This set has a backstory that's rather interesting. These were all shot and filmed last September, during our then recently concluded filmmaking workshop in Verona, Italy. Just hours prior to this session, we didn’t have anyone to shoot. Our models - an Italian faux* couple [not "faux Italian couple"] - because of, errr… “reasons”, which I firmly believe were also - faux - made a last minute cancellation.
So there we were, "in fair Verona where we lay our scene", utterly clueless, but, by no means helpless...
Enter, stage left: Andrea & Anastasia
*Looking back, I'm thankful that we didn't have those models - good-looking as they were - for the afternoon session. They weren't a real couple in the first place and that would have defeated the purpose of the workshop. Buzzwords: organic, authentic. There’s little added value in shooting subjects who are already comfortable in front of the camera.
And so, after my early afternoon Keynote on filmmaking, we went out for two things: to look for a couple to shoot*, and to have a very late working lunch; prosciutto e funghi pizza, tiramisu and espresso would have been a worthy consolation if we didn’t find anyone. The thing is, I couldn’t ask just any couple if they were willing to be an integral part of our workshop. Heck, we were in “fair Verona” and more than great Italian food, there's never a shortage of lovers (star-crossed or not). More than finding a real couple, and more than finding a willing couple at that, there was something else that I was looking for - not the physical appearance or the way the dress; they had to share this "very particular vibe” which I really can’t describe with words, verbose as I am as you might have noticed already. It was up to the good Lord to lead us to the right place, at the right time, to a willing couple that shared the vibe that I was looking for. Note that it was almost three in the afternoon and my appetite was leading me elsewhere.
[ Enter, upstage right: Nicolas and Joanne. ]
Long story short, I approached Nicolas and Joanne as they were about to leave the restaurant. (Coperto!) I told them about our predicament with our “no show” models*. And, just like that, and in a very enthusiastic tone even, Joanne said “Yes!”. I promised to keep the shoot as fast as possible; it was perfectly understandable that they wanted to see Verona as well and I couldn’t take more than 30 minutes of their time. The interesting thing is, they’re from Vienna! I was there two weeks earlier so I had something to break the ice with, like my adventures with sachertorte and käsekrainer (Nicolas & Joanne! Danke schön for saying “Yes!”).
There. 30 minutes, all-in: 15 minutes walking time, 15 minutes actual filming time, one cinematographer, one camera, no changing of lenses, no storyboards. And once again, the good Lord provided. Just in the time of nick… or just in the nick of time, rather, and for the nth time. And, thirty-minutes and a glass of eiscafe (iced coffee) later, He will usher in another couple for us to shoot.
"I guess we have time for one more." And so, after a glass of iced coffee, a "no" from the couple seated next to us, and 30 minutes later, we went around again to look for another pair to shoot. [ Enter: Andrea & Anastasia ] We spotted them about 20 yards from us, in one of Verona's narrow alleyways. 'figured that they were locals, so I let Valentina do the talking this time. I didn't want to sound like Aldo Raine pulling off a "Gorlami" in front of them. After listening to Valentina's pitch in Italiano (I could infer terms like "workshop" and "filmmaker" because of hand gestures.) they said "Yes", not "Sì"; their english was spot on! And, guess what. They [also] visited Vienna a month ago. No BS. Easy icebreaker again. This time, we talked about how Italian coffee (the original espresso, of course!) is way better than Viennese coffee. I believe in Divine orchestration - "qarah" - not coincidence. And, seeing how things turned out, I'm glad that our models did that last minute cancellation. Our good Lord to the rescue. For the nth time.
redsheepphotocinema wedding filmmaking workshop and mentorship program + engagement photos Verona, Italy. October 2017. Leica M. Sony A7R II. VSCO.