Archive for January, 2013

Cristina & Matt

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

I’ve created many concept films for wedding couples, but this time I was brought on to capture the wedding event for my beautiful cousin Cristina and her new hubby, Matt.

The wedding took place at Tilden Park in the hills of Berkeley, CA. I brought on Ryan Sarmiento of Blank Canvas Studio, for whom I’ve been a second shooter for many times for his clients, on board to help me capture the day.

One thing that caught me by surprise is the amount of effort it takes to capture a wedding day properly. It’s a non-stop rush from prep to the end of the reception! It reminded me of the 48 hour film projects I participated in, except there are no second takes. That’s the pressure that comes with filming an event, so we made sure we had our gear ready for it.

We shot with one camera each during the bride and groom prep, three cameras during the ceremony, and one camera each for the reception.

The amount of footage was overwhelming, but I charged forward with some modern approaches to wedding films. For example, the idea of time-shift editing a wedding is something fairly new to the industry. It’s the idea that you don’t have to present the day in the exact order that it happened; in fact, that would probably make for a more boring film because of it exactly what is expected. In all my years of shooting and editing, I was pleasantly surprised to find that telling the story of a wedding day can be very much like any narrative film. It made me appreciate the skill of editing an event even more because you have to create an engaging story in the edit room since there is no script; you are creating it as you piece it together.

Here is the result:

Congratulations, Cristina & Matt!

Photographer – Gem Photo
Caterer – Mirgalia Catering
DJ – Quantum Music Event Planners
Caricature Artist – Tucky Illustration
Florist – Katharina Stuart Floral Art and Design
Baker – Torino Baking

Alive Again TV Pilot

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

I was called upon by Mark Sheperd of Legacy Films to help piece together his current passion project: a TV pilot based on medical miracles. The title of the show is Alive Again.

Mark is aware that this type of show has been done before, but what he and his partner wanted to emphasize was the change in lifestyle that occurs with a NDE (Near-Death Experience). This made me more interested in the project because it wasn’t simply glorifying an experience, but getting into the heart of the person and how it has affected her life.

Adriana’s story is quite amazing and I knew I wanted to help Mark to tell her story. The challenge was to take the hours of interviews and re-enactment footage to create a compelling episode of the show with the potential to be picked up by a cable network. This was my first time working on a TV pilot and found that it was a challenge and learning experience.

Mark was aiming to create a structure of storytelling similar to that of ABC’s Final Witness. There was so much re-enactment footage, it was tough to narrow it down to an amount that made it strong enough to tell Adriana’s story.

The first run through was a chance to make a basic spine of the story. The second round of editing was when I really got my hands dirty and started to hack away at the fat of the story; a second here, a few seconds there, cut earlier here, combine interviews and re-enactment here. These were all the thoughts going through my head as I approached each act. When I watched it as a whole, it seemed like a much stronger and better-paced edit.

UPDATE (Jan 2014):

Mark finalized the edit with one of his partners and we met so he could show me the finished edit. I was totally blown away! With the fine-tuning of the story, finished sound design and visual effects, I was completely engaged with the show and nearly forgot that I had a hand in editing it. Adriana has a very wonderful experience that she shares with the world and drives us all to ask questions and think deeper about our own lives. Here is a preview:

Mark and Hoa are currently pushing to get this show green-lit and be able to tell more stories of near-death experiences. Follow their updates on Facebook.