Freudian Slips: Wedding Crashers Movie Making

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

October 17, 2010

Wedding Crashers Movie Making

I suppose you could call it the cycle of life. A proposition at a funeral turned into my earning business for a wedding. I contracted with a proud father to produce a movie short about his engaged to be married daughter. While the movie would be a priceless wedding gift, it would also be showcased for invited guests at the silver spoon reception.
The truck that pulled up in my driveway this past June speaks to the scale of this project that started from scratch. The father unloaded tote containers, cardboard boxes and shopping bags from his truck. The thought about his trust turning over precious memories overwhelmed my sense of responsibility. My library quickly filled with someone else’s possessions. Dismantled pictures literally taken from mantels, collages lowered from walls, thousands of loose and binded photographs, scrapbooks boasting report cards, newspaper clippings, artwork, writing samples…now all lined up next to my scanner for me to individually scan.
The shoeboxes of videotapes seemed the logical starting point. I had to become intimately familiar with the contents of each home movie on VHS tape. I had to overcome the awkward feeling that I was invading privacy. While our brains register a history stamp with people we know, watching a girl grow up before me who I never met played tricks on my mind. After remote viewing twenty-five years of a stranger's life, the VHS tapes had to be converted to DVD then uploaded to movie making software on my computer…where the real work began.
Other than interviewing the father in depth, the movie was a Rosetta Stone. The daughter did supply a preferred song list for the soundtrack but this project would be done without meeting the bride or the groom. I sat in a dark room taking notes on a clipboard trying to get a game plan of how to cover the life of a bride not at the exclusion of the groom. The challenge, the adventure, laid before me…Could my editing skills stream pictures and video together of lives who I had not met? Could I mold and tell a compelling visual story from this media?
I now know the answer to those questions but it took me four months of production work at my desktop computer to make a short called Big Days. At an upcoming wedding reception at The Mansions in Voorhees, NJ, my thirty-minute movie will premier on a big screen television. In retrospect, it was both a labor of love and a business deal. If I were ever to become a wedding crasher, this would be the event. I would bring plenty of tissues and business cards. I still get emotional when I watch it. The first movie I sold outright is a real tearjerker.



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