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.


  1. Can you please name the song that is played in the video - it's beautiful!

    1. It's "Easy" by Anoushka Shankar & Karsh Kale.

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