There are all kinds of pressure in our profession. Pressure of capturing the once in a lifetime moment, pressure of time, pressure of finishing a SDE. But the high unspoken demand of delivering a SDE for one of the top dogs in the industry and his new wife must have been one of my highest pressure tasks this year :)
How do you prepare to wow a person who wows his couples each weekend?
Well, Mark and I chose to drive to Jersey by car. Nice eight hour drive was full of brainstorming and looking for a perfect song… And, like it often happens, the planning and concepts went out the window the night before the wedding. Close to midnight, we followed both Christina and Greg to their places, spying on their last preparations for the day. That changed everything...
I had at least 3 different songs ready for the SDE the night before. However halfway through the wedding day, few hours before we showed the SDE, I chose the song that I had been wanting to use for a long time. I had listened to it for a thousand times in my car and imagined different edits but never dared to edit a SDE to it, up till now… now was the moment.
Enjoy and leave comments ;)
Licensed by Songfreedom.com
"Waking Up" perfomed by One Republic, Courtesy of Intersope Records and Kobalt Music Publishing and Sony/ATV Music Publishing
We shot this piece with a crew of 3. Mark Klassen drove up with me and the third person was Greg’s teammate from Endless Wave Studios - Ryan Gordon.
Mark and I shot bride preps in the morning as Ryan shot groom preps. We then joined Ryan at Greg’s place for the gift exchange and quickly drove back to the bride’s house.
The ceremony was supposed to happen outdoors, but the high chances of rain forced us to stay indoors. That eliminated the concept of cutting between rehearsal and ceremony footage and using smart transitions between the two. We had everything ready on the timeline from the day before but we had to leave it out.
The reception was shot by Ryan and Mark except the introductions and 1st dance. I was in full editing mode, trying to tackle a 6min edit with voiceovers. Mark synced and prepared the vows for me to use in the SDE.
The shots of the limo driving were done by Mark with a monopod with me as a driver ☺
50 f1.2, 24 1.4 II, 135 f2, 70-200 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8 and 24-105 f4
During the first meeting, we put both iriver and wireless mic on Greg.
Each one of us cut his footage himself up till ceremony. After that, I focused on developing the story, as Mark cut all the footage from the ceremony and reception for me, whenever he had a moment to spare.
The hardest part of the whole process was the export. It took us longer that usually to do, as the SDE was displayed on a few large plasma TVs surrounding the dance floor for which we had to burn a DVD. Normally I export the SDE to AppleTV format which takes around 13 min for a 4min clip.
I must admit that I really like the complex story line in that piece.
The beginning of a clip was such a blessing for us. The bride was having a sleepover with the girls the night before the wedding. She wrote her vows, wrapped the gift and they all watched the movie “My best friend’s wedding”
That, right there was a perfect opening to the SDE. She starts a movie, a chick flick. A movie that girls usually watch all teary eyed, imaging their own big day, some day, one day ... tomorrow. Yes! That was the best part of it. They’re watching a wedding movie the night before Christina’s wedding. The transition to one of the most romantic and most awaited moments during the wedding - their first dance as husband and wife - felt so natural.
It's as if the dream became reality, you can say, as she plays the movie and the movie is about them.
The second motive was the gift ☺ I knew about that gift for weeks before the wedding. Christina told me long before. I knew how Greg wanted a 7d to add to his arsenal and he even mentioned it multiple times during the 2 days that we were there prior to the wedding. So I wanted to play around a little and take the viewer on a mini journey of curiosity, to let him find out about the gift a little later in the clip. I really enjoy seeing people watch it for the first time and being almost angry at first that it is not revealed what Greg got, only to find out 2 minutes later, that it was left out for a reason.
As the music slows down, I particularly like the moment of Christina tying the ribbon and it sliding down when the plates hit in the music, after which the music dips down. Right away, the VO comes up, very emotional to the couple. Greg’s father gives a great speech as we unfold the rehearsal dinner. Family is very important to the two of them and I wanted to showcase them all being together, having a great time with champagne and great food ☺
The transition to the first meeting isn’t random either. I lucked out with capturing the boy pointing at the beach. I wanted it to symbolize him pointing at the couple meeting. Even though they didn’t have their first meeting at the beach, it happened at the same shore. It flows together and it’s a nice visual transition.
The next part is nothing new and nothing extraordinary, yet very powerful. We transition to the house at night where Greg is writing his vows the day before the wedding. Then we start the VO of the vow. hearing the same words as shown on the screen.
We show Greg saying his vow at the ceremony and go back and forth, showing Greg writing his vows and reading them, sharing with his mom and cutting back to the vows.
The last shot may have many different meanings. I don’t want to spoil your imagination. What’s your take on it? What does that ending mean to you? ☺