Monthly Archives: April 2011

Sarah and Michael — Wedding Day

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I’ve been bleed­ing for a big project, some­thing to really throw myself into. Luckily, wed­dings are as big as they come, and at 70.43 GB of footage taken, this wed­ding was the biggest by far.

It was also the first Italian wed­ding I’ve expe­ri­enced, and there was noth­ing more inter­est­ing than observ­ing the cus­toms. It’s a very phys­i­cal cul­ture, with lots of hug­ging, kiss­ing, and firm pats on shoul­ders. And some­how every­one is a nat­ural dancer. How did every­one know to hold hands in equally sized cir­cles and start mov­ing in the same direc­tion? How did every­one know when to stop hold­ing hands and start clap­ping1? How did you every­one known to step in to touch the groom and mother at the same time?

This is a per­fect exam­ple of how video takes over the lim­i­ta­tions of still pho­tog­ra­phy. A lot of cama­raderie and inti­macy and con­fi­dence only come out when motion is involved, because it’s all in how peo­ple move and inter­act. Trying to cap­ture a bride eat­ing cake out of her cleav­age just isn’t pos­si­ble with a sin­gle frame.

This was a very spe­cial project for me, and I put so much love into this film, from the camera-work to the edit­ing to the grad­ing to the music. Over three hours of footage was care­fully stripped away to cre­ate this five minute story. Every moment mat­ters, every frame counts.

Sarah and Mike are so happy with the final prod­uct that they’ve now decided to send a DVD of this video out to all the guests in lieu of thank-you cards. For a wed­ding of 450 peo­ple, this is no small con­sid­er­a­tion. When I first met them, I knew they were going to be a fan­tas­tic cou­ple to work with because they were super nice and made me feel very com­fort­able. They also gave me full cre­ative con­trol, which is always the most impor­tant thing for me as an artist.

Production notes beneath the cut

  1. It reminded me of this time I saw an opera in Budapest. When the cur­tain came down and the audi­ence started applaud­ing, every­one even­tu­ally clapped in uni­son and didn’t speed up. North Americans all clap in an amor­phous din, but over in Hungary it’s like they were all clap­ping to the tim­ing of a con­duc­tor. []

dry spell

I was spring clean­ing and found a box of con­doms due to expire this sum­mer. What’s the lifes­pan of con­doms kept out of the sun­light and in a cool place?

Five years.

Which pretty much means I haven’t been in a rela­tion­ship in as long, cause I’ve always shied away from any­thing purely phys­i­cal. Sex is very men­tal for me. Someone once told me she thought we were sex­u­ally com­pat­i­ble, but I never felt like we were par­tic­u­larly well-matched. We sim­ply loved each other on a very pro­found level, and that kind of inti­macy and con­nec­tion is what made the sex so good. Without that, it’s not even worth it.

Maybe it’s just my inter­ver­sion that’s lead­ing me to think that no sex is bet­ter than bad sex.

The last thing I did was hold hands with some­one after she jumped into bed with me, com­plain­ing she couldn’t sleep. She had these tiny hands, with slen­der fin­gers. It was nice. But I couldn’t bring myself to take it any fur­ther cause I couldn’t see myself with her.

Luckily, I can do dry spells. Easily. Considering I had a 15-year one until I lost my vir­gin­ity. Now I’m at an age where peo­ple want to intro­duce me to some­one, and some­times they’ll add, “…but she has a kid”, when try­ing to sell me on the idea.

god I hate myself for loving smoke and drink

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The weather has been lovely. It’s the per­fect tem­per­a­ture, though the humid­ity has given my ukulele a much more pro­nounced buzz on the C string. Spring offi­cially begins when I can take the mit­tens out of my car and drive with the win­dows down, my only con­cern being that my music isn’t too embar­rass­ing, and I don’t get a sud­den burst of I BE ON THE HOTLINE LIKE ERRRRDAY when stopped at a red light.

cat on windowsill


I’m still phys­i­cally recov­er­ing from last week­end. I got back to Darren’s late after work­ing a very intense 14 hours, and since it’s been so long since we last saw each other, that was just the begin­ning of the night. Then we woke up early to see Chris. On the way home, I had to pull over at a com­fort sta­tion to grab a few winks in my car, but I was too uncom­fort­ably exhausted to fall asleep, and ended up dri­ving home bug-eyed. I’m sure this is why my col­i­tis is act­ing up.

Probably not good that I’ve been liv­ing such a hedo­nis­tic lifestyle. I stay up far too late, drink too much caf­feine, and indulge in too many sweets close to bed­time. I can’t tell if I’ve stopped car­ing, or if I’ve stopped feel­ing guilty about it.

I’ve been going through long stretches with­out con­tact from the out­side world. It’s forced me to face my own iso­la­tion, yet I don’t feel lonely. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s cause I tend to get obsessed with my small hob­bies, and it dis­tracts me enough. I worry that I’ve become a lit­tle too com­pla­cent in this intro­ver­sion. It makes me won­der how long I can keep going down this path, and whether I even want to be on it or not.

Tiana + Molly (Glidetrack demo)

I pur­chased a half-metre Glidetrack Hybrid to get some slow dolly shots but with a much, much more portable sys­tem. Smooth hor­i­zon­tal cam­era move­ments can add a bit of depth to any footage, though the effect can’t be used too often.

So I’ve been prac­tic­ing with this new piece of equip­ment for the last month, look­ing for peo­ple to film, and luck­ily Tiana is always will­ing to vol­un­teer with one of her off­spring. You can see the Glidetrack shots at 12 sec­onds (the zoom in) and 48 sec­onds (the hor­i­zon­tal track).

It’s an extremely chal­leng­ing piece of equip­ment to use, cer­tainly not some­thing con­ducive to can­did shoot­ing. Things like expo­sure, focus, and com­po­si­tion change as you’re mov­ing the cam­era from one end of the rail to the other, and sin­gle mis­take in any one of those aspects will ruin a shot, so all those things gen­er­ally need to be care­fully planned. On top of that, sim­ply mov­ing the cam­era smoothly takes a lot of prac­tice, as there’s a cer­tain amount of fric­tion in the bear­ings, and you need to bal­ance that with the move­ment speed you’re look­ing for. At only half a metre (the short­est length you can pur­chase), the shots all tend to be slow and lin­ger­ing so you don’t run out of rail.

The per­cent­age of keep­ers isn’t great (I find it takes me about three takes to get it right), but when it works, the effect is very nice.