Vineet and Dan met in New York, live in LA, and brought close to 95% of their guests out to Toronto for an incredible week-long celebration. Luckily, we got the chance to spend the better part of that week with them filming every single epic step of their adventure — which included a lot more running, yoga-ing, dancing, horse-riding, and partying than the typical wedding.
We first met Vineet over FaceTime about a year and a half ago, but it wasn’t until her and Dan flew into Toronto this past spring that we were finally able to grab a coffee and talk about what they had in store for their wedding day(s) and what they envisioned for their film. They had a lot of amazing things happening — performances, choreographed dances, two ceremonies, two first looks, lawn games, a barat and tons of other traditional Indian celebrations. We knew there’d be no shortage of elements to draw upon for their film, but at the same time, we didn’t want the couple and their story to be lost amongst all of these events.
The narrative would have to be as strong and multi-faceted as their celebrations, with Vineet and Dan’s beautiful personalities at the center of it all.
We wanted the film to have a vibrant energy and decided early on that fast cuts, great movement, and multiple speakers would help us create that atmosphere. Rather than following a single storyline, their narrative would revolve around how “daneet” met, who they are, the significance of their celebration, the coming together of their families, and their promises to each other going forward. In other words, a lot of little pieces creating one single complex narrative — which in many ways echoes all of the different events coming together into one big celebration.
The film opens with (very) early morning shots of Toronto to establish where the story takes place; starting at the heart of the city and moving away towards the outskirts, where Vineet and Dan rented a home for the week. When we first told the couple that we wanted to capture who they really were, their first suggestion was running and yoga. So we did just that. Vineet showed us some of her fanciest yoga positions and Dan ran by the lake shore (and Ricardo did his best to keep up with him on the Movi).
The Movi was our best friend on this project. For one, we were able to employ fast pans and tilts while consistently following Dan and his family during the Barat. That portion of the film is pulsing with energy, and rightfully so; the real-life version of that was full of energy and laughter. But the Movi also allowed us to slow down and simply follow along with Vineet and Dan’s first dance, capturing its elegance and those monumental spins that had us picking up our jaws off of the dance floor.
Other than that, we simply kept two to three steps ahead of all the action — which is a lot easier said than done — and focused on our framing and motion on the monopods as usual.
Vineet and Dan confided in us early on that one of their favourite things to do when they have some time off together is to go out and enjoy craft beer. We knew we had to somehow fit this into their film, so we booked a private patio for them at the Amsterdam Brewery on the last day of their celebrations. When that day arrived, things were running a tad behind schedule (as they usually do). It was a very close-call, but we were still able to squeeze the shoot in, and were happy to give the couple a moment to sit down and relax amongst all the hecticness while capturing some candid moments that reflected who they are.
This is a film we’re incredibly proud of and one that took a handful of amazing people in order to fully realize. It didn’t feel like vendors were just showing up to do their thing, but instead, we all found ourselves working with each other every day to create the best, and most visually stunning experience possible. Richha from Arora Events was amazing to work with; planning everything to a t, answering all our crazy questions and allowing everything to flow smoothly (even throughout the most jam-packed portions of the days). We were happy to shoot alongside ikonica images, working seamlessly around one another and bouncing creative ideas off of each other all weekend long. Sara Baig Designs turned the Eaton Chelsea and Graydon Hall into the most beautiful and elegant reception spaces we’ve ever seen. Meanwhile, the endlessly-talented Rachel Clingen blew us away as she usually does, transforming the Liberty Grand into an enchanted forest.