Kim and Greg were awesome!
Kim an d greg came up to our booth at the alaska wedding fair and wanted to talk to us about our wedding videos. They looked around and then eventually moved out of our booth and into another. Greg snuck back over a few minutes later to say that he really wanted to use us and especially wanted to look into doing a surprise video of the proposal. He continued to tell us all about his ideas.
The Day of:
An under cover proposal video needs to do, at a bar bones minimum, two things: capture the setting and the intimacy. This was achieved with the marriage of several techniques.
The Proposal absolutely had to happen in the moment. In wedding cinematography, this is code for “live” and as it is all going to happen in one huge moment, I felt I absolutely owed it to that magical moment to get the thing captured perfectly. I knew I wanted to be hand held and a far distance away. The best I can do from a distance is capture the bigger picture. I felt I needed a way to get in close and at the same time find a way to cover my bases while “reframing” (reframing is the act of zooming and moving between shots – not esthetically pleasing) Being in this business means i’m getting really good at planning ahead and having my bases covered. Fortunately, i had a great solution all ready for such a situation. I was given access through the Mat-Su Crew to a couple small HD Cameras. These cameras live in waterproof housings and can record in 60p like my ENG camera does. This shoot was my first production demo for these cameras as a professional solution. For the proposal, I placed one above and one to the right of the seat on which the proposal happened. Though I ran around sniping shot from outside the broad exterior of their personal bubble (the patio) I had cameras positions up close and nearly un-noticable. The cameras worked like a charm. One of the cameras didn’t record like I had planned but the second camera worked wonderfully and was a real success. It enabled me to capture the action in ways I had never done before. In a way, these little cameras proved to be able to let me be in multiple places at once.
Clear high-Quality Audio
I knew it was imparative that we find a way to gather good audio without her being able to see it. The final solution we had come up with was the use of a regular old wireless mic but made inconspicuous.
prior to meeting our last time, I packaged together a wireless mic for him to wear. He put this on under his jacket. I knew that if he could secretly get the mic on how I had showed him and keep it shut with the mic transmitter pack on all day, at the opportune moment, he could pop it open, get crystal clear audio and not blow the surprise while snowboarding.
Plan and Rehearsal
the week before, Greg and I traveled to Girdwood and actually walked through the proposal in preparation. I had a 4 page plan all typed up and ready for the day of. We followed these plans step by step in preparation for the day.
The Day of:
So, the day of, I stopped on my way down there to grab a timelapse off the side of the Seward HWY near McHugh Creek. Upon arrival at the resort in Girdwood, I sat in the parking lot to give Greg the microphone. He informed me that everything was going as planned but just 45 minutes late. That was ok as we had planned on them snowboarding/skiing for half the day before coming up to our location. Upon the delivery of the mic, I ran off to go do my bits. First, I stopped off at the bakery to get his sandwiches and fill a thurmas full of water for her tea. They were really awesome and gave us a cookie and some extra bits just to say thanks for coming up. I then made my way over to the resort and up the tram. The staff worked with me the whole way and made sure I was headed up smoothly. It was amazing how many people were willing to help us make this thing just happen perfectly. The conciers desk was absolutely helpful. the securty guards were notified upon my arrival and they were all in on the gig as well. The tram operators and the staff up at the top restaruant and kafe were all in on it too. I delivered the zune to the kafe staff for the music cue. set up my base of operations out next to the door on the portch. it was an amazing day out! the perfect day for this sort of thing. I got all set up and waited. While waiting for Greg’s mic to come into range, I grabbed a couple snap shots of some snowboard community stock. greg brought her up from below with the excuse that he wanted to take a look at the museum. When he told me that then and there, i was so happy that I told him the museum was there in the round house. I didn’t know that that little tour I gave him wold be anything more than useless. Ya never know. Anyhow, at this point, he was in wireless range and I had him loud and clear. I got in position and the rest is history.
after the proposal, they ate lunch and I cleaned up all the gear outside. we had an electric blanket, the cameras, the audio gear, extra powercords and much more… just in case. After packaging up the gear and leaving it with the bar tender, we all went for a trip down the mountain. At this point, as we had planned, I strapped my HDD on my belt and videotaped the ride down the mountain with the HPX-170. I was absolutely scared to death but at the bottom I was proud and shocked to have not dropped the camera. We then went ice skating at the small frozen pond / rink outside at the lodge. Had a great time. We also did some fun inter-connected shots out in the trees on the walking path surrounding the pond.
After Ice Skating, they went back up the mountain and I cleaned up all my professional gear. By the time they were ready for dinner, I was all ready to join them. We had a nice dinner up at 7 glaciers and I timelapsed the sunset from atop alyeska ski resort. absolutely awesome. What an amazing day for all of us.
I was so honored to be a part of capturing such an intomate and perfect day. Nothing could have been better than it was. It all came out just right!