Monday, November 5, 2012

Sofia ♥ Robert ... Highlights

Holy Rosary is the largest and most imposing church in Vancouver. For videographers, it's a bit of a tricky one, due to the challenging light, huge size and filming restrictions. For anyone who enters it, the church has a story all its own. Father Dion did a wonderful job of telling that story during Sofia & Robert's ceremony.

And as the editing suggests, we don't think all those fancy accoutrements of weddings are distractions at all. There's a sense of arrival as we see Sofia appear on the screen, surrounded by her bridesmaids. Then there was a touching moment when she opened her gift from Rob. It's just wonderful to look at someone who is so happy.

And then Sofia slipped on a pristine pair of Louboutins. During the photoshoot as I was shooting the underside of the shoes, she jokingly asked if I could photoshop out the scuffs and marks. I guess a pair of shoes can only be new once, and then they become yours.

Jasmine ♥ Oliver ... Highlights

This was a sweet wedding from Harrison, BC. I did not know Hello Kitty love could be expressed in so many ways at a wedding. Jasmine and Oliver are such a sweet couple, and it was touching to see the warmth and care that their families and circle of friends have for them. Jasmine got a bit emotional as she went around to the tables, thanking each guest. I'm sure it was a bit of a goodbye in many cases.

All this followed an action packed morning, and a really gorgeous ceremony outdoors at the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel. It was one of those sunny but not hot days, so relaxing and peaceful.

And... FINALLY!! we had the chance to work with Chris+Lynn. I have admired their work for years and it was fantastic to finally rub elbows with them. They are totally great to work with and I can't wait to see what they did with Jasmine and Oliver during the photo shoot!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sundeep ♥ Ricky ... Ricky Only Marries Once

The morning of the wedding, we arrived to Sundeep's place a bit early, to find someone hosing down cars out front. Another man arrived with Tim Horton's, and we kept hearing the word "romo." Then we saw the letters ROMO chalked onto every available surface of three vehicles, and all over the road and driveway. Ricky's allies had struck. Their message: "Ricky only marries once." Sundeep: "That's so obvious, that doesn't even make sense." There was no need to strike back; she couldn't agree more.

Sundeep is a very straightforward person. She knows what she wants and expects. And I've found that even as the level of investment in wedding in Vancouver seems to grow, those getting married are keeping level heads. And I think that we as videographers have seen enough weddings and tried on enough styles that we can be very decisive and straightforward in our work, paring down to the essentials and shooting in a way that is appropriate for a given moment.

Two examples: shallow depth of field has been around for three years now. It's time to start using it in an expressive way, and only using it when it makes sense. In fact, with the more sensitive cameras we have now, we can afford to shoot at f/4 to f/5.6, which is actually a lot more "cinematic" than the crazy f/1.2 or even f/2.8. There are two shots I love in this video which work extremely well, at f/1.2. One is the water pouring shot 40 seconds in. The second is the clapping shot at 53 seconds. In both cases, the extremely shallow look helps the shot tell its story.

The second example is "set up" shots. It's very tempting to try to simply pose people exactly how you want, in the spot with perfect lighting, and then doing a shot. But it's so lifeless and fake. There are two alternatives to this. First, anticipate what's' going to happen, and plan what you will do. Plan where you will stand and what camera settings you will use. Use your environment rather than try to control it. Second, set up a shot based exactly on something that you found. The close up of "Sundeep's Mayian Songs" is completely set up. But it's based exactly on something that was already happening. I had time to get exactly what I wanted, but it's still authentic.

When I met with Sundeep and Ricky for the first time, Sundeep talked about her favourite video of ours: Alexandra and Adam's. She mentioned her favourite edit from that video, the dance edit at 5:55. She said, "Now that's editing!" There is an edit at 2:37 of Sundeep and Ricky's video I'm super proud of. It's definitely a jump cut, but not a jump cut. It's two different shots of the couple bowing, just before doing a Lavan. The guru turning a page of the Holy Book cuts to a pillar wiping across the image, and a static shot cuts to a moving one. I just love that moment.