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

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.

far, far away from my heart

I’ve been feel­ing nos­tal­gic about Toronto ever since I drove down for ____’s wed­ding. The oth­er day I stepped out­side and the spring air brought me back to Camp Creative when I used to live there, between semes­ters in grade 5–7. At some point this year I hope to dri­ve home again and take pic­tures of those old schools where I spent the days mak­ing gimp bracelets1 and lip-sync­ing as Javert in Les Miserables.

Places are only as good as the peo­ple though, and I’m sure I miss Toronto for ____ and Darren as much as those old child­hood mem­o­ries, when life was so sim­ple that the fact that it was dis­gust­ing­ly hot nev­er entered my mind, even though I was out­side for most of the day.

Ullapool cafe

Scottish faces in Scottish places. This was lit­er­al­ly the size of half the cafe. Off-cam­era is Mike work­ing his mag­ic to con­vince these two baris­tas to let us film inside.

I miss Mike and rainy London nights too. I want to be part of a cre­ative team again, work­ing towards a com­mon vision, with some­one who can com­pli­ment my weak­ness­es with their strengths. It’s been too long since I had some­one to bounce ideas off of, some­one to give me hon­est crit­i­cism and inspire me to improve. Mike does all those things, and I’ve yet to find some­one like that here in Ottawa.

Stores in Chartres

Night shop­ping in down­town Chartres.

I miss France, and Misun and Frédéric, and how they could tru­ly appre­ci­ate who I am. I love the cul­ture in that coun­try, and the fact that you can buy a fresh baguette by walk­ing a minute from any­where. And I’m far from being fin­ished with Paris; there was so much I had left to explore, so many things I’d yet to do. I want to go back as the right per­son, not as a per­son try­ing to escape my thoughts and mem­o­ries.

Kowloon Walled City entrance

Gateway in Kowloon Walled City.

Hong Kong I miss most of all, and my fam­i­ly there. I want noth­ing more than to walk those streets with Uncle Joe or Uncle Eddie. Sometimes, I sit by my back door with the win­dow open and just lis­ten to cars pass­ing by in the dark­ness, pre­tend­ing it’s the din of those high­ways and the diesel of the trucks. Nothing ever comes close though, and it only leaves me feel­ing like all these places are so far away.

  1. Square, cir­cle, and but­ter­fly were my favourites. []