Posts in category "Video"

facing eternity, or the lack therof

Heather man­aged to snag a job at a great com­pany on the other side of town. She started her train­ing last month, and I couldn’t be more proud of her for mak­ing the cut after months of resumes and appli­ca­tions, hope and patience.

While it makes sense for her to start work­ing, I’ve been forced to deal with an unset­tling void in the house — like the deaf­en­ing silence of a black­out, when the elec­tronic hums and glows cease to pro­vide their per­pet­ual com­pany. We never spent more than an hour apart before this, when she might have stepped out to grab some gro­ceries or a pre­scrip­tion1; nearly two years where we couldn’t help but be closely in tune with each other’s needs and moods. Now, it feels like we barely have a chance to get our dailies with a bit of extra con­tent before it’s time for bed.

Cadem Forest in Plains of Ashford

I always travel with my menagerie of cats; this month with Zuzu, Cat of Darkness at my feet (in cel­e­bra­tion of Halloween) and Brill on my back (who’s actu­ally a tiger cub).

Losing so much of each other has been a dif­fi­cult adjust­ment. I wasn’t ready for this. It wasn’t a deci­sion I made. I’m not use to being so alone, or even tak­ing care of myself, for that mat­ter2. When she’s away, the void makes it painfully clear how much I sur­rounded myself with her. I can’t even write with­out men­tion­ing her, cause there’s rarely a deci­sion I make with­out con­sid­er­ing her first, whether it’s how we’re going to spend our time or what I’m going to say next.

It’s a dif­fi­cult reminder of many years spent with­out a part­ner or par­ent to rely on. I’ve been try­ing to reclaim my inde­pen­dence by pick­ing up small respon­si­bil­i­ties. Something as sim­ple as mak­ing my space more com­fort­able, whether it’s a thor­ough clean­ing or new light­ing arrange­ment, turns into a chance to suc­ceed and feel accom­plished. Even games become lit­tle projects, ways of exer­cis­ing my cre­ativ­ity or keep­ing myself sharp.

I knew Heather would even­tu­ally be work­ing, and I’d be alone. Now the day has come, and I’m con­stantly won­der­ing: who am I when I’m by myself? What do I do to fill the hours that she’s away?

At least it’s given me a chance to write again. The break hasn’t been entirely inten­tional. Part of it is the fact that writ­ing takes energy, and I rarely have any to spare when I’m try­ing so hard just to feel okay. Another part is the fact that I haven’t needed this in the same way since I met her. She’s become an impor­tant out­let, one who always makes her­self avail­able to me. There hasn’t been the same long­ing to write, cause I haven’t needed to vent, or sort out my thoughts, or feel validated.

Nevertheless, this period of empti­ness has become a chap­ter in itself. A change that will be a great deal of the rest of our lives. I’m stuck here, while the days stretch out before me with end­less pos­si­bil­ity. The hard part is finally stum­bling into the life I’ve always wanted, find­ing a part­ner who fills in my gaps in all the right ways, but not being ready for it all.

  1. Aside from a few days she spent vis­it­ing her fam­ily last year. It was the first sig­nif­i­cant amount of time we were away from each other since we met, and I had a panic attack before she was out of the city. []
  2. She still han­dles the meals, and has a sys­tem where most things are done in the slow cooker; all I need to do is pour the con­tents of a bag into the pot and turn it on at a cer­tain time, although, some days, even this can slip my mind. []

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”…