Crafting Unforgettable Wedding Films with KEJ Productions

Meeting as audio engineers in production management, Kaleb & Elaine Jiminez exchanged vows in 2012, and just 3 years later founded KEJ.

KEJ Productions

Acknowledged as Top Videographers in the World by Harpers Bazaar, husband-and-wife duo KEJ Productions has traversed the globe, capturing stunning weddings featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, People, and others. Read their interview below to learn more about their creative process, their essentials for crafting unforgettable films, and how Musicbed elevates their work.

Musicbed: What sparked your passion for filmmaking/storytelling?

Kaleb Jiminez: The base has always been music for us. Our passion for filmmaking and storytelling was sparked by a desire to blend our love for music and sound with the visual medium. It started out as a hobby, as many do. Then we found that through film, we could enhance emotional experiences and create moving stories.

Elaine Jiminez: Although it took a solid 12 years for me to do this full-time, I’m certain my passion for filmmaking and storytelling was ignited during my time at Berklee College of Music, where I discovered the powerful synergy between sound and visuals. It opened up a whole new avenue for creative expression that resonated with me deeply. It was a hobby for me for a solid decade then boom—someone asked us to film their wedding.

Our passion for filmmaking and storytelling was ignited by our background in the event and production industry. Meeting as audio engineers in production management, we discovered a shared love for film. In 2012, after tying the knot, we founded KEJ, driven by our desire to blend narrative, honesty, humanity, musicality, and emotional depth into our films.

KEJ Productions controlling drone

What keeps you motivated and creatively inspired?

Kaleb: I follow a lot of artists from all different backgrounds. Right now, I find inspiration in understanding there isn’t a defined way for creativity. Most of the time I just need to start “doing” and I’m inspired by just that.

Elaine: I draw inspiration from various art forms—photography, dance, big-screen cinema, documentaries, and of course, musicians. I think it’s important to stay well-versed in multiple art forms in order to keep your creative flow from being bogged down. Of course, the majority of our current work is in weddings, but most of our inspiration is drawn from places outside of the wedding industry.

This approach prevents my creative flow from becoming stagnant, ensuring a dynamic and diverse creative influence. Ultimately, the passion to deliver unique, memorable experiences for couples inspires our creativity. They are the muse. The deep emotions and personal journeys in each couple’s story drive our passion to create films that go beyond the usual. Our people are at the heart of our inspiration and the goal is to turn those special moments throughout their wedding weekend into timeless and meaningful films that truly reflect the essence of each client’s story.

What makes a story visually appealing? What role does music play in storytelling?

Elaine: Visual appeal is often tied to strong storytelling, where each element contributes to the narrative. Music in storytelling acts as an emotional guide, influencing the audience’s perception and engagement. It adds depth, enhances mood, and creates a more immersive experience.

The choice of music can evoke specific emotions too, whether it’s the thrill of anticipation, the warmth of love, or the importance of a poignant moment, particularly when it comes to wedding films. Carefully selected music enhances the impact of key scenes, leaving a lasting impression on the viewer.

What elements do you think are essential for crafting a compelling story?

Kaleb: Authenticity. It’s about creating a connection with the audience on both emotional and intellectual levels.

Elaine: Compelling stories need well-developed characters, a strong narrative arc, and a seamless integration of sound and visuals. These characters are not just players in a plot, but real individuals with depth, complexity, and relatable qualities. This emphasis on character development, even within a short wedding film, ensures that the story feels not only engaging but profoundly human. Sound design can be a subtle yet powerful tool to convey emotions, emphasize key moments, and immerse the audience in the story. The synergy between what is seen and heard contributes to an experience that resonates long after the film concludes.

How important is music in your work?

Elaine: Music is a cornerstone of our work. It not only complements the visual elements but also has the power to elevate the storytelling experience. The right music enhances mood, builds tension, and creates a lasting impression. It plays a central role in creating a cohesive and emotionally resonant storytelling experience. Selecting the right music is key to enhancing the overall impact of a project. The careful selection of music also contributes to the cohesiveness of the film. Our films are rarely linear so the music acts as a unifying thread, tying together visual elements and different times into a seamless and resonant whole.

What advice would you give other filmmakers/creators who are just starting their careers?

Kaleb: Stay curious and be open to learning. The film industry is constantly evolving, and being adaptable to new ideas is crucial. Also, build a network of fellow creatives; the power of collaboration is immense.

Elaine: I would add that building a diverse skill set and networking with other creatives can lead to unique opportunities. Embrace a mindset that constantly seeks new knowledge, techniques, and perspectives. Whether through mentorships, industry events, or online communities, creating connections within the creative sphere will open doors to unique opportunities.

How do you find the balance between pushing boundaries creatively and delivering what your client or audience wants to see?

Kaleb: Awareness. Striking a balance between creativity and meeting client expectations is an ongoing process of listening and understanding how the client wants to be heard and seen. We approach this by being aware of what a, in our case wedding event, feels, sounds, and looks like.

Elaine: Establish clear communication with clients from the start, understand their expectations, and involve them in the creative process. Find innovative ways to incorporate your creative ideas while ensuring that the final product aligns with the client’s vision.

Elaine of KEJ Productions hugging bride

What is the most challenging aspect of being a filmmaker/creative?

Are we doing our best work? We think we are. We have been blessed to have people bring us out on visually stunning events, but with every big event the fact remains, you don’t mess this up! That pressure is the most challenging part for us. But how do we cope with the inevitable truth that no one is perfect and technology can and will fail you? Redundancy and a network of people who we trust and want to see us (KEJ and the filmmaking community as a whole) win. We’re constantly navigating the fine line between creative expression and practical constraints.

What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on?

Each year brings its unique challenges and rewards so picking one piece of work wouldn’t be fair! We say all the time, “We have the best clients in the world.” This is an impossible question!

How do you search for music on Musicbed? What are some tips that you’d give other filmmakers to search on Musicbed? Why do you utilize Musicbed in your work?

We utilize Musicbed for its diverse and high-quality music catalog. When searching, we recommend starting by defining the mood and emotion you want to convey and then narrowing down the options based on genre, tempo, and instrumentation. It’s crucial to experiment with different tracks to find the perfect match for the visual narrative. Musicbed’s extensive library and licensing options make it the resource for our projects. The production quality is also a step above all other licensing platforms we have tried.

Explore a curated playlist of Kaleb and Elaine’s go-to songs for their wedding films—available to license only on Musicbed.