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A l umn i P r o f i l e


Wedding save-the-date becomes online blockbuster


Written by RICH SMITH

here are storybook weddings, and then there are weddings that are story-boarded. The upcoming nuptials of Jeffrey Wong ’01 (engineering), and Erin Martin SCR ’02 (psychology) would at first blush appear to fall into the

latter category, based on the faux-Hollywood movie trailer [www.jeffan-] they created just to announce the big date. True, their cliche-satirizing send-up of those ubiquitous Motion Pic-

ture Association of America-approved film previews looks convincingly enough like the real thing to seem story-boarded, but, alas, it was not. “Nothing was really planned ahead of time,” says Jeff. “We would

shoot some footage, come home and edit it, get more ideas, go out and shoot more footage. We had no idea what the final product was going to look like until there actually was a final product.” And what a product it is. It depicts, for instance: the couple’s grassy first encounter (wherein

she catches his eye with a slow-motion back-and-forth flip of her hair to the strains of Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing”); their courtship (he pulls a bank heist to pay for the engagement ring); their map-traced travel plan from home in Sydney, Australia, to the marriage altar in Los Angeles (set to “Indiana Jones” theme music); and their shared ability to look cool in dark sunglasses (while strutting without a hint of alarm as a wall of flame floods toward them from behind). “We made this video for the benefit of our families and friends

because it was a fun and creative way to show them who we are, give them a taste of our sense of humor, as well as our talents and hobbies,” Jeff explains. Originally, the couple intended to proclaim their wedding date

(Oct. 9) with something simpler and less unconventional, but later opted for an “epic” spoof movie-trailer when Jeff bought a top-of-the-line still camera made by Canon (his employer in Sydney) to indulge his photog- raphy hobby. The 21.1-megapixel 5D Mark II can capture up to 4 giga- bytes of high-definition video; because of that, Jeff decided to embrace his inner DeMille.

They lensed the trailer themselves

(with an occasional assist from a friend) at various Sydney locations. Most problematic was a scene in which Erin, sporting an eye patch, had to stroke a fluffy white cat held in her lap while swiveling slowly in a chair, a la the Bond villain Blofeld (the feline was uncooperative, forcing Jeff to repeatedly shout “Cut!”). Jeff later edited the jumble of amassed raw video into a slick, compelling yarn

by using Adobe Premiere Pro software on his Windows Vista laptop. After that, he added narration supplied by a trained actor whose sonorous, suspenseful voice accurately mimics those heard in genuine trailers. That Jeff and Erin would endeavor such a project is understandable, since

they share an abiding love of movies (and considering that Jeff had learned about video production techniques through the media studies program at HMC and Pitzer College). But not just movies. An item since late 2000, the pair have other interests in common: hiking, camping and world travel. Additionally, Jeff enjoys rock climbing, motorcycles and snowboarding. He’s also a master of multiple martial arts—skills Jeff gets to demonstrate in the save-the-date video. The video, incidentally, went viral less than three months after its online debut

last November, with nearly one million YouTube views as of early March. However, apart from gaining tons of new friends the planet over, the trailer hasn’t much changed their lives or opened new career paths. Do they plan to next make a cinema-esque video of the wedding itself? “The

sequel is never as good as the original,” Jeff demurs, “so we might just rest on our laurels for the trailer and leave it at that.”

Rich Smith is a freelance writer based in River Pines, Calif.

S P R I N G 2 0 1 0 H a r v e y Mu d d C o l l e g e 2 9

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