Friday, June 22, 2012

Mandy ♥ Bryce ... Highlights

This was a day of high emotion. It's common that emotions come out at weddings, often to the surprise of the people who suddenly find tears running down their faces. So many components of your life come to a point on that day, and the prescence of family and friends just intensifies your feelings. It was a bit of a crazy morning, and just when things were coming together there was a wardrobe malfunction. This really spiked the emotions of the day and pushed the schedule back a bit. I think it was just perfect that Alicia Keats was there, truly an unflappable and level headed person, perfect for this type of situation.

Mandy and her family miss her father very much, and his name came up over and over in the speeches, and his abscence was felt in the honour dances, where Mandy danced with each of her brothers after Bryce had danced with his mother. I don't really believe that we ever lose anyone; they are always part of us, are always there for us.

On a more cheerful note, it was a perfect sunny day with gorgeous venues. It was our first time filming in the "real" part of the Law Courts, a really wonderful space that was perfect for a wedding that was in part designed around a Mad Men theme. The layout for both the ceremony and first dance was perfect, with guests seated comfortably around and being the perfect background for our video coverage.

And it wasn't only Mandy that got emotional this day; Bryce had a moment as well, that Mandy made sure we captured. Nothing like shedding a tear, only to have four cameras swoop down on you! But the shots from that moment are just perfect, including one very similar to a shot from Samien and Chris's wedding, with the groom popping into focus as he completes a hug, tear in eye.

Ariane ♥ Carny ... SDE

Some things are just universal. MAC cosmetics. Bick's Baby Dills. The Westin Bayshore…? And rain in Vancouver. And hey, why not pay tribute to all of them while paying tribute to your favourite person. That was all accomplished in this video. I was not sure what to think after first meeting Ariane and Carny, but then once I met them again on their wedding day, I felt I had a handle on their personalities. They are fun loving and goofing in an extremely "meta" way. It is a fascinating product of our culture that we have the luxury of poking fun at the very fabric of our existence; Ariance and Carny are expert at this, and it is a lot of fun!

Ariane works at the Bayshore, but wanted to keep the showings of the hotel's logo to a minimum in the video. Carny's wedding gift, however, was very welcome, though no one could open the jar until Carny stepped in later in the evening. So symbolic… or not? Awkward.

The rain was really not a problem for this wedding, and I'll just say it's nice to have a weatherproof 5D Mark III that simply cuts through the downpour. Rain is really expressive and atmospheric, and it just made sense to open the video with a POV shot from inside the limo. I've spent a lot of time watching water droplets like that, mind wandering. For this wedding, the rain just added intensity rather than dampening moods.

And it would take a lot to dampen Ariane and Carny. It's always fun to have such free-spirited people on the other side of the camera. The choreographed cake cut lift and then the robot dance were very charming… and very "Cariane." Yes they are an inseparable pair. Even the most meta people are looking for that one special person. Some things are just universal.

Shima ♥ Parham ... Highlights

No question about it, Shima and Parham's wedding was lavish and elaborate. Shima's dresses and accessories, Parham's absolutely perfect suit, the amazing sofreh put together by Atoosa Shahzad and the many gifts that followed the ceremony. The stunning Fairmont Pacific Rim filled with beautifully attired guests. And an amazing live band thrilling and energizing a sea of happy dancing people.

I think what is so unique about a Persian wedding is the continuous expressions of love by the bride and groom to one another, and by the guests to the happy couple. All the lavishness has a point.

Years ago I was among those who thought of the expense that went into a wedding as excessive and unnecessary. But it is not enough to love someone. Love on its own is mute and hidden, and has no power. Love needs to be shown and shared; to be given and received. A wedding is the perfect platform for this to happen.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Angela ♥ Patrick ... SDE

The word paradise originally meant a walled in area created for gardening or hunting. Some of us roam the earth looking to know or possess all, and others content themselves with building a little piece of happiness, and staying within the boundaries of that perfect life. I don't know which is better, but I'd say that most of the couples I meet are the latter.

I'm not a great collaborator, but for weddings like this, I am forced to admit that I could never do it alone. Chermaine had the job of doing basically everything. That's a lot. But never does she get stressed or overwhelmed. She makes it possible for me to do what I do. Amish joined us today and acted as driver, consultant, and pretty amazing steadicam op for the motorcycle portion. Aside from his trunk door hitting me on the head at least 5 times, it was the perfect collaboration. Finally, it was amazing to work with photographers Raymond and Jesse again! Check them out; their work is beautiful and they are so fun and exciting to work with.

Angela and Patrick approached me just over a year ago, with the idea of including motorcycle footage with their wedding video. It so happened that soon after, we filmed Mei & Danny's wedding, with bikes galore. Their SDE blew Patrick's mind, but I told him we wanted to do even better with his wedding.

Alongside the footage shot from Amish's car - either with a camera mounted with a suction cup, or me sitting in the trunk with a steadicam - we decided to do some filming from land, to really get a sense of the speed and power of the bikes. I incorporated the sound of the bikes, which adds so much to the sense of being there. We also did some slomo filming to add that epic feeling of the intro. I am really happy with how it turned out.

Forming the rest of the slow motion intro are shots of the flower girl jumping on a bed. You'll notice fruits and sprigs of leaves bouncing around. This is a Chinese fertility tradition, which you can read about here. Interesting stuff. And hey, once you've found the right person, it just makes sense to raise the four walls and create your own paradise together.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ivy ♥ Patrick ... Highlights

It's a paradox that sometimes it's the couples that I know the least can end up having the most inspiring weddings. For example Abby & Denis, who I first met on the day of their wedding. I think it's a combination of discovering brand new people which is always thrilling, and being presented with a blank piece of paper to put just about anything on. I did meet with Ivy and Patrick just before the wedding, but let's just say they were reticent!

It was also great to discover Cecil Green Park House, which we only briefly swooped down on for Dilshad & Tim's wedding ceremony in 2010. Spaces are inspiring, and the library adjoining the bridal room at this venue definitely got me thinking.

And I have to say I love these self-planned, selfmade weddings where everyone chips in. It's just charming. It was the ideal wedding to work on with Leslie and Mark of Sakura Photography. I'm always floored by the work they do, discovering gorgeous images in places I hadn't even looked. Can't wait to see what they came up with this time around.

It was awesome editing this one with Chermaine. Just like Lennon & McCartney!