(Scroll down past all the pics/text if you can’t wait to see the film!)
I remember the moment when a guy called Zee phoned me while I was at the office. Even before he could finish his explanation about the possibility of a proposal film (a spoof music film of Coldplay’s Paradise), I told him I wanted to be on board no matter what. I had filmed another surprise wedding proposal before, many years ago, and there was nothing more touching and memorable than that magic moment when she said ‘yes’ (under all her tears!).
Zee had a rough storyboard idea involving himself wearing a HUGE rabbit costume, walking around various locations that meant something to both him and his currently-unsuspecting girlfriend, Laura. (e.g. family houses, uni grounds, first place they kissed etc)
I met with Zee to refine the storyboard and come up with a plan of action…at…wait for it…my old student house! Talk about small world!!
We spent 2 whole days driving from Warwick to Bath to Oxford to London. In each location, I literally filmed as quickly as I could; time really was that tight! And yes, we got stared at, hooted at by car horns, and cheered by everyone wherever we went!
THE PROPOSAL NIGHT:
Zee and I had to get this exactly right. Talk about pressure. Zee took Laura out for drinks in Oxford, on a Saturday night. Meanwhile, I setup my Blu-Ray film with the help of the projectionist at the Phoenix Picture House, and friends and family of the couple arrived and hid in the bar upstairs. Zee surprised Laura with last-minute cinema tickets to see a ‘friend’s directed movie’. LUCKILY she went along. When they arrived, they sat down and I quickly mic’d Zee up with a hidden microphone when he ‘popped to the toilets’. The film played as I hid behind the cinema screen curtains, secretly filming her reaction….
In almost every scene of the film, is a place or person that means something to Zee or Laura. Below are Laura’s parents and relatives (and their suspicious-of-a-giant-rabbit dog!) who were absolutely amazing in their cameo roles.
(top-left) Zee having a cheeky puff of Laura’s brother’s cigarette - this went down a storm when we played it to friends and family at the cinema, as Zee doesn’t actually smoke!
(top-right) A SPECIAL MENTION to Wahaca Restaurant in London Waterloo, who after hearing what we were filming, treated us to a 2 course meal and wine, on the house - THANK YOU!!
(bottom-row) Zee, myself, and Zee’s friend who joined us for the day, quickly preparing the ‘MARRY’ sign whilst we ate at Wahaca.
(right) I made the most of a random film crew at Trafalgar Square.
In and around Oxford. FACT: the basketball shot you see in the film was Zee’s first attempt. Needless to say, the basketball team were pretty shocked!
(bottom-right) Zee insisted he’d able to learn how to uni-cycle in a week of practice. In those rabbit feet? No chance! In the film, he spots the uni-cycle propped up against the wall where in real-life he and Laura first kissed. Aww
(top-row) Strange coincidence number 2: The second I went to film Zee walk towards the cinema in Oxford, I suddenly saw him leap towards a random woman and hug her. It was his Mum…who happened to walk near us at that exact second of that exact day (and she doesn’t even live in Oxford!!!). Imagine her fright when a huge rabbit hugged her saying ‘MUM?!?!’
(bottom-row) Laura’s reactions were absolutely priceless as she spotted friends and family pop up throughout the film.
(left) To film Laura in secret, I made out I was cinema-staff fixing some lights by the screen. I then pointed a light towards them (remember it’s pitch-black in a cinema), and hid behind the cinema projector screen with my camera. My heart was racing; I really didn’t want her to spot me!
(middle) Laura and Zee’s friends and family secretly hiding in the cinema bar, waiting for the verdict!
(right) The newlyweds. Congrats guys, you make such a lovely couple!
So here it is, the spoof music film, the proposal, and the reaction. Please do feel free to share this blog entry around, and leave comments! It’ll be nice for Zee and Laura to look back on!!