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kids in philly


The founders of Society Hill Studios were on their own. Breaking ties amicably with their former employer -- a Philadelphia-based outfit producing a high volume of die-cut wedding videos -- Cristina Valdivieso, Jon Connor, and Amy Reese have moved on just fine. After introducing themselves to the crowd at Re:Frame Austin, Valdivieso and Connor, along with partner Amy Reese now seem to pop up everywhere with the industry's inner circle. After making the break official, the next item of business was acquiring a Canon 5D Mark II and learning absolutely everything about it. Going forward, Connor sees the company continuing to push for the long-overdue respect the industry deserves by competing with itself and seeking out new inspirations. Producing films they are proud of is Connor and Valdivieso's No. 1 priority on their agenda for now. They recently partnered up with good friend and photographer Jordan Hayman to launch Third Frame Media, a commercial film and photography company.

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									 studio                               time
                                                                 SOCIETY HILL STUDIOS

kids in philly

                                                                   From left: Amy Reese, Cristina Valdivieso, and Jon Connor of Philadelphia’s
         an we talk? Lately I’ve been feeling like we’re
                                                                   Society Hill Studios (photo by Gary Nevitt Jr.)
         growing apart; that we want different things.
           Plus, I met someone. At Re:Frame. His name
is Philip. Actually, I met several people. Kristen* and         continue her studies at Temple University). Cristina’s
Kristen Turick, to name a few.                                  photography program required a class in video production.
   They made me realize that I don’t have to fit some kind of   To her, a class in statistics would have been met with less
mold; that I can do amazing things with my camera.              resistance. “Looking back,” she says, “I’m not sure if I was
   It’s nothing personal, I promise. It’s not you, it’s me.     set in my ways or if the fact that my sister was fresh out of
                                                                NYU film school intimidated me.”
  And with that, the founders of Society Hill Studios were         For the course, she settled on producing a documentary
on their own. Breaking ties amicably with their former          about the Philadelphia comedy scene, of which Jon was a
employer—a Philadelphia-based outfit producing a high           part. Working on it together, Cristina and Jon discovered that
volume of die-cut wedding videos—Cristina Valdivieso, Jon       their thoughts on shot composition and editing were strikingly
Connor, and Amy Reese have moved on just fine.                  similar. After the documentary wrapped up, they didn’t
   After introducing themselves to the crowd at Re:Frame        want to stop. “I loved every minute of it,” Cristina says of
Austin, Cristina and Jon, along with partner Amy Reese          the experience. She became a quick video convert. “With
(who joined them later at In[Focus]) now seem to pop up         photography, all you have is your image. But being able to use
everywhere with the industry’s inner circle. But how did        motion and sound to tell a story inspired me, and still does.”
these Young Turks manage to crash this party, seemingly            Riding on that momentum, the duo went on to produce
overnight, and set themselves on the road to becoming one       freelance documentaries, event videos, and promos for local
of the go-to studios in Philadelphia for couples wanting a      artists and fighters, seeking always to experience new
high-end, artistic wedding film?                                genres of filmmaking.
                                                                   Luckily, Jon soon found a day job producing and editing
AVERSION THERAPY                                                video. Unfortunately, it was for the same template-driven
  It was a special shared aversion they had to wedding          company Cristina worked for, now in the additional
videos—a vow never to shoot them even—that helped bring         capacity as video shooter for the 150-plus wedding videos
Jon and Cristina together. A fresh-out-of-high-school           produced yearly there.
student at the Art Institute of Philadelphia in 1999, Jon’s        But it wasn’t all bad. They developed a strong friendship
pursuit of a digital filmmaking and video production degree     with the company’s veteran sales consultant who also has a
led him to produce his first wedding video, which he shot on    Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Amy Reese, who later would
S-VHS and edited on an A/B-roll system. His remuneration        prove to be a vital asset to their team.
for the video was roughly e
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