A year ago today the United States Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that prevented same-sex marriages from receiving federal benefits that were available to other couples. In light of this anniversary, I'd like to share a bit about how a recent project came about.
I straddle the photo/video line working with my husband on JMD Multimedia projects. We love our video clients and there’s no feeling like the pride in knowing we’ve surpassed their expectations. But once in a while, along comes a personal project that’s unique in scope and emotion. You know what we’re talking about: no money exchanges hands, but you spend hours and hours working on it because you want it to be perfect. Your sense of professionalism is unaffected by the fact that you’re creating a gift, a non-commercial personal-use-only product.
Such was the case with this wedding video we titled The Elopement. We’ve known Steve Oligmueller and Warren Nadeau for years and when they invited us to travel with them as witnesses to their nuptials, of course we said yes. For starters, they’re our friends, and they've supported us through good and difficult times. Furthermore, while weddings aren’t our specialty, storytelling is. And we were witnessing one couple’s very personal journey set against the broader backdrop of our country’s history. How could we resist the pull of such a story?
Could we have told it as well if we’d not been such close friends with Steve and Warren? That’s hard to say. Video projects like this one rely heavily on interviews, and we knew enough of their story to craft questions that would elicit the answers we needed. They were comfortable enough with us to answer honestly, and to be themselves in the process. Knowing them so well allowed us to anticipate moments and reactions. And they were sufficiently at ease that they didn't turn away during the moments someone else might have considered too sensitive for the camera.
Many factors play into a project’s success — storytelling skills, technical abilities, or for that matter, what you have for breakfast and whether or not you make that flight to Seattle. And, occasionally serendipity steps in to line them all up in just the right order. Whatever the case was here, we’re thrilled to have made this gift for our friends.