Who Am I?
I think I've always wanted to be a filmmaker.
Even when I told people I wanted to be a lawyer, or a teacher, or at one time even an accountant, I think I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker. I just didn't know how to make it happen.
When I first got serious about photography, I bought myself a serious camera. I took a lot of photographs, went through a lot of film. The results weren't very good but I felt more at home in the darkroom than I did in the classroom. I like to think I improved with time. I learned aperture, shutter speed, exposure. I practiced composition, burning and dodging. I switched from film to digital. I discovered I liked working with children and animals the best. I realised I didn't like being stuck in an office at all.
I tried to become a wedding photographer once; I moved to Hong Kong to learn how to be a professional photographer and lucked into a job as a wedding photographer's assistant. I learned how to pose a subject, how to light a subject and how to fold a bounceboard without knocking myself out (and eventually, other people). I moved equipment, moved furniture, moved people. I can fan out the train of a wedding gown in one elegant swoosh and spot a crooked boutonnière from thirty feet. I can spell 'boutonnière'. I started with high hopes for my new photography career and ended up... well, taking a bit of a left turn.
Professional wedding videography came as a bit of a shock to me at first. Before migrating to the East, I didn't know it could exist as anything other than the home-movie type: shaky camera shots, a trigger-happy finger on the zoom button, and hours of footage set to music plucked straight out of 'Top 20 Cheesy Love Songs'.
After migrating to Hong Kong, it felt like I had stumbled upon a giant conspiracy. Sure, there must have been a few wedding videographers in the West, but no one really thought about hiring one alongside your wedding photographer. Think of the budget! But in the East, hiring a professional videographer for your wedding day was practically the norm. And wedding videos could be cool! They could be stylish and fun, sweet and romantic, without a whiff of cheese. They could have crystal clear dialogue and well-lit scenes; they could be thoughtfully edited and set to a fantastic soundtrack.
Just like a film at the cinema.
Well, I have always wanted to be a filmmaker.