By Emily Glory Peters
Ask any new parent and they’ll tell you how quickly the first year of their child’s life passes. Weeks of fragmented sleep stretch into months, studded with a million milestones—and while some loom larger in the mind than others (like your child’s first steps), capturing it all can feel impossible.
When Natalie and Nic Capelle became parents to their firstborn son Rocky, they had a unique counter-skill at their disposal: Nic was a filmmaker. With the birth of their daughter, more family footage was accumulated, edited and enjoyed—and Natalie had a revelation.
“We had been creating all of these beautiful mementos, and people were starting to notice,” says Natalie, co-founder with her husband of Cali Kid Capsules. “I understood how eager people are to share and brag about their kids, and we thought why not give others the chance to commemorate different stages of their children’s lives?”
In 2018, Cali Kid Capsules was born: a small production company specializing in filmic time capsules for families. The Capelles currently offer two packages: the classic “Time Capsule” (single in-home filming session) and the “Pregnancy to Newborn Capture” (two in-home filming sessions, one pre- and postnatal).
Both capsules include original music—Nic is a musician and Natalie a vocalist—recorded at the Capelles’ Rockton Road Studio in Altadena. For the most cinematic effect, all footage is shot in ultra high-definition 4K—and include a recorded voice-over of a personal letter from parent to child. But a conversation between parent and child is also possible.
“We do one every year with Rocky so we can remember. The first year was babbling, the next year a few words, then finally a full-on stream of consciousness-type conversation,” laughs Natalie. “There is nothing sweeter than hearing your little one’s voice. Having it caught on film is special at the time, but what’s really interesting is how you really get the fullness of your child’s growth further down the road. It’s a slow burn revealing how sacred that time is.”
As entrepreneurs with two young kids, Natalie and Nick appreciate the importance of making Cali Kid Capsules accessible to all parents. They’ll soon offer a discounted capsule where footage is shot at the Capelles’ in-home studio. Although not shot on-location, the Capelles still make sure the video takes the family’s style and personal vibe into account. “I hope it’ll give more people a chance to experience what we offer,” Natalie explains.
She also notes that, costs aside, there still may be parents who’d prefer to shoot themselves on their smartphone. “I totally get that,” she says. “But most of those videos hang out of your phone and are never crafted in an artistic way. We bring an eye to this; looking for the bits that encapsulate the essence of your child so you can just relax and soak in your children.”
It’s an approach Cali Kid Capsules summarizes with their own lyrical phrase: capturing the time that flies.
“The changes are so fast, so profound. It’s easy to forget how tiny your children were,” says Natalie. “The capsules give that time back to you.”
Cali Kid Capsules serves the San Gabriel Valley and Greater Los Angeles County. To learn more about their services, contact Natalie and Nic at www.calikidcapsules.com and follow along on Facebook and Instagram @calikidcapsules.