Stephen Cooper and Katy Hopkins can be found at any given event in Queens County, cameras in hands, carefully navigating the crowds to get the shots they need. Hopkins’ and Cooper’s company, The Picture House has been a part of some of the biggest events in Queens since it’s start in September 2011.
© Brittany W. Verge Photo
Katy Hopkins and Stephen Cooper in the production room of their country home.
Cooper and Hopkins moved to Queens from London, England in March 2010 seeking a quieter way of life. In London, both had led busy lives and often vacationed in Canada in the winter.
“Nova Scotia leapt out at us because we wouldn’t have to live in a city. We could see opportunities here to not have to do the city thing first and we could move straight to the country,” says Hopkins.
The couple originally rented a house in Labelle and soon found a house in the Wildcat area.
Cooper worked in the Soho area of London doing video post-production in several video companies. He did visual affects and editing for commercials, music videos and films. Some of the more notable names to acquire the services of these companies were Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Beyonce, Coldplay and U2.
Hopkins was in a completely different field before the couple immigrated here. She studied as a neuro-scientist and eventually worked for the government regulating medical implants.
The couple decided that owning their own business was the best way to go in their new home. Hopkins says she was an avid amateur videographer and working together just made sense.
Hopkins and Cooper broke the ice in the community by volunteering to do a couple promotional videos for Privateer Days. The couple made many connections and had lots of positive feedback from volunteering with the Privateer Days commission.
“People are so keen to see you progress and help you out in any way,” says Hopkins.
Since the couple started their company in 2011 they have worked with many local companies including the “Why Here?” project, which was started by the Lunenburg Queens Regional Development Agency.
The videos were made to show families and businesses some of the positives of living and working in the area. The videos featured several locals including Tanya Long of Veinot’s Print and Debbie and Kevin Page of Financial Pages.
Recently Hopkins and Cooper filmed 10 informative vignettes for the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve, highlighting some of the tourist and wildlife experiences.
Over the past year the couple has filmed some of the most talked about events in Queens including the rebuild of White Point Beach Lodge, Nova Scotia Music Week and more.
Their promo for Nova Scotia Music week featured 10 artists in 10 different locations all singing Hank Snow’s “I’m Coming Home.”
After meeting Cameron Dexter at the Peter Karrie show at the Astor Theatre, Hopkins and Cooper decided to team up with Dexter to create Analog Songs.
Dexter has had businesses in many fields but is currently working in audio production and production management. He often does work for festivals, bands and currently does all audio production for Analog Songs and all post audio production for The Picture House. For the past few years he has been involved with plays at the Astor Theatre, often acting and doing audio production as well.
Analog Songs creates intimate music videos usually done live and with sound recording equipment out of view of the camera.
“You get to capture an intimate side of an artist you would not normally get to see,” says Cooper.
Analog Songs releases a new video on YouTube every Monday. Artists such as Jennah Barry, Rose Cousins, Molly Thomason, Old Man Luedecke, Keith Mullins and Stewart Legere are just a small selection of the artists the company has worked with. Their last session, Stewart Legere’s video, even included a haunted outtake after the team set up their video in an abandoned house for their shoot.
In an outtake from Legere’s video the viewer can hear the faint whisper of a woman and then a door slams in Cooper’s face. That video along with all of Analog Song’s videos can be viewed on YouTube.
Most of Analog Song’s videos are filmed in places in Queens County such as The Trestle Trail and Hunts Point.
When not shooting, editing or networking, Cooper and Hopkins try to relax and take in as much nature as possible. The couple say they enjoy cabin living.
“We don’t get to swim in lakes and rivers in England. That’s still quite a novelty for me” says Hopkins.