8 Groundbreaking Moments of 2014

This list usually stands as our annual “Top 25 Live Events.” Although that feature is wildly popular amongst our private event clients, we felt like it was time to move away from that format.

Hurricane continues to evolve and the question always arises: What else does your company do?

This list is a true snapshot of who we are, what we do and where we are heading in 2015:

8. Vincent and Strato launch Hurricane Innovation LLC, offer social media consulting to small and mid-sized businesses.

Starting another business isn’t just about creating a website or coming up with a name. We needed clients. We needed a vision. So with the help of some of our existing web clients, Rutgers University and the addition of Journal Multimedia, Caesars Entertainment, and The Olde Mill Inn, we evolved into a social media and video consulting firm.

And we have our former General Manager, Julia Crimi, to thank for making sure that Hurricane Productions operated at full strength while we jumped into our new endeavor.

7. We get more social (and accessible) to our clients with #HurricaneSocial

hurricane social

Every company should do this: Let your employees be themselves … and share it on all forms of social media.

With the help of a company-wide hashtag, we implemented a way to aggregate all of this content from each popular social media platform and display it in real-time.

If you want a true snapshot of what we’re doing, where we’re going (as a company and individuals) please visit HurricaneProductions.com/social or just type #hurricanesocial into your favorite social media platform.

It looks great on Instagram.

6. A new generation of entertainers, creatives lead our Sweet 16 brand

Sweet 16s are still an important part of our business. It’s how we recruit young, creative people. It’s where we develop DJ and emcee talent. It’s where we train novice, up and coming video and photo professionals. It’s how this company supported itself at launch in 2003.

But 2014 marked a change in how we operated our Sweet 16s. Listen, Strato and Vincent are in their late twenties. Sure, they’re still ‘young.’ But Sweet 16ers don’t need or want 30 year olds entertaining their events. We passed the torch to a crew that includes Robert Padovano, Dan Toth, Bayshawn Wells, and Brandon Perera.

5. We helped transform a University library into a nightclub

Students joke about late nights at the library on social media as if they were spending the late and long nights ‘at the club.’ The moniker became so popular at Rutgers that “Club Alex” (referring to the Alexander Library) actually came to life.

Student Affairs director Carey Loch enlisted the help of our staff to help create this atmosphere for graduating seniors. Sure, it may seem like an easy task since we do stuff like this every weekend. But when’s the last time you saw a circulation desk turn into a bar? From consulting, lighting and video, Hurricane produced and entertained this unique event.

4. We ditch the DVD to create stunning wedding footage like this:

DVDs are dead. In fact, we no longer offer that format to clients. But we create stunning video features. Think Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime – Our clients can relive their wedding on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. With the use of a Smart TV, Chromecast or Apple TV, our clients can watch stream clips right on the big screen.

Speaking of video …

3. Michael Monday joins Hurricane staff to lead video in new direction

Hurricane is committed to producing more original content video. The only way to do that was to go out a hire someone who has made a career of it. Michael Monday is an Emmy-nominated video journalist, formerly of the Star-Ledger (Newark,NJ). His portfolio adds instant credibility to our video endeavors. He’s covered the biggest stories in New Jersey since 2009, using video to cover breaking news, sports and features while also producing several long-form documentary pieces.

Monday’s most recent Emmy Nomination came this past year in the category of Sports Interactivity for a seven-part documentary series, #TigerStyle, focused on the top wrestling team in the state of New Jersey. In 2010 he was part of the breaking news team shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of a wide-spread political corruption scandal. In 2009, his documentary short on immigration entitled “Remittance” was part of the Divided Families project that earned the Robert F. Kennedy Award for college journalism. Prior to the Star-Ledger, Michael was employed at Journal Register Company as its Regional Multimedia Coordinator, in charge of video integration and training. He is a 2008 graduate of The Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State University.

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See how this crafty bride designed her own wedding

Many brides and grooms fancy themselves crafty individuals. They scour Pinterest with a fine-tooth comb, looking for inspiration to make their wedding day something truly special. We believe bride Chrissy took her craftiness to the next level. She designed FOUR of her own custom GOBOS, all decorations including centerpieces, a huge custom facade for the DJ, bouquets, and even her own gown. That’s a serious undertaking considering Chrissy and husband Joe still had the whole rest of the wedding to plan.

To tie all her design elements together, Chrissy and Joe needed the right venue. Enter the Stone House at Stirling Ridge in Warren, NJ. The Stone House’s Grand Ballroom’s rustic yet contemporary architecture was the perfect compliment to the wedding’s fall floral theme, with more than enough space for the crafty bride and groom’s friends and family to celebrate.

With the venue and design elements taken care of, Chrissy and Joe knew their entertainment was in the right hands with Hurricane Productions.  Co-founders Strato Doumanis and Vincent Velasquez took the reins as DJ and MC respectively, with Chrissy and Joe joining in on the fun with some live drumming action. In addition to entertainment, Hurricane provided dynamic twin-totem lighting, accentuating uplighting to bring out Chrissy’s gorgeous self-designed GOBO fixtures, and Hurricane Pulse: an Instagram streaming feature that displays photos guests take using their special hashtag (#chrissyandjoe).

Chrissy and Joe took their wedding to the next level, creating an experience all their own.

 

Hurricane Productions provides entertainment for weddings and Sweet 16’s in New Jersey and the Tri-State Area. To learn more, visit HurricaneProductions.com or call 888-393-7066.

 

 

Indian-American Wedding at The Palace, Somerset Park

New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the country, which is why it’s so exciting to create life-long memories with multicultural weddings like Sapna & Tony’s. By combining the best parts of the couple’s heritage, guests from both sides of the family were included in the Indian-American fun.

Sapna and Tony opted to have two traditional ceremonies: a Hindu ceremony in the morning, and a Western ceremony in the evening. Both cultures came together in a spectacular reception that combined music, dancing, food, and east-meets-west hospitality. Hurricane Productions is proud to have brought these two worlds together in a celebration of love and culture.

The Palace at Somerset Park is the pinnacle of opulence, perfect for nearly any kind of gathering. Sapna and Tony opted to use the East House at The Palace for its 24-foot high ceilings, classical 17th century style ballroom, and Tuscan fountain centerpiece.  Combined with entertainment by Hurricane Productions, Sapna and Tony’s Indian-American wedding was a cultural celebration that created memories for years to come.

Hurricane Productions was present at all points of the wedding. Providing sound reinforcement for the Hindu ceremony in the morning and the Western ceremony at night, as well as DJ and MC services for the fun-filled reception. Hurricane co-founders and dynamic duo Vincent Velasquez and Strato Doumanis served as MC and DJ, respectively.  Bride Sapna knew Vincent from their time at Rutgers, a place that also prides itself on its diversity. Vincent and Strato were able to fuse eastern and western cultures by combining Top 40 pop music, Bollywood, and traditional Indian music to include everyone in the fun. Guests of all creeds and cultures were dancing together from start to finish.

To accentuate the opulence of their wedding and The Palace,  Sapna and Tony sprung for twin-totem dynamic lighting and custom ‘name-in-lights’ GOBO fixtures, creating a wedding experience all their own.

Hurricane Productions is proud to entertain any and all cultural Weddings, Sweet 16’s, Mitzvahs and more.  To have Hurricane Productions at your event, visit HurricaneProductions.com or call 888-393-7066.

 

 

Michael Monday joins Hurricane as Director of Visuals

Michael_Struening
Michael Monday takes the helm as Director of Visuals at Hurricane Productions. (Photo by Strato Doumanis)

At Hurricane Productions we understand the power of video when it comes to telling a story.

We are pleased to announce our company’s growth and continued expansion into the video storytelling space with the hire of a new Director of Visuals.

Michael Monday comes to Hurricane after five years as a video journalist for The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J. where he received two Emmy nominations and was part of the team shortlisted for The Pulitzer Prize.

“I’m excited to work with a diverse group of clientele,” Monday said, “And expand the type of video content I produce while still focusing on storytelling.”

Storytelling is Monday’s speciality. He’s covered the biggest stories in New Jersey since 2009, using video to cover breaking news, sports and features while also producing several long-form documentary pieces.

“Michael joining our team adds instant credibility to our video brand,” said Hurricane Productions CEO Vincent Velasquez.

Monday’s presence is already bolstering the company’s portfolio. Hurricane recently reached a video content agreement with Rutgers Athletics.

The Birthplace of College Football: #RFootball Legendary Moments presented by RUAA from Hurricane Productions on Vimeo.

Monday will head a talented visual staff that also creates content for private and corporate events.

More about Monday:
Monday’s most recent Emmy Nomination came this past year in the category of Sports Interactivity for a seven-part documentary series #TigerStyle focused on the top wrestling team in the state of New Jersey. In 2010 he was part of the breaking news team shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of a wide-spread political corruption scandal. In 2009, his documentary short on immigration entitled “Remittance” was part of the Divided Families project that earned the Robert F. Kennedy Award for college journalism. Prior to the Star-Ledger, Michael was employed at Journal Register Company as its Regional Multimedia Coordinator, in charge of video integration and training. He is a 2008 graduate of The Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State University.

About Hurricane Productions and Hurricane Innovation:
Hurricane Productions and Hurricane Innovation are integrated media organizations. As recognized leaders in social media and video, the companies own of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content to live and online audiences. DJ entertainment, multimedia and web solutions are Hurricane’s principal creative content and production activities. The companies are headquartered in Red Bank, NJ.

Hurricane Innovation
From left to right: Michael Monday, Vincent Velasquez, Julia Crimi and Strato Doumanis. (Photo by Hurricane Productions)

Glitz and Glamor at TR Hotel Hollywood Sweet 16

TR Hotel in Tom’s River, NJ is a convenient and full-service venue suited for any kind of formal event. From Weddings to Mitzvahs and Sweet 16’s, TR Hotel can handle the most special requests.  TR hotel offers a devotion to quality, cleanliness, and one-on-one care. The Coral Ballroom is a lavish and intimate space suited for smaller but equally impressive events. Along with entertainment and special features from Hurricane Productions, your next event will be one to remember for years to come.

Claudia and her family chose TR Hotel and the Coral Ballroom for their convenient location and seemingly endless amenities. They chose Hurricane Productions for their Sweet 16 expertise and penchant for fun.

For her star-studded TR Hotel Sweet 16, Claudia went all out with full-room uplighting, dynamic twin totem club lighting, personalized graphics displayed on HDTV screens, and impeccable entertainment from two of Hurricane Productions’ A-list talents. Not to mention a very special celebrity appearance from the King of Pop himself.

Leading Claudia’s friends and family in dance at her star-studded Sweet 16 was none other than our own superstar MC Robbie Padovano, with DJ extraordinaire Bayshawn ‘B-Nice’ Wells at his side, pumping out the jams.

Hurricane Productions provides entertainment for Sweet 16s and weddings in New Jersey and the Tri-State Area. To learn more, visit HurricaneProductions.com or call 888-393-7066.

Hurricane set to enhance fan experience at #RFootball games through video

Photo via @vinvelasquez on Instagram
Photo via @vinvelasquez on Instagram

When Rutgers fans enter High Point Solutions Stadium for Saturday’s opener versus Howard, they’ll be treated to new visual experiences throughout the game.

One of those enhancements is a same-day video edit produced by Hurricane Productions and Innovation.

The 60-second video feature will document the fanfare and pageantry of each #RFootball home game. From tailgates to pre-game traditions, each video will vary as the Big Ten atmosphere arrives ‘on the Banks.’

“Our video product is cutting edge and engaging,” said Hurricane Productions CEO Vincent Velasquez who is also a Rutgers College alumnus. “We’re excited to partner with Rutgers Athletics in this capacity.”

The video will be filmed during pre-game festivities and the first half of the game. It will be edited by half-time and displayed on the LED scoreboard in the second-half of each home game.

Hurricane is also slated to produce a “Legendary Moments” video segment sponsored by the Rutgers University Alumni Association. Those videos will be shown in the stadium and shared via social media. The “Legendary Moments” videos will compile archived video footage and graphics from landmark achievements in #RFootball history.

Hurricane and Rutgers University have a longstanding relationship.

The company provides media support, entertainment, production and event consultation services throughout the year to various University departments.

For more information about Hurricane’s work around campus, click here.

Photo via @the_real_strato on Instagram
Photo via @the_real_strato on Instagram

Storybook Wedding at The Manor in West Orange

This wedding was something right out of happy-ending fairy tale.
The Manor in West Orange has a long-standing reputation as an elite venue of pure elegance and indulgence, making it a stellar and in-demand venue for traditional and cultural weddings. Their stylish ballrooms and scenic outdoor wedding and party areas set the scene for an unforgettable event. With its dark wood upholstery and opulently styled chandeliers, the Imperial Room is the perfect place to hold a reception of nearly any size. Entertainment and intelligent lighting provided by Hurricane Productions completes the event, making for a truly memorable occasion.

Megan and John knew they had to have Hurricane entertain their wedding after a shining recommendation from a friend. The quality of production and attention to detail was the icing on top of their impeccable cake. Hurricane veterans and co-founders Vincent Velasquez and Strato Doumanis served as the entertainers. The duo’s wedding experience ensured that Megan and John’s big day would be just as they imagined it: perfect. To accentuate all of the wedding’s best moments, the couple opted for carefully crafted lighting, including twin totems and pinspotting, which contrasted The Manor’s dark wood aesthetic.

For that personal and social touch, Megan and John included Hurricane Pulse, an Instagram streaming service that beams pictures with their special hashtag (#meganandjohnbigday) straight to a screen at the front of the dance floor. Guests can then view the photos online after the wedding to enjoy for a lifetime.

To find out more information on Hurricane Productions’ wedding entertainment, photography and video services, visit the website or call 888.393.7066.

Gorgeous Country Wedding at The Manor House

Laura and Jack couldn’t have picked a better day or a better venue for their country wedding. We dare you to watch their recap video above and not get the warm fuzzies.

The Manor House at Commonwealth in Horsham, PA, offers a beautifully appointed quaint, yet spacious, 18th century fieldstone farmhouse wedding venue with 21st century amenities ideal for breathtaking wedding receptions and ceremonies. Overlooking the pristine gardens and rolling greens of Commonwealth National Golf Club, The Manor house is a truly aesthetic venue only a short drive away from the urban jungles of Philadelphia and New York. With entertainment and videography from Hurricane Productions, Laura and Jack enjoyed a perfect ceremony and reception that friends and family would remember for years to come.

Laura and Jack came to Hurricane Productions because they knew their country wedding had to be perfect. Jack’s brother and Hurricane videographer Austin King recommended Hurricane for their professionalism and attention to detail, because he too wanted the best for his brother and his fiance. With a carefully crafted music selection, Hurricane DJ Alvin ‘A-Smoove’ Gay kept guests dancing and celebrating all night. Hurricane co-founder Vincent Velasquez served as MC for the night. Veteran lighting tech Thomas Bishop created dynamic lighting scenes that highlighted all the emotional highs of the country wedding’s reception.

To find out more information on Hurricane Productions’ wedding entertainment, photography and video services, visit the website or call 888.393.7066.

Lively Tom’s River Country Club Sweet 16

Tom’s River Country Club is a perfect venue to hold your Sweet 16. With high ceilings, a wide open dance floor, and floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s a great place to hold any size event. Entertainment and visuals from Hurricane Productions makes your Tom’s River Country Club Sweet 16 an unforgettable experience.

Alexis and her family wanted her Tom’s River Country Club Sweet 16 to be lively yet classy, and with the help of Hurricane Productions’ entertainment and intelligent lighting, that’s precisely what happened. Hurricane DJ Alvin ‘A-Smoove’ Gay commanded the dance floor with carefully curated tunes that kept the party going all night while MC Robbie Padovano motivated guests with energetic dancing and crowd interaction.

In addition to entertainment, this Tom’s River Country Club Sweet 16 was decked out with intelligent lighting, a custom- made ‘name-in-lights’ GOBO, and dynamic uplighting. Plus Hurricane’s media team was there to capture all the best moments. Kara Battistoni‘s masterful photography, and Brandon Perera and Alena Crescenzo taking high-quality video made for moments that Alexis can look back on for years to come.

Alexis described her Sweet 16 as “so much better than I could ever imagine.” We like to consider that a job well done.

To find out more information on Hurricane Productions’ wedding entertainment, photography and video services, visit the website or call 888.393.7066.

Same-sex Rutgers Gardens Wedding Features first-class Photography

When you’re planning a wedding, everything needs to be right. The venue, the food, the guests, the dress, the bridal party, the gifts, the theme… the list goes on. At a time when every same-sex wedding is considered a victory for equality, the pressure to do everything right is even higher. Are you stressed out yet? Well don’t be. Your wedding will be perfect because you love your partner unconditionally. Everything else falls into place naturally, it’ll be something you’ll want to relive for the rest of your life! The best way to relive your perfect wedding is with top-notch photography provided by Hurricane Productions.

Amanda and Melissa are the happy couple you see in the pictures below. Hurricane photographers Mike Slagter and Nick Nittoli attended the couple’s beautiful July 4th wedding at picturesque Rutgers Gardens and captured all the best moments.

Rutgers Gardens is a prime location for any wedding: same-sex or traditional. Only a short distance from the hustle and bustle of Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus, the Rutgers Gardens is a series of mesmerizing gardens that host wedding ceremonies and receptions between March and October.  Amanda and Melissa chose Rutgers Gardens for their July 4th wedding to celebrate their freedom!

 

To find out more information on Hurricane Productions’ wedding entertainment, photography and video services, visit the website or call 888.393.7066.