were butterflies all over the table, and they had a video slideshow of Brooke’s first year, with butterflies fluttering through that too.

James’ attention to detail carries through in the way he works with me when we are shooting videos for our web clips—hope you are enjoying those!—and also in putting our entire DVD series together. He needs to keep on top of everything, from the cameraman to the gaffer or lighting person, to me and what I’m saying, what I’m doing, what I’m showing. He has to make sure the audience is going to get what I’m teaching. Especially in the beginning—I’d done a lot of public speaking, but once the red light on that camera goes on, boy, it’s a whole new world. James is the one who taught me about this world. His direction to be more myself, keeping me focused, asking leading questions that would help viewers understand my thought processes more clearly—all of that helped us turn out a better DVD.

James also has his own show on Oceanic Cable 16 called Little Grass Shack, where he is not only behind the scenes but also in front of the camera as the show’s host. I happen to think I do a better job of that, but he’s actually not bad. Love you, James!