Story Keywords for this Hawaii Island Wedding:
Rigid. Determined Universe. Growth. Held. Surrender.
Couple: Diana and Craig’s Hawaii Island Wedding
Ceremony Location: Kona, Hawai`i Island
Additional Location: South Shore of Maui
Wedding Planner: none
Photographer: Ann Ferguson
The Call – Hawaii Island Wedding
I got the call only minutes after I saw the initial email inquiry come through. Diana spoke: “We are having a Hawaii Island wedding and want to tell the greatest love story the world has ever seen.”
Gulp. No pressure. 🥴
She continued, “we saw your work and felt compelled to reach out and explore whether you are the right person to take on the task. Specifically the film about the Italian couple who got married on Maui moved us to tears. We don’t want the classic wedding film genre style that documents the day. We want to tell our story.”
Years ago, this request would have flustered me and forced me into a stammering avalanche of insecurity. I mean hello? “Greatest Love Story ever told???” But this line of conversation, this level of demand actually put me in a calm, happy place. I was curious to explore their story and organize the information in a way that would eventually deliver on their outlandish request.
Our conversation went on well over an hour as we compared their vision and desires for their Hawaii Island wedding. Each exchange ratcheted up the enthusiasm and passion. The possibilities to create something beautiful, something true to them and something far outside the wedding-film genre box was exciting.
Not a Hollywood Budget
It’s not every day you hear someone request that you create “the greatest love story the world has ever seen.” However, knowing that we weren’t talking about a 50 million dollar Hollywood production budget, but rather a budget just south of 10K, the request to aim for the stars ensured that we’d at least reach the edge of the solar system 🤣
Something in my words spoke to Diana and Craig. It was the sign they were looking for to move forward.
Preproduction of the Hawaii Island Wedding
Over the weeks and months ahead of their Hawaii Island wedding, we had a few casual phone conversation. They gave me some background and insight on who they are, what they desire and why, and what makes them uniquely themselves. After each chat or email, I organized the information into story structure and created some keywords that would instruct the creative decisions in production. We also created rough storyboards that gave us the ability to be more intentional.
My partner Chris and I arranged our trip to the Kona coast on Hawai`i Island where we spent the morning location scouting and connecting with Diana and Craig. Because we worked out the story structure well ahead of time, we were able to be more intentional in how and what we filmed. That’s why rather than just shooting indiscriminately and mindlessly, we were able to be very intentional with our compositions, exposures, and camera movements.
A few days after their Hawaii Island Wedding, Craig and Diana came to our home island, Maui, and we had a breakout film session. This would serve as the introduction to their story and the backbone of the film’s narrative. I took them on a beautiful hike beyond where most tourists dare go and we had such a fun time bringing the story to life, all the while experiencing something most will never have access to.
The filming wrapped before sunset and the two lovers invited us to some drinks and pupus (appetizers) to celebrate our time together. Two Islands, two people in love and two filmmakers having a ton of fun creating something special together. What a life.
Many couples want their cinematographer to come to their wedding and shoot their event as it unfolds with a fly-on-the-wall documentary approach (something we love as well and are most often hired for). Every so often though couples so outside the box, so audacious will ring us up and want a film that breaks rules and takes risks.
I love breaking rules, especially those that were meant to be broken.