Welcome to the cinema gallery, an ongoing portfolio of love stories and personal projects. Many more videos can be found on my blog, updated regularly!
Maja and Quinn are just cool. She’s a liver surgeon, he’s an artist, and they came together over a mutual love of surfing. They had first met on the beaches of Mexico and caught some waves, but their friendship didn’t blossom into anything more serious until Quinn moved to Vancouver a few years later; Maja’s home at the time. Their relationship was rekindled over a few messages on Facebook and—flash-forward another couple years—they’re about to be married, exchanging one last message to each other before walking down the aisle. A letter exchange is a great way to see into the minds of a couple. There’s this awesome, invisible connection that happens when you see Quinn composing his letter while Maja reads it aloud, later that day, across town. Together they’re both tender and sweet, but Maja and Quinn aren’t afraid to get a little silly, too!
Wasabi. Tobasco. Soy Sauce. Liquid Sweetener. These just might be the secret ingredients to a great marriage. If nothing else, they make for a good laugh at the expense of a groom and his loyal groomsmen, who have come bearing gifts of Lucky Money, seeking to pass the trials set down by his bride’s gatekeepers. This is the time-honoured tradition in Chinese weddings known as the door games (this wedding is Chinese/Korean, to be specific). For the uninitiated, in Chinese weddings, like the myths of old, the groom must pass certain tests in order to reach his princess locked away in the tower. In this case it entails drinking a whole lot of horrid condiments straight-up. Jimmy and Donna’s wedding at the insanely beautiful Graydon Hall Manor started with a bang, and kept that giddy energy all through to the end.
Hafsah+Puneet are hilarious together—it makes my job so easy when a couple is willing to open up this much. One of my favourite moments in the edit comes when Puneet is carrying Hafsah in his arms and he’s asked, “am I heavy?” The tone in his voice as he deftly navigates out of those turbulent waters get me every time.
Their Ottawa wedding started bright and early in the morning yet by 8am you might have confused it for 1am that night. A raucous party started down the road from the ceremony and slowly made it’s way in. After they were hitched, Hafsah and Puneet cruised around our nations capitol in style: a white Excalibur Convertible! I love the easy way they’re able to settle into conversation together. Hashtag Team Tiwari!
The weather is a main character in Mystique and Philip’s wedding highlight. Often, when a wedding is rained on, it all happens away or “off-screen”. The backup plan kept everyone far from it. But this couple faced it head-on, saying their vows under an umbrella while it poured down from above (their guests stayed comfy under the adjacent tent). It’s this kind of tenacity that has defined Mystique and Philip’s relationship. “It’s only fitting”, said Phil, when talking about all of the adversity they’ve had to overcome since they first started dating, and more recently, a personal loss. “Honestly, it was perfect. The sun wouldn’t have even been right.” They got a tiny respite from the weather to grab a few photos and some video outside the beautiful Berkeley Fieldhouse, their venue, and then the rains came back. The unexpected stuff is usually the most memorable!
One of my favourite moments from any wedding came during the ceremony… Philip’s brother-in-law was the officiant and he did an impeccable rendition of the Impressive Clergyman from The Princess Bride. I couldn’t find an elegant way to fit it into their highlight, so it’s presented here as a Bonus Scene.
JIMMY+DONNA // PORTRAIT FILM
It’s always fun to premiere a video in front of a big, invested, live audience. And that was the case at Jimmy and Donna’s Graydon Hall wedding in Toronto. They had spent a beautiful afternoon earlier in the summer hopping around the area, getting ice cream, roller-blading, and revisiting a park with special meaning to them. I love the spontaneity and energy we found at Kenneth Parkette, something that’s hard to plan for and nearly impossible to force. Heading to the location was a last minute addition to the plan—it wasn’t scouted, and we had no idea what we’d find there—but it evolved into one of the main threads of their story.
“I have loved you for 4,727 days” was written on the front of Ashley’s letter to Mike. I’ll save you the math: that’s almost thirteen years! To say that their wedding was something they had pictured for a long time is an understatement. Ashley and Mike met when they were just kids, and Mike’s family had moved in across the street.
This was a fun one to be involved with; Ashley is a wedding planner at Hacienda Sarria, and is someone I’ve worked along side with on many other weddings. Her hands are literally all over my last video, Lauren+Mitchell, which took place only two weeks prior. I’d see her every once in a while and we’d discuss her big day, their concepts and plans, the way the venue was going to be decorated, and more and more about their backstory. At some point, there was a clear pattern emerging… fairy tales, books, love stories. It’s a theme that definitely played out on the day… it was a magical wedding. Congrats, guys!
“Once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale”
MONA+VIPUL // SAME DAY EDIT
MONA+VIPUL // HIGHLIGHT EDIT
Julia and Andrew were married in a little church in Paris, Ontario, and their party was at the amazing Hacienda Sarria in Waterloo. The look in their eyes makes me feel all warm and fuzzy; it was an absolute joy to be a part of this perfect day. I usually lay down an edit in chronological order, but with this one, I couldn’t wait to cut together the wedding party entrances. So I jumped to the end and worked my way back… they really rocked the house!
LEAH+KEVIN // PORTRAIT FILM
Leah and Kevin spent a summer afternoon on a romantic trip through the past, riding bikes through Toronto’s Evergreen Brickworks and the trails beyond, finishing with a tiny picnic in the sun.
I love using the laid-back schedule of a Portrait Film to test out some different filming techniques (Look for some funky GoPro shots) and storytelling methods. The narrative structure was originally intended to be rather linear, but at some point during the edit it seemed perfect to start at the end and work back to the beginning, creating a sort of loop.
THE URBAN MONKS // HOOK IN MY MOUTH
I love this song! The Urban Monks are a band that I first saw in concert performing note-for-note Beatles albums with the KW Symphony. Being a bit of a Beatles fan I took note and was sure to catch as many shows as possible. A few months later it turns out they had been hired to play at a wedding I was shooting (kate+andrew). They saw some of the footage and said, “wow, that’s really cool,” and since I was already digging their music, the idea to work together on a project came naturally. This is my first attempt at a music video; watching all the innovative videos in the 90’s was one of the things that attracted me to film making in the beginning (See Weezer’s video for Say it Aint So, another “guys jamming in a living room” style music video that I love, and drew inspiration from). Producing this has been a fun detour from my normal work and a great excuse to experiment. By now I’ve heard this song approximately 3.6 million times and it only gets better with each listen.
The song is called “Hook in my Mouth” by the Urban Monks. Composed by Pete Oldridge. Produced by Pete Oldridge and Rob McFee. Engineered by Rob McFee and Nick Iden. urbanmonks.bandcamp.com/
Lead voacals: Pete Oldridge // Bass guitar: Dave Neigh // Keys: Ryan Kimmich // Drums: Jonny Sauder
Lauren and Mitchell live up in Iqaluit Nunavut, where they had met years ago. It wasn’t until they flew in to Ontario some months after booking with me that I actually got to meet them! It was something of a destination wedding for the couple and all of their guests; not one was from Waterloo, site of the beautiful Hacienda Sarria, but it seemed central enough! Lauren and Mitchell have a unique banter together that I wanted to capture… they themselves can’t agree on who talks more, which was a theme that kept coming up. I’m still undecided, but I believe Lauren gets the last word in the video :-)
Indian weddings are intense! No, seriously. Early mornings, multiple days, wardrobe changes, hundreds of guests. It’s a different animal, and I’m always excited to get the opportunity to capture it. That being said, I’m constantly amazed at how many similarities their are across all cultures and traditions. One of the cool things about shooting a lot of weddings is the unique perspective it allows. The celebration of love is a universal experience!
Bonus Video! Last year we shot a portrait film that was premiered at their reception: