Posts Categorized: weddings

The Wedding Film

Sarah and Rodney

Have you ever written something where you actually took longer to get yourself ready writing than the actual writing itself?   You twirl your pen, webcrastinate, get more coffee, or just stare blankly at the screen.  But the words don’t flow.

This is one of those instances.

Last May, I wrote about Rodney and Sarah’s wedding in San Antonio. I was re-reading it recently and realised how I failed to give proper context in words to the events surrounding the wedding.  Maybe it was a conscious desire to remain ambiguous. 

This time around, I cleared it with Sarah and asked if I could tell all.  She said yes.

Sarah was in remission during her wedding.   It was  a great and hopeful time for all.    The wedding was beautiful and things were looking up.   

I follow them closely on social media and liked their pictures no end while on holiday in the United Kingdom.

This is the part where Hollywood movies end.   The guy and girl get together and get married.  They live a beautiful life.   The credits roll, then the music plays and they live happily ever after.   But this isn’t Hollywood.  This isn’t even just a stupid wedding video where the petals flutter ever so slowly at the last shot.  All warm, fuzzy and happy.  It isn’t.  It’s real life.

A month ago I received an sms from Sarah asking me nicely if I could edit their final video “na masaya”.  Too many tears were shed in the wedding so she wanted to recall the event in a much lighter, happier tone. 

She also wished she’d still be around to watch it.  She was sick again and unsure if she’s be able to finish the treatments.

When you get messages like those.  Everything stops. 

She could have asked Rodney.  Or a friend, or her parents.  But instead she told me herself.  That’s something to me. 

We expedited the editing and delivered the videos in time.  But it’s really not the videos I want to go into,  it was the conversations we had throughout the entire process. 

First of all, if you have a friend who has a life threatening illness and you don’t.  You just don’t know what to say.  I feel stupid sometimes and awkward most of the time.

Words are sometimes empty.   I told her that it’s alright and no matter how brief our time here in this world, what’s important is that she’s touched so many people’s lives.   

She counters – “I don’t want to touch people’s lives, I just want to normal and healthy.”

And I am endeared to her even more with her spunk and fight.

I remain quiet for a minute in the convo.  And become honest in the exchange.  No sugar coating for the first time.

“Well, andyan na yan, ano pa magagawa natin?  Make the most out of it na lang.”

To which we agree on the quote – “We cannot change the cards we are dealt.  Just how we play the hand.”

Fuck Leukemia.

Marie France x I Can Serve

Save It All

My mother is a cancer survivor. So let me get that out of the way.

That was in the late nineties. She went through it strong and determined. She has the scars (literally and figuratively) to prove it. Two decades after that episode in her life and she still has the strength and chutzpah to call out her sons for not eating properly and on time, spoiling her grandkids rotten and making sure she gets to haggle the best por kilo prices at the wet market. Tough cookie she is.

So when I got the opportunity to do an advocacy film for Marie France in partnership with I Can Serve Foundation, I jumped at the chance.

This film is a message of hope and strength for all women battling the big C. Dawn Zulueta says it best – You are not alone.

A note on the song. It was already a week of deliberating which song to use for the piece when we chanced upon this Marie Hines original. I was giddy of course because I am a fan of her body of work. Please support her and go buy her music. It was awesome that the licenses were cleared in time and that we had no less than Ms. Lea Salonga re-record it. Stars aligning – there couldn’t be a more apt description.

So now you’ve watched the film. You were moved. You feel something. What next then?
Head on to I Can Serve Foundation and find out how you can help.

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Thank you to Marie France, all the gracious and giving ambassadors, Nikoy and Patty, our tough survivors on screen, Marie Hines for allowing us to use your beautiful song.

Wedding videos as history.

We wanted to convey a sense of importance to the memories we preserve as filmmakers, that after all is long and gone and perished, there are artifacts by which we can remember the past by.

These artifacts – Bluray Discs, Same Day Edits online – these are not designed to replace memories, they are designed to trigger them. How that one great glorious day looked like, sounded like, smelt like, felt like.

Weddings are ephemeral. That’s why we are here. We are keepers of personal his

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(Ømen & Kris Keyz Remix

Julie Anne San Jose – Tidal Wave

Julie Anne San Jose’s US-produced single “Tidal Wave” gets a rad remix from American music producers Ømen and Kris Keyz, and given an #ImAPreviewGirl swag in this fashion editorial turned music video. #PreviewxJulieAnne

VIDEO
Produced by Preview Magazine
Direction, Editing, Color Grading by Jason Magbanua
Director of Photography: Zach Sycip
VFX by Dennis Castillo
Camera Operators: Michael Jamandre and Joen Escultura
Project Manager: Tin Villanueva
Production Assistant: Patrick Magbanua
BTS coverage: Janna Lejano
Dance and Choreography by ADDLIB Dance Crew
Male Model: Carlo Gonzales
Shot on location at Chaos and Pangaea, City of Dreams Manila

STYLING
Julie Anne San Jose wearing Jerome Salaya Ang and Giuseppe Zanotti styled by Daryl Chang
ADDLIB Dance Crew and Carlo Gonzales styled by Andre Chang
Makeup by Omar Ermita for Shu Uemura
Hair by Mark Familara for Kiehl’s Stylist Series

Same Day Edit

Regina and Jason

I met Jason and Regina just a few days before their wedding. What immediately struck me was the black Star Trek shirt he was wearing, Spock, not Picard mind you. This guy was OG.

The talk about the wedding day quickly steered (with my excellent manoeuvring), to action figures (he bought a couple in Shoppesville), graphic novels (he teaches literature in Manhattan), monotheism and the inherent racism of Filipinos favoring white guys (which I hope he doesn’t get accustomed to).

The meeting was roughly 45 minutes but it gave me enough vision and direction on how to approach the wedding of two people who were madly in love with one another, where boring was not in their vocabulary, and who never took themselves too seriously.

When you use Europe’s Final Countdown as entrance song at the reception, you know it’s going to be special.

Love has won

Lyn and Lala

Last June 26th, The US Supreme Court voted in favor of a constitutional guarantee for equal rights of same-sex marriages.

“No longer may this liberty be denied,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in the historic decision. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”

It was a historic day in the US and I understand we are in the Philippines. (the last member country of the UN to not have divorce).

That kind of recognition may never see the light of day in our country but the ruling had such a profound impact on me as I realized I was filming a gay wedding that very day I was hearing the news from the US.

“Love has won.” That was the rally cry from the western hemisphere. And yes, in the end , we are all better people when love wins.

Same Day Edit

Sitti Navarro and Joey Ramirez

It had been raining the whole week in Baguio City and the wedding day was no exception. Dark clouds were looming since morning and it was no surprise that by afternoon, the rain wasn’t letting up. At times it was a downpour, but for the most part, it was a steady cold drizzle.

I was joking the whole time, the rest of the crew were waterproof, the cameras were not. But the white umbrellas would suffice.

The most magical thing to happen, like they do in the movies (yes I’m going meta here), was that the rain just stopped for a few precious minutes just to let Sitti walk down the aisle. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.

Presenting the Same Day Edit.

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A good story ALWAYS has conflict. But on a wedding day, you cannot manufacture that. You have to look around, listen and be receptive to what can constitute possible areas of conflict. In this case, it’s the weather and elements. I built the film around it, setting the stage, highlighting the “conflict” and then arriving at the solution/conclusion. It’s a wedding. It HAS to be feel good.

Know more about story structure and edits for weddings. Join my workshop on July 9 and 10 in Makati City. Email learn@jasonmagbanua.com. Limited seating.

The Deepest Sighs

Czarino and Mico

Czarina and Mico

The deepest sighs can be found on the wedding day. Sighs of happiness, relief, loss and love. Look out for them , that moment is pregnant with emotion and meaning.
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It is essential to learn how to listen while filming a wedding. It connects you to the subject. It brings you closer. You are able to connect seemingly random things and events to make something more meaningful.

“This is our moment…”
“Close your eyes…”

Learn to listen, what to look out for, and how to weave these elements in the story my upcoming workshop on June 9 and 10, 2015. Email learn@jasonmagbanua.com for details.

for the WAW Filmfest

The Most Beautiful Dress You Will Ever Wear

The Weddings At Work Filmfest was conceived in 2009 as an event to celebrate WaW as a community.  Two iterations later and it has gone on to pay tribute to wedding suppliers who have made a mark on the industry.  It is difficult for me to write further about this as I am one of two of those suppliers.  The topics are completely and unapologetically arbitrary.  But  are weighed and considered with much thought.

In the future, I  fervently hope that the filmfest evolve into greater scope and deeper substance.

Any chance a wedding videographer gets to screen his work on the big screen is a BIG deal.  It was to me.  These are the same silver screens and seats  they use to show The Theory of Everything and Mad Max (and umm yeah, even for Bride for Rent).  But regardless, the task to make a film  carries much weight.   I take it very seriously.

And I take the topic – Veluz – renowned Filipina wedding gown designer, very very seriously.

It was imperative for me to communicate the “experience” of  Veluz from the bride’s perspective, to ask the right questions, to understand the bond between the bride, the dressmaker and the dress.

I hope you gain that deeper understanding as well after watching the short film.

The leit motif is a naked fitting form.   The most beautiful dress you will ever wear is in Veluz’ mind.  She has created it for past brides and she will continue to imagine and make them for future ones.  That dress is a confluence of the bride’s dreams and aspirations and V’s vision, passion and craft.

You know every interviewer’s go to fail safe question? “Describe someone with one word?”  I couldn’t think of one word – I thought of thwo – Integrity.  Authenticity.  That’s what she is.  That’s what she does.

All along I thought I couldn’t respect or admire Veluz Puno-Reyes any more than I already do.  I was proven wrong after making this.

You may not be a bride.  You may not be part of our little industry.  But whatever you do, whoever you are,  you will gain so much if you watch all the films in the Veluz filmfest.