Unlike some past videos, I decided to throw out any habit of segmenting the video from parts of the day and instead focused my efforts on segmenting based on themes. The themes would range around: playful, charming and romantic. Ironically, some parts of the day started to segment organically.
Act 1 - The opening minute and half is all about being fun and playful. They both like to have fun; play games, do karaoke, she likes to dance, he likes to joke around. I felt like showcasing this element right off the bat, kind of like when a movie opens with a big action sequence or cold open. It’s a great way to hook the viewer in, especially with something light and entertaining before taking them to more emotional places. The edit builds up as it goes on, getting more energetic, peaking with the night time dancing at reception.
Act 2 - We take a step back to slow down the pace. This was about creating a sense charm and being down to earth. To smoothly transition away from the playful section I used a slightly playful element of camcorder footage that we had captured (plus some effects to feel vintage). There’s something about that unpolished, hand-held, home-video that results in candidness and nostalgia (personally I felt it pulled away the pageantry and brought me back to simpler times and hopefully that resonates with others as well). After looking at this “old footage”, we find ourselves going to the earlier parts of the day as everyone is getting ready, keeping some home-video vibes with some candid clips and mixing in raw audio.
Act 3 - Now for the more romantic phase. Up until this point we haven’t really seen a lot of intimate moments with Ez & Jeff. They clinked some wine glasses, shared a couple laughs, and the ceremony shots were shaky, distorted and from a distance. I really enjoy using motifs like this, because the payoffs are worth it. The first look provided one of the most intimate moments on the day on camera. I decided to keep this almost entirely raw, one take from one camera, only adding black & white. Why make it black & white? As you’ll see, the shot to follow will be of Ezgi walking down the same area for her ceremony entrance, and the visual similarities were taking away from the moments feeling separate from each other. I rarely use black & white unless it serves a purpose to the story. In this case I felt that it would separate the moment from all the others. Stripping the moment of colour focus and elevated the importance of what was happening and the emotion between them.
Now to send it home. First we build things up again (pacing, it’s always about pacing!). I don’t even want to show them kissing just yet (the first look had kissing, but not a clean two shot with both their faces and the cam-corder wasn’t smooth). I avoid any “hero shots” - it’s all tight, out focus or looking elsewhere. I waited until the final minute of the video to really show off moments between them and have some clear kissing shots.
That’s filmmaking. That’s the power of the art to me. Choices that are subtle enough that the audience won’t notice, but powerful enough that it can elicit an emotional reaction from a stranger. The privilege of practicing this craft is being able to produce it for your friends. & family. In this case I was the best man at the wedding and it definitely created a heck of a lot of pressure to produce something I felt was worthy of the title, but we have a great crew and I knew we could pull it off.