After hearing about us at a friend's wedding, I received a phone call from Ada about a year before her wedding. From our first conversation, I realized just how international her and her fiancé Jack's wedding would be: she is from Toronto, he's from Sydney, Australia, and their nuptials would be in Maui, Hawaii!
I met with Ada in Toronto only once before she told me she had decided to move her entire life to Sydney. From then on, our meetings were done all through Skype. It’s crazy to think did all the planning for shooting a destination wedding without even seeing each other in person (but maybe that's because I still remember the days where we didn’t really use the Internet to communicate :P)!
We were in Maui for a total of six days. With just two shooters (Gary and I) and Carol to assist, it seemed like a daunting task. We spent the first three days preparing for the wedding, shoot some B-rolls around town, and then shooting the actual day. The latter half of the trip was “no work, all play” and fun fun fun!
Destinations are not entirely new thing to us, but there are a few things that we learned from this trip:
- Always sand-proof all your equipment! We got sand in our equipment after our first day shooting at the beach. This led to an entire evening of cleaning and repairing equipment, and still, things were not performing optimally.
- Sometime a new environment is an inspiring place to be creative and produce some breakthrough work, but it also means taking at least double the time (we’re older and slower, okay?) to plan and execute certain shots we’re not used to doing. The time-lapse shots literally took us a handful of times until we really got the hang of it. We’re still learning!
- Expect things to not work as planned, be flexible, think quick, and make it work! Some times there are things that is just out of our control and we’re learning to not dwell on things that can’t change, move on, and enjoy the process. Having a positive attitude to everything actually helps a person shoot better. Nevertheless, be decisive, because live events don’t wait for people.
- Aerial Shots. In the video we used a GoPro Hero 3 (silver) DJ Phantom II. Gary (our operator/ 2nd lead cinematographer), doesn’t even use a monitor. He knows the approximate focal length and uses his grandmaster skills to do the rest. If you’re trying to match action with footage like a DSLR, I suggest upgrading GoPro Hero 3+ (black edition). It makes a big difference.
- Stabilization. I'm not talking about a Steadicam or monopod, but a post-processing plugin called Lock & Load by CoreMelt. Since our trusty slider was under-performing from the sand situation, we had to rely on post-work to fix this one. Lock & Load polished our quadcopter and slider shots without signs of artifact or jello effect, and out-performs any stock NLE’s steadyshot/smoothcam plugin I’ve ever used. I seriously recommend any live cinematographer to keep this plugin in their editing suite.
We had an incredibly memorable time celebrating Ada and Jack's intimate wedding with close friends and family – thank you for entrusting us with capturing your special day! Please enjoy the finished product!
The rest of our trip was just too much fun. It should really be for another post, but here are a few shots from our trip. Enjoy!
Photography: Maui Creative Photography | Day-before-Wedding B-roll Venue: Royal Hawaiian Surf Academy | Getting Ready Venue: The Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas | Wedding Venue: The Plantation House | Wedding Planner: Elaine Kerr (Director of Sales + Special Events, The Plantation House) | Officiant: Rev. Paul Tangonan | Polynesian Dancing: Manutea Nui E | DJ, Lighting, and LED Floors: KCK Entertainment