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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Celebrating Lives Well Lived

I recently had the honor of creating a photo montage in celebration of an 80th birthday. I've had friends tell me that they see the family history work we do as being more valuable than the wedding movies. Now, I certainly see value in both, but I do agree that it is extremely important to gather the best images and stories of those we love and put them together in a comprehensive piece. Something to pass on, to those that would like to know their ancestors, but were too young to have known them personally.

I was also present at the party, to capture footage of the guest of honor enjoying his life with his close friends and family. Many of the guests asked me for my card. The interest in celebrating life with a montage was quite clear.

Our montages feel different than those created by others because we make sure that interviews are included... adding voice and character to the images moving across the screen. Here is the recent piece that showed last Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I began writing the following about three weeks ago, but have been so busy that I never completed the post:

It is aproxamately 24 hours after I posted Melanie and Jerry on Vimeo. I announced to Melanie and Jerry that their recap was finished. Twelve hours later, there have been 59 views. While I aspire to even higher first day numbers, I have to marvel at the exposure that we are granted in today's media era.

When I first began editing in the trade, it was not unusual to expect that only half to a full dozen friends or family would ever see your wedding masterpiece. VHS. SVHS if you were lucky.

Today, after scanning in a new photo montage project, I resumed work on the recap for Tiffany and Marlon. Little did I know that after having already put in a light day of data organization I was about to go the distance on a recap. What do I mean by go the distance? Cut the ceremony, photo session and reception portions of the recap (the pre-ceremony was already done). First I had to sort through the footage and chose from the huge number of beautiful shots (Tiffany is absolutely stunning. Take your breath away gorgeous), then mess with pacing, and I usually color correct along the way. Several revision passes are then made until I'm satisfied with the look and flow. Next, we export the clip to Compressor, select an internet friendly codec, and export from Compressor to one of your media files a Quicktime movie.

While the clip has been cooking in Compressor, I've been writing this article. Compressor informs me that the clip will be ready for upload to Vimeo in a half hour. The upload to Vimeo has increased in speed over the past month, so this will be a very speedy process.

(the following was written today)
The advances in technology have indeed increased our prospective viewership, but as you can see from the above, it also increases the workload. Wedding videographers did not concern themselves with color correction in the 90s (some still don't). Our wedding video Fore Fathers simply white balanced when they entered a room and hoped for the best. We still white balance when we enter a room, but Final Cut Pro has made color correction "easy". This ads an extra day to any edit.

Luckily for this particular wedding videographer there is one thing that hasn't changed much over the years: Passion. I still find myself hunched over the computer late at night trying to pull feeling and energy out of images. I find myself immersed in the world of a couple. I want to show them what they want to see.

So I was able to share the Vimeo post with Tiffany and Marlon on July 15th, and now I share it with you.

Melanie and Jerry at Full Moon in Big Indian, NY

At Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, New York, weddings are done in a unique fashion. It is a three day event, each day provides something new for the guests of the resort, but every day provides beautiful views and a sense of calm. On the first day of shooting I asked Henry Moon (owner and operator) if there was anything special he would like for me to capture to help promote Full Moon. He said, "well anything you did for us would be very different than what you would do for Melanie, so just focus on the personal shots you need for her."

Henry, what you just told me is probably the best plug for Full Moon one could ask for. Each wedding held on these grounds is a tailored, personal experience. It's about the personality of the couple.

The full length version of Melanie and Jerry's wedding will be very different than anything I've ever done as well. Melanie's prime concern was to capture EVERYBODY. She had family in from California, and Florida. And beyond that, she understood that our movies have the power to preserve the memories of these friends and family during a very happy time in their lives.

View the recap here:

I'll post it directly in this page later... but to be honest the quality is WAY better with the Vimeo upload.