Posts in category "Video"

Katie + Seth — Wedding Day

The Cuban sun burned espe­cially bright on the day Katie and Seth got mar­ried, but the wind kept every­one com­fort­able while unlim­ited drinks made sure sobri­ety was never an issue. There’s some­thing to be said about the exclu­siv­ity of des­ti­na­tion wed­dings, cause they leave lit­tle room for strangers or acquain­tances. Only the clos­est peo­ple will com­mit to plane tick­ets and accom­mo­da­tions. The cel­e­bra­tions are all the more inti­mate for it, and I’m always glad when I have a chance to be part of the that.

You never need to make a spe­cial effort to find the wildlife in Varadero; even on the resorts, birds will bravely snatch food at your feet, while stray cats toy with lizards and mice alike before eat­ing them. And being sur­rounded by other peo­ple on their own hol­i­days, whether they’re tan­ning on the beach or let­ting pretty girls cheat at limbo, brings a warmth to the atmos­phere that even the sun can’t provide.

Allison + Eric — Wedding Day

Allie and Eric had a pic­turesque wed­ding at South Pond, a quant lit­tle farm in Bethany Hills. Their day was filled with delight­ful details, like car­riage rides to the cer­e­mony, dove releases, and paper lanterns. It all made for a wed­ding film that never loses it’s momen­tum. Even though I’ve been work­ing with a com­poser to score my most recent films, I still take spe­cial requests from cou­ples who want me to use songs that have per­sonal mean­ing to them, and in this case it was Such Great Heights by The Postal Service.

I cut my teeth on fil­mog­ra­phy and dis­cov­ered my per­sonal style when spend­ing time on Eric and Mark’s farm in Bancroft. Back then, I had a cheap cam­corder1 but needed a sub­ject, they had the snow­board­ing skills but needed a doc­u­men­tar­ian. That’s how I gained cru­cial expe­ri­ence with edit­ing, com­pos­ing, and grad­ing, though it would be years before I got a real cam­era and finally under­stood aper­ture, shut­ter speed, and ISO as well. Filming Eric get­ting mar­ried was like com­ing around full-circle, where I could apply all the things I’ve learned through the years since those week­ends spent in the coun­try with his fam­ily and friends.

  1. A Hitachi DVD-RAM cam­corder, which only took ter­ri­bly com­pressed video in some pro­pri­etary for­mat. []

Heather + Dave — Wedding Day

Shot at a Jewish sleep-away camp at the side of the Ottawa River on a per­fect day.

This film is one of the high­lights of my 2012 wed­ding sea­son. I had to end it on a scene dur­ing the first look, when Dave’s face reveals how anx­ious he is to see Heather in her dress; those are the moments that speak for all the years in a rela­tion­ship. They’ve known each other since grade 7, along with most of the wed­ding party. You can eas­ily tell how close every­one is from the way they touch and dance and embrace.

I worked very closely with Adrian from Five Stripe Studios in scor­ing this film. The wooden build­ings and out­door set­ting made me think of sum­mer camp, so I wanted the first sec­tion to sound like an old tape you’d find in your dad’s glove com­part­ment as he’s dri­ving you there, the rib­bon warped from heat. Adrian did an amaz­ing job of cre­at­ing that mood, the care­ful melod­ica being a very nice touch. There were also impor­tant details I asked for, like the slide gui­tar going from note to note exactly when the focus zooms from a leaf to the sun1, which he inge­niously built into a repeat­ing theme.

Having com­plete con­trol over the music is great for per­fec­tion­ists like me, but the best thing about work­ing with such a tal­ented com­poser is being able to give each cou­ple a set of songs that have been cre­ated just for them, some­thing that makes each film par­tic­u­larly unique.

  1. At 1:45. []

looping: forever

crotch grab

I’ve been hav­ing a lot of fun mak­ing these lit­tle ani­mated gifs, each one a moment from a wed­ding I shot last sea­son. Not all my footage makes it into the final cut of a film; occa­sion­ally, some­thing has to be sac­ri­ficed for rea­sons of pac­ing or tim­ing or…appropriateness, and it seemed like such a pity that these clips would end up on the cut­ting room floor.

The tricky part is not mak­ing a gif too long, oth­er­wise it becomes a scene, and loses the rep­e­ti­tion that makes us believe the moment goes on forever.

Continue read­ing “loop­ing: forever”…

a heavier dose

I’ve been try­ing to stay vocal about my needs, lest I fall back into old life traps and defence mech­a­nisms. It means I’m still apply­ing lessons learned from last year, still try­ing to be open even if it means being vulnerable.

As far as I can tell, this has been work­ing in my favour. Otherwise, Seth wouldn’t be com­ing over on Saturday to teach me how to play the acoustic ver­sion of Sean Rowe’s Jonathan, one of those songs I’ve always wanted to learn before I die.

As a side-effect, it’s been a strug­gle to bal­ance my rela­tion­ship needs with over­stim­u­la­tion. The other night we smoked an apéri­tif in the car before spend­ing three hours gorg­ing our­selves on all-you-can-eat sushi, learn­ing that the small but sig­nif­i­cant priv­i­leges of our class come in plates of bite-sized fatty pro­tein made to order. Then we watched the entire first sea­son of Tim and Eric, Awesome Show! Great Job, and played Magic until 4:30 in the morning.

It left me burnt out and I must have lost two days, yet it still feels like I don’t have enough nights like that, shar­ing real moments with peo­ple who don’t per­pet­u­ally have some­where else to be or some­one else to see. I need more of those times in my every­day life, not just in the days marked on my calendar.