Forget the Wedding Video of Yesteryear

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Couples are coming up with more and more creative ways to document the happiest day of their lives, and one Ontario couple is getting international attention for theirs.

Judy and Derek Chan of Vaughan, Ontario didn’t want to take the conventional route with their wedding video. They wanted something more memorable – and fun.

“We wanted it to just really show who we are. We love having fun and we love being with each other so what other way than to lip-sync a music video to a song that we like,” Judy told Global National‘s Christina Stevens. “We wanted something that all our family and friends would watch over and over again, and really appreciate, because if you are going to spend the money, you might as well do something really (outstanding).” Derek added, “Something that makes you smile – not just a tearjerker.”

The Chans’ video – which has now garnered more than 744,000 viewers on YouTube (that you can view in full, below this article) – was shot and edited on their wedding day using a crew of four. And shooting something like this isn’t as easy as some might think.  Not surprisingly, the couple already had a jam-packed schedule on their big day.

“It was just ‘Where do we fit in 15 minutes here and here?’ And we squeezed it in and said ‘We’ve got to do this, it’s our main priority,’” Derek said. Judy also said they had designated time slots dedicated to shooting the video. “We actually made them sing the song through – probably almost 20 times in a day,” recalled Steve Vidal of Pelham, Ontario-based Stephen Franklin Photography/Cinema.

He said those appearing in the video, have to give it their all, like a true performer. “Like they really, really have to sell it… They have to go into it with the right frame of mind. If one (person) is on board, and one isn’t, it might not come across so good. And I’m sure we’ve all seen (those kinds of videos)… He has to make sure that he…looks like he is having the time of his life.”

Acting in a music video while preparing for your wedding can be difficult, as the couple realized that day. “Your emotions are everywhere. I mean, you are getting married and then you are filming a music video. I mean, you know, the two emotions don’t really go together,” Judy said. “You can’t just mouth the words. They said you have to be really in it.”

Then there was one more layer of difficulty. “We had to memorize the song,” Judy said, which Derek pointed out was the hardest part. “She remembered her parts easily, but rapping is kind of hard…to memorize the whole thing and stay on beat,” Derek said.

However, he had a solution.

“The night before, I’m still trying to memorize it. So what I ended up doing is making big bristol board cue cards, so me and my groomsmen were writing out the words the night before.”

Even the parents got in on the action, but appearing in the video was a bit of surprise to them. Derek recalled, “On the day of, Steve just said ‘Just do this and say this five times’ and they filmed them.”

As the shoot happened, Vidal’s team was hard at work, plugging away at the video.  ”We’ve got another person who’s in the car with the laptop and he starts editing right away… He’ll start kind of piecing it together, kind of lining it up with the song, gets it in sync with the singing, and as the day progresses, we keep working on all of that, and by the time we get to the reception, 70 to 80 per cent is probably done.”

The production can give as many jitters as the wedding itself.  ”It’s really exciting. It’s created a bit of anxiety. You want to do a really good job – the expectations are high,” Vidal said, pointing out the video had to be finished that evening so the bride and groom could show it to their guests as a surprise.

Of course, everyone’s hard work paid off.  ”We played it, and the whole room was laughing and roaring as soon as we started going. It was so much fun. It was amazing,” Derek said. “The night of the wedding, the place goes ballistic. Everyone is jumping up and down, screaming and yelling – it’s quite the payoff. The response is just incredible,” Vidal said.

Judy said it was all worth it.  ”I think it was the best decision in our whole wedding to do the video.” According to Vidal, more and more couples are asking for lip-sync music videos. “I think it’s been a little bit of a phenomenon on YouTube.”

“One day, we were looking at our page. All of a sudden, it ballooned 400,000 hits in one day, and we had no idea why and we are looking to see the source, and it’s all from Vietnam,” Derek said. The newlyweds think the draw has to do partly with the traditional aspects of their wedding, still knowing that people half-a-world away are watching the video.

The viral video has even spawned a loyal following for the couple. “It is weird… Derek has a fan club, Facebook pages…” Judy says. Some strangers are even asking the couple to sponsor them to come to Canada. Despite all the attention, the couple makes one thing clear. “Don’t ask us to sing. No, don’t ask us to sing!” Judy says laughing.


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