Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Maggie ♥ Arthur ... SDE



Maggie we love you. It's weddings like this that make all the hard work and grinding worthwhile. What? Grinding? Hard work? Yup. Wedding videography is hard. Some of those in film production would scoff at what we do, but think of it this way: For up to 12 hours at a time, we have to turn randomness into art. We have to make millions of decisions. And we have to practically film and edit at the same time, and come up with a show-stopping 4 minutes of content that spellbinds an entire reception. Ok, maybe it's really just me that expects all that, but that's where we set the bar.

And the number one thing we can ever receive in return is a simple comment like: "I can't stop watching your videos." or, "Your videos make me cry." Go back a few blog posts and you'll see that that's "why we do what we do."

Soon after discovering Love Story Media, Maggie and her friends/future bridesmaids bought stocks in Kimberly-Clark. This allowed Maggie to pay for her wedding despite a heavy kleenex investment. Sorry Maggie, I'll sent over another pallet soon.

So for this video we had our work cut out. I chose the most emotional song in my "SDE collection" and headed over to Maggie's. It was a truly beautiful day with one of the most stunning ceremonies I've witnessed. Ok it was really hot too. Way too hot. My steadicam vest got all icky. Anyway.

Next on the agenda was a killer photo shoot with Ellen, mostly at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. I'm sure Maggie is enough of an LSM fan to pick out two shots I referenced from one of our vids from 2009.And finally a gorgeous reception at Kirin Richmond.

Sooo... what about the groomster? Arthur is Mr. Cool Cat. So chill and easy going. Unflappable. So maybe that's why the emotional centre of the day was where he almost lost it during the door games, when asked why he loves Maggie so much.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Linda ♥ Anthony ... SDE



Life is chaos, and happiness is embracing it for what it is. There was a lot of chaos to go around at this wedding, and most of it was really great.

Not so great were a vase being smashed on the walkway just before the ceremony and two other hiccups that caught Linda off guard. But she was very chill about it, finally saying "I guess what they say is true. Things don't always go exactly the way you want."

At the other end of the spectrum, Linda and Anthony come from two loud, rambunctious families, who basically took over during the morning and for a lot of the reception. The two hotel suites at Pinnacle at the Pier were crowded and noisy, full of hugging, hand shaking and excitedly chatting people.

There was a wrenching emotional moment during the tea ceremony when Linda's brother asked Anthony to take good care of her. Both brother and sister had to fight back tears.

The reception was more or less overrun by drinking and loud chatter. The speeches were almost drowned out and we had a very interesting showing of our same day edit. We chose to use Linda and Anthony's much preferred song, which led to many of the younger guests actually singing along and finally getting up and cheering before the video ended.

Craziness, but I could not wipe the smile off my face. Chaos is so fun.

Colleen ♥ David ... SDE



When I write these blog entries I'm trying to capture something about the couple and who they are. But for some reason it's impossible. Hopefully I say what I really want to say in the video. Colleen and David were wonderful to meet and great to have as clients and friends. There's something about bright, open, fun people that I really dig.

They were a joy to work with on the day; on "my side" with Colleen and her girls there was an awesome chick flick vibe with everyone hanging out and enjoying a nice hair and makeup sesh. My fave shot is the crane down on the two bridesmaids in a hair-doing-train if you know which shot I mean. Oh and Jayna Marie was there so I knew it would be a fun, chill morning.

Colleen was so chipper and Dave was... well, Dave. I hope his emphatic but warm nature comes across in the video. And he provided some very "unique" sound bites :) And the man loves his music!

I just have to give a huge shout out to Evan/Flowerz. I've admired his work for quite a while but this wedding really blew my mind. The decor was incredible, jaw dropping and perhaps best of all *perfectly* suited the Convention Centre. The callas looked amazing and the glass "thingies" were pure art.

The night ended with the SDE and then a Jewish wedding ceremony. Technically a Jewish wedding can only happen on a Sunday but David and Colleen decided that 9pm was close enough to being the next day and went for it. Their friends crowded around and I could tell how much it meant to them to see their best friends get married once more.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vivian & Chris ... Highlights




Vivian and Chris' lovely Brock House wedding!! For this video, we did not have to do a same day edit, so we spent the whole evening hanging out with Vivian and Chris, their guests, and Melody and Eric of Melody Davis Photography. It was really relaxing and fun! Of course we were filming and working but it's nice to enjoy a wedding as a semi-guest sometimes!

I was having a conversation recently and was asked, having seen so many couples and weddings, have I learned anything about what makes a couple so good together? What makes it work? First I said that you can never presume to know anything about someone else's life, unless you really know them. But then I said that basically some couples just have "it." They just click. When you see them together, you just know.

But let's get this out of the way: Chris describes himself as "boring." I have to admit I've never heard someone say that about themselves. "I'm the boring one." Vivian had said just before that Chris is "the creative one." Hmm. I think I can say that whatever the glue is that hold two people together, Vivian and Chris are covered in it. So sweet together. And a little silly too!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Preeti & Manpreet ... SDE




Preetinder and Manpreet met at a conference and carried on a long distance relationship right through to their wedding. Manpreet is a very tech-informed person and saw no issue with proposing to Preeti via skype. And of course frequently and happily took the short flight from Silicon Valley to Hollywood North to visit his beloved. Of the two, Manpreet is definitely the arty one. Definitely metro. So I can identify! He listened to the tabla performance with his eyes closed, drumming the rhythms on his knee as you'll see in a special shot in the video.

Preeti is always poised and always great to talk to, with that perfect mix of humor and seriousness. She transformed from an everyday gal to a princess for her wedding, but was only too happy to go back and really revel in the reception performances.

It helped that said performances were so fun and energetic. I don't really know this for sure but I think that being from the real Hollywood or thereabouts helps create some naturally talented performers. And that includes Manpreet himself, who got up and performed to a song written for a girl named Preeti.

The cutest moment happened somewhere on the road between the two doli locations after the ceremony. Preeti was absolutely wiped out and dozed off in the car. Manpreet waited a little while and then woke her up. I'm surprised his doesn't happen more often!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Arlene & Roman ... SDE



Chatting with Arlene and Roman before the wedding, I heard a lot about the filipino traditions that would be incorporated into the day. From a purely selfish videographer point of view, the more "content" that'll be available to us the happier we are. I turned to Roman and asked what Czech traditions they were planning on including. He said he'd have to think about it. I didn't find out what it would be until the night before.

Let me just stop and say that editing a SDE is pure craziness and yet great things happen. Having the moment where the plate shatters right at that pause in the music is perfection, but I can't take any credit for it at all. It just happened that way. Thanks One Republic!

Anyway, Arlene is nothing if not resourceful and used the sweeping up component of this Czech tradition to put Roman to work. She stood aside and watched and laughed as he swept up the shards of the plate. I had to laugh ... and get a shot.

One of my favourite aspects of wedding videography is rubbing elbows with other great vendors. And I do like to give them each their moment when it's appropriate. Of course CC got a lot of screen time with the sumptuous bouquets and perfect decor - that worked so well in Horizons Restaurant. But I couldn't resist the Elsa Corsi product placement right off the top. I set up the rings with the box and did a medium shot with a 50mm lens. Then repeated the shot with a 100mm macro lens. Cutting from the medium to the close-up makes it pretty unmistakeable: Elsa was here!

Arlene made a last-minute trip to Jeweliette at Seymour and Georgia, and they specially opened the store so she could make her selection. I think it made her day.

I could go on and on. I'll just mention something that I keep doing in these videos: a reference to that private moment when the dress goes on. Doors closing and opening seem to have some kind of special meaning.

Reilley & Branden ... SDE



She came down the aisle... and was so beautiful that... he fainted.

From a wedding filled with words to a wedding filled with music. I first met Reilley along with her parents and younger sister. It was impressed upon me right away that music would be an important component of the wedding. There would be several performances and Reilley herself would be playing violin during the ceremony. During the ceremony! Little did we know at the time the degree of concentration that would require.

Reilley is a person of strong conviction. She told me that immediately when she saw Erin's work she knew she had to hire her. The same applied to our videos; there was just no other option. As a hesitant, indecisive person I really admire someone who can just lock in on a decision and stick to it.

The day was modeled on the Royal Wedding earlier this year, with seemingly a doo-wop influence on the groomsmen's shoes. The tiara and Branden's tux were impossible to miss. Unfortunately it was such a muggy day and the church was a little underventilated, so one of those two items became a problem. The road of marriage is tough, and sometime the road to marriage can be rough. Doors were opened, buttons were loosened and Reilley took center stage and did not look back.

After a fun refreshing photo shoot with Erin we headed to Swan-e-set and were treated to an amazing non-music performance by Reilley, Branden and the bridal party, then some pretty stunning musical ones shortly after. We incorporated musical instruments throughout the video, and as a huge fan of classical music there is something special about a beautiful instrument. Also as a fan of structure it felt right to begin and end with a piano. The "88" encompassing all.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Michelle & Aaron ... SDE



I love epic weddings, and I love sweet weddings. This wedding had both. The video begins with a reading from the ceremony, and when we played the video it totally threw off Aaron, who thought he was getting a totally different type of video than the uber sweet one we produced. This guy's voice is movie-trailer epic. It just had to go into the video. I found a short instrumental piece to create the background, and segued from that to David Choi's over the top sweet track when the reading segues from the "nevers" to the "always."

And the video segues into pure sweetville! Michelle has kept a journal and made the page with her August 1st 2011 entry available to us. Her gift to Aaron was a storybook version of their life together, fully illustrated and hard bound. They found big gold letters spelling "I DO" which we were happy to use in the video. Especially after Michelle arranged them so they didn't read, "DO I?" Great job Michelle ha ha.

Looking back, it was a day filled with words. The reading, the journal, the I DO, the overseas phone calls, Michelle's dad providing colour commentary while I filmed, and the JUST MARRIED foam letters on the car. Note to future grooms: if you drive an Audi you may need to pick up some industrial strength adhesive. Eventually it read JU T MARRIE. Cedric and I rocked out getting crazy driving shots along Arbutus and Burrard Bridge.

Need more sweetness? The first photo location was the bridge walkway at Waterfront Station, where Aaron first asked Michelle out. It was a crazy photo shoot with the amazing HN Wedding. Edison creates this incredible energy that has crowds forming and cheering. Seriously. This photo shoot was so epic I actually considered changing the song for the SDE. We first worked with HN Wedding two years ago and love every opportunity to shoot alongside them.

What else can I mention? My favourite shot is the behind the altar shot as everyone stands at the ceremony. So epic! But sweet too ;)

Amanda & Dino ... SDE



Two reasons why I love filming weddings are the built-in emotion of the day and the creative freedom I have as a videographer. I've often thought of doing promotional or "corporate" videography, but honestly I don't want someone in a suit telling me what to do. Someone in a bridal gown however… Let's face it - Amanda likes being in control. She sent me numerous very long e-mails in the weeks and months leading up to the wedding. I like to read e-mails on my blackberry, but when an e-mail doesn't fit in the screen I leave it for later. I left all Amanda's e-mails for later.

But don't get me wrong, I love input! Input = inspiration. Especially since on the day of her wedding, Amanda was super sweet and totally open to and enthusiastic about my ideas. She even let me get the funky dress-over-the-head shot I've never ever gotten before. Amanda was just so cheery and in love with being a bride. Strutting around coal harbour and thrusting her bouquet high into the air. Cute.

This was a day that began with iPad skyping from Italy and a lot of somethings blue. Even the candied almonds were robin's egg blue. Tasted good too. And during the photo shoot, there was something cylindrical. Cedric and I needed to refuel so we hit up a hot dog vendor, and he immediately offered free dogs to the bride and groom. He then told us we "had" to do a shot of Amanda and Dino munching the same hot dog. This led to a lot of comments from the bridal party, some romantic, some not.

Dino? Great guy. Super awesome. I loved his speech; great to see a guy who's willing to be open about his emotions. Makes me feel like I'm not alone!! And like Amanda his energy and exuberance throughout the day was phenomenal for the video. I got several shots of him skipping along, and he just went ahead and made "the jump" off of the burrard bridge pedestal without being asked OR begged by the photographers.

Speaking of, Jasalyn and Jason you rock!!! Can't wait until the next one.