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 sun, 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.
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.
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Anne and Haran had a Vietnamese-Pakistani wedding, which was a delightful blend of two cultures with their own traditions and costumes. Included in this day were three tea ceremonies, four dress changes for the bride, and one giant roasted pig.
When Haran first told me the funny story of how he asked Anne’s parents for permission to marry her, he was sure to include the detail that Anne’s father was ex-military. This fact made him very hard to read, and Haran didn’t know how he was taking the news until Anne’s mom started firmly rubbing his shoulders, and this iron-grip massage ultimately lead to him giving the approval. After hearing this, I thought it may be a challenge to capture emotion from Anne’s father, but now I know a daughter’s wedding can bring out the emotions in any man, and he wore many tender looks that day.
A special film for a special couple.
I was given the chance to film the wedding of Jenny and Dave on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Everything about the day was gorgeous, from the tropical weather to the burgeouning centrepieces to the torchlit reception. It all came together to create an atmosphere of sublime charm, and I had so much fun capturing it all.
I make each wedding film as accessible as possible, so anyone can get a sense of the day even if they weren’t there. But I also include certain things that would be understood by only the people involved. In this film it was shots such as an uncle doing an hilarious bump-and-grind on the dance floor, or the bride tearing up while writing her speech, or the father-in-law saying a few words while firmly holding the groom’s hand during the tea ceremony. Details such as the latter may not seem like much to an outsider, but family and friends at the wedding would understand how such a small physical display of affection can mean so much.
This was by far my most challenging wedding film to make, but it was well worth it. For a while, it became my reason for living, the one I wanted to be remembered for, and my goal was to deliver this film before I died. There’s a piece of my soul in it, so I can’t say how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity to create this for Dave and Jenny, and how I happy I am to know they deserve it.
(A big thank-you to wedding photographer Mike Adrian, who was a delight to work with, and taught me a thing or two about how to pack for destination weddings.)
Filmed another lovely wedding in the Fall. The ceremony was small and intimate with only a handful of people invited, taking place at the tiny lookout on Rockcliffe Parkway, while the reception was a great big party at the RA Centre. One of the most unique things about this wedding were the paper lanterns given to all the guests. By the end of night the sky was full of them, drifting away beautifully above us.
It was another chance to work with the wonderful Liz, who is always on the top of my list of photographers I recommend for weddings. Not only do her photos end up looking amazing, she always works with me when capturing all the important details, instead of against me, as I’ve noticed with some photograpehrs. Check out the photos in her sneak peak.
Also of note were the wedding favours, each box containing a pair of candy sushi. The maki was made by rolling a flat sheet of Rice Krispie squares over a filling of Gummy Worms, wrapped with Fruit Roll-Up. The nigiri had gummy sharks as the fish, also tied together with a strip of Fruit By The Foot. Small, bite-sized packs of cute and delicious.