Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Naveen ♥ Jeevan ... SDE

Sports analogies can make sense anywhere. How is a wedding like a sport? There are rules to follow, but only because they are rules. Meanwhile you get to do basically whatever else you want, however you want. Indian weddings are loaded with traditions, rules and requirements. It's no wonder that the majority of couples need to be guided through the many parts of their wedding, until finally reaching the point where they can switch to more western garb and kick it at their reception.

Naveen and Jeevan stressed to me how non-traditional they hoped their wedding would be. Jeevan, who simply described himself as a "sports guy," wasn't too thrilled about having to wear a turban, and as you'll see chose not to grow a beard for the wedding. First time we've seen that. However, you can sense his excitement and nervousness as he gives the rundown of the day and calls the ceremony "game time." The cars revving and idling provided the perfect ambience for the moments before Jeevan leaves for the temple.

Naveen's prep was much more calm, and almost tense until her uncle had an emotional moment. He told Naveen about the first time he saw her, when she was small enough to hold in his hands. Both he and Naveen had to pause and collect themselves. It was a dark, overcast morning, but suddenly the sun and one narrow window aligned and I was able to capture a beautiful moment of Naveen with the light falling on her face.

There are a lot of shots in the video that I love, but I'll just write a bit about the slomo ring shot about 1/3 through. Chermaine and I positioned the rings on one of the tabla used during the ceremony. We created some movement with Jeevan's wedding band and recorded it at 60 frames per second. Over and over. We dropped it, spun it and rolled it again and again until capturing what you see here. When it falls, you hear the actual sound of the rings colliding, slowed down and pitch shifted by 250%. The rings jiggle like wrestlers on a canvas mat. Sports analogies always fit.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nicole ♥ Matt .. Next Day Edit

I feel like my life has changed gradually and I've become less European and more Canadian over the years. I was born here to Norwegian parents, and it took me a very long time to absorb the fact that I am not European but rather Canadian. My city is not Bergen but Vancouver. Finally, largely as a result of finding a home in the wedding industry; as a result of finding friends and inspiration in this wonderful work I try to do in videography, I feel like I've arrived and settled.

But then you meet someone who makes you look back to who you were; perhaps to what you've left behind and need to rediscover. Nicole and Matt are capital "E" European. They are at home and successful here in Canuckland, but they are on a different, older, and perhaps more profound wavelength. From Nicole I received a rarity: well-written e-mails full of clever turns of phrase. For their honeymoon, she and Matt went not to Cancun or Hawaii but to the Danube River.

At the wedding, the written word - that is, the hand-written word - was put on a pedestal. I imagine a few of the guests struggled a bit to actually write on the postcards and on the map after typing and tapping their way through so many correspondences.

Stepping into the Wedgewood Hotel in the morning was like entering a dimension I didn't know existed in Vancouver. It was slightly odd and yet comforting. Inside, the diction, the furs, and the makeup all felt classic and old world. In addition to creating the ur-garter, Nicole's mother took the dress-tightening role. When she asked Nicole how tight she'd like the dress to be, Nicole answered, "Like the 18th century." I had to stop filming.

Melia Sorenson and I took turns sharing some of the tighter spaces during the prep. As always, it was thrilling working with her. And really, it's just a good sign when a client has hired Melia to take their photos. Her work is so arty and striking... and yes, old world. Roaming around Stanley park with her and M&N was perfect with the weather and colours at their fall peak. Then came the excitment of scrambling to just the right location to take advantage of a last-second sunburst.

Another slice of a different time was Stanley Park Pavilion, Nicole and Matt's reception venue. It's a dark, woody space that resides in our gorgeous left-of-central park. I've never seen it glow and sparkle like it did with the stunning decor installed by Tanya and Kezia for this wedding. At the end of the night we experimented with light and shone every beam available at the mirror ball that hangs from the SPP ceiling. The result was a glowing light puncuated by 80's rotating sparkles. And in a baby city like Vancouver, sometimes the 80's is old world enough.