this summer has been incredibly busy, from vancouver, to miami, to sydney, to hawaii, to niagara falls (haha k this is only a 200km drive) shooting weddings, teaching workshops, shooting corporate promos + commercials and of course shooting more weddings.
things are taking longer then expected but b4 i launch my website + 2010 highlights; i want to quickly share with you the first ever myw multi day south asian wedding that i attended this past weekend.
while i've had the oppurtunity to shoot hindu and sikh indian weddings in the past this was the first time i've shot a 5 day (yes 5 day) Ismaili wedding; and i sure had a TON of learning to do. I was up with farzana + shameer @ their place (luckly they live 2 mins away from me!! hehe) till 5 am, after a 4 hour pre-wedding consultation to learn exactly all of the different rituals, ceremonies, scarves, certain drinks that have cultural/religious/mythological significance to them and their culture. needless to say my head pretty much exploded but i was pumpppppeed to make this happen.
and while its hard to not notice, farzana + shameer are obviously a stunning looking couple, but they are also super warm, down to earth, approachable, caring and just all around awesome!!! their bridal party, friends and family were supppper amazing as well.
i REALALLLLLLYY love you guys!!! thank you for having me document your wedding.
TECHNICAL + PRODUCTION TIDBITS for my industry friends and colleagues.
- being a multi-day event requiring many symmetrical ceremonies happening @ the same time, I contracted my internationally acclaimed wedding cinematographer/educator/best friend konrad czystowski to help me shoot the events that i couldnt personally shoot myself due to logistical limitations. one of the most important lessons l learned from internationally acclaimed ray roman while teaching @ his workshop in miami a month ago; was that he stressed how important it is to build solid relationships with great, honest and genuine ppl who can help us in our journey in this industry. in turn, konrad brings me to shoot a wedding with him in hawaii... WOOHOO!!!
now to give you an idea of how much work was involved in this weddng, here is a breakdown.
-WEDNESDAY henna ceremony - shot by myw + 1 5D mkii. the ceremony was 6 hours.
-THURSDAY henna ceremony for the bridesmaids + women from the grooms side of the family. this is the day where the siblings of both the bride and groom goto the mosque and fill up the guri with holy water and bring it back home for the bride and groom to bathe in it. various other ceremonies (egging of the groom, eating of butter chicken (heheh), more to be explained below) also occur on thursday as well. i would say this was another 7 hours or so. both Konrad and myself used one Canon 5D mkII to cover everything. konrad @ groom's house while I was at the brides.
-FRIDAY this was the day the bride and groom, as well as both their respective families get to finally meet and see eachother, this was @ a reception gathering. I shot this mostly myself with Konrad helping out for 3 hours. Total amount of time I would say I was shooting on and off was another 10 hours.
-SATURDAY this was the break day where no shooting was involved and I basically went through a good 30 hours of footage and edited + transcoded between multiple machines straight an entire day (and night). Konrad's pre sequenced and rough-cut timelines were a huge help in making this possible.
-SUNDAY I marched on the big wedding day on SUNDAY without a single second of sleep. Yes I almost cried in agony from editing during the middle of the night. Nevertheless, Konrad was at my house 7:45am, and the worlds busiest/most talented 16 year old boy wonder cinematographer Mark Klassen arrived too, and my trusty protege from scratch and Troy Turgano also helped with the editing duties all day. This wedding day ran from 8 am to about 1am, and had 2 sets of preps, 2 first meetings, 2 photosessions, 1 wedding ceremony and 1 wedding reception.
this piece was shot entirely with Canon 5DmkII's in 24p mode.
there is no doubt that the 5Dmkii currently provides the highest value/dollar HDSLR in event filmmaking industry today. it is better then the 7D due to it's full frame capabilities, cleaner low light and richer color reproduction. when i compare the 5d to the 1dmk4; I do notice that the 1dmk4 is better in low light, and the 1dmk4's crop factor is better in certain cases (removing mild vignetting in some lenses as well as removing the less sharp image characteristics @ the edges of an image); but for the price of a single 1dmk4, i can purchases 2 5dmkii's. it's a complete no brainer.
- as both konrad and I taught in sydney australia 2 weeks ago and did a zeiss vs. eos lens comparison, there are pros and cons with everything depending on usage, application and situation.
konrad's glass used:
-canon 50/1.2 L, canon 24/1.4 L II, canon 135/2 L
ZEISS VS CANON glass - sometimes when looking @ konrad's footage, I want to go back to canon and pick up the 50/1.2 and 24/1.4L II for its INCREDIBLE low light and beautiful image capabilities as a result of its aperture, but i am taken back by the zeiss' lack of CA, the beautiful more filmic look (to me), its INCREDIBLE sharpness; and of course its VALUE/dollar.
*edit* all colour correction was done via combination of fcp rgb balance, 2-way + 3-way colour correcter, newbluefx as well as trusty magic bullet. they are custom proflies that i have modifed and created over the years and have recently really tweaked them as now i have settings that are specific to zeiss + canon lenses. they work in tandem with the heavily modifed picture styles profiiles that i set based upon the lenses that i am using. (ie. for zeiss lenses, contrast is always turned to the lowset when shooting indoors, and slightly turned down when shooting in normal lighting).*
STABILIZATION tools were handled cinevate atlas 30, manfrotto monopod 561hdv (this is an INCREDIBLE tool) at the BEST price ($300), the 561 serves as a tripod, a fake slider, a fake crane, a fake car/boat mount etc etc etc. just use your imagination and the sky is the limit with this badboy.
STEADICAM; konrad performed the steadicam duties for this wedding since i ran steadicam for him all seasson and that fact that i was completely BEAT! he used his brand new Steadicam Pilot for all the shots and he pretty much killed and nailed every single shot on his first attempt. for those of you who follow me and my work, ive always stated that the Steadicam Pilot provides the best performance/dollar value for the money in the realm of the HDSLR film maker. it's 10 lb. weight limit will forever and ever be able to support small 'photo cameras' with over 99% of the lenses out there. it uses the same iso-elastic arm design as the 70k steadicams out there. Thank you to our friends @ Steadicam for the help with this one!
this was the same day edit without any sort of modifications and played exactly as it did the night of the wedding. i normally do not showcase same day edits (but will show ALL highlights) online, but am making the exception in this case as so many hours and seat went into this piece. i will have the reaction from the b+g, their bridal party as well as their love story up later this week as well.
thank you so much for watching, reading, emails, well wishes across the various forums and online community in these past months.
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2012 EDUCATIONAL SCHEDULE.
looking forward to meeting many of you in the near future as I will be speaking @:
infocus // charleston; south carolina USA // jan 2012
*thank you to my friends, colleagues + students alike for the wonderful reception given to me* infocusvideoevent.com
exposed down under // sydney; australia // early july 2012
myw returns to Australia for the first time in 2 years. exposeddownunder.com
mayad academy // boracay; philipines // late july 2012
myw is honoured to share the stage alongside some of Philippines top event/broadcast talent. mayadacademy.com/
FULL 2012 educational schedule will be continuously updated throughout the year.
to my industry colleagues who ever end up having an opportunity to document an Ismalli indian wedding, here is all the homework that i've done that can hopefully help you out.
TROUSEAU (sp?) - boxes are gifts containing different outfits for the bride to wear. each box took farzanas mother 10 hours to make; their were 52 of them in total.
MENDI/HENNA - is the application of the beautiful art that you see on skin of the bride. it signifies celebration; it is believed that the darker the henna is the more the groom is loved by the bride; hence farzana bathed with her arms and legs in garbage bags to prevent the henna from lightening.
GHARI - the pot that contains the holy water that the bride and groom are to be bathed in before the wedding. the siblings of the bride and groom acquire the holy water from the mosque, have to put the guri on top of their heads, not say a single word, go back to their parents and have a little bit of a friendly gift game b4 finally releasing the guri to thier parents. upon having recieived the holy water bath, the bride and groom must carry a lime with a pin in it if they are ever to leave the house before the wedding.
SHERBAT - ceremonial drink that is consumed pretty much all the time during the wedding celebration. it is basically stawberry milkshake so im going to have to embarrassingly admit that i had too many of these
SAPATIA - claypot filled with concoctions (lentils, silver) that is broken by the b+g upon the end of every ritual.
PITHI - tumeric with water + milk, this is applied to the b+g so that they will glow during the wedding. oil of olay was substituted :) for farzana and shammer's "friends" felt that eggs would make him glow better then tumeric/oil of olay =)
MILK CEREMONY - 7 married women put milk on brides head for blessing (i think they ran out of beautiful married women so beautiful engaged women were substituted in certain cases)
BATH CEREMONY - the water from the guri is baths the bride and groom; but they are not allowed to react to it in any way.
TROUSEAUs are given by the bride's parents to the bride to start her new life. Also, the women in the groom's family come bringing truseaux's for the bride and each member of the groom's family is blessed by the bride's mother and then given a gift
BANDANI - sacred scarf to protect bride and groom from evil
HENNA on the groom - groom is supposed to put the initials of his bride on his hand, but instead he put the initials of him and his bride instead. he also got a heart with an arrow through it as well which isnt customary :)