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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Trailers, websites and south Indian weddings

Over the last few years, have you noticed how every movie that is releasing, has a website and some kind of yahoo or gmail address?

Today the BIL sent a copy of his wedding invitation and what surprised me the most?

There was an official wedding email address on the invitation!!!

The world has come a long long way, from the days where the wedding invitation would say GRAMS : PANDIYA or some such identifier for people to send their wishes through a TELEGRAM, directly to the wedding hall! Even as late as ten years ago, our wedding invitation had such a GRAMS thing!

Today it is www.thesimpsonsmovie.com or thesimpsonsmovie@gmail.com for a movie, and

sundarwedssangeetha@gmail.com !! for a wedding invitation!

Going to suggest to the BIL that he and the would be start a website along similar lines for their wedding and leave it kind of open source for people to post pictures, comments, etc. etc..

Come to think of it, there are actually some nice applications to such a website. All random junta who take cell phone photos and videos at the wedding during the "thaali tying" ceremony can post their videos and photos into this site!

In case the official videographers are all over the place shining their bright handheld lights on the bride, brides dad, groom and surrounding relatives, then screw up, and don't get the 30 seconds of action right, some random audience cell phone or relatives handheld camcorder might have done a better job!

Have you ever wondered why in the odd photo, where you can clearly see the grooms face as he is tying the knot, he has a painful expression on his face? It has nothing to do with the woman he is marrying or marriage. It is literally a look of pain! Chances are the hair on his bare back have started burning thanks to the powerful filament bulb the lightboy is shining, a little too close for the grooms comfort!

We have seen our own wedding video, ONCE! We were shrunk into a small circle covering approximately 1/9th of the screen in an inset, during the 30 critical seconds, and the background of the video suddenly showed the temple towers of Thirupathi and the soundtrack switched from the priest uttering "maaangalyam ...." to "rakkamaaaaa kayya thattu"..

I kid you not. Obviously a lot of bluescreen work and video editing technology, went into that masterpiece. One possible explanation for this is my re-creation of what must have possibly conversed between the video dude (abbreviated to VD in this post! yeah.. that was intended.. I have not forgiven him yet!) and my dad, prior to the wedding:

Dad : Nalla video eduppia pa? (will you take a good video?)

VD : Dont worry Saar. Asaththiduvom ! (we will excel!)

Dad : Mootha payyanoda ore kalyaanam pa.. . (my eldest sons only wedding...) Make sure the video quality is good.

VD : Saar, Sridevi Kalyanaththukku naan dhan saar Stills potten! (I did the stills for actress Sridevi's wedding)

Dad : Enna pa.. wedding photova still'nu sollare!

VD : Film industryla neriya velai panni irukken sir. ( I have a lot of experience in the film industry). That is why I use the terms interchangeably.

Dad : Okay! (possibly launched into his "what is in it for you..." pitch). Will give you the contract for the wedding video. Do a good job and I will recommend you to all the people I know. There are going to be over a 1000 people at the wedding. Lots of eyes on you and your team.

Your work should speak for itself. If people see the good work you do, more people will ask for your business card.. by the way, why don't you give me a few of your cards, so I can recommend you in advance to some other friends whose kids are getting married.

VD : (possible big grin.. I am imagining this of course)Yes Sir. Definitely Saar. Sure Sir. I will make sure the video speaks for itself..

And thus spake VD's Video! The guy thought our wedding video was going to be his resume!

So he pretty much exhausted every menu option on his WedVidSoft Ver. 2.0, within a 90 minute video clip!

First he zooms in on San's face, then by magic, she splits into two, then four, then eight, then sixteen and eventually when we have 65536 San's at a pixel level, and two things start to happen..

a. The eighth graders in the wedding hall watching this feed on the TV monitors on the other end of the reception hall went "Now, that is what the math teacher was trying to tell us about last week in Geometric Progression.. If only I had seen this video yesterday, I could have aced that math test!".

b. The amoeba in the coffee and cooler spills on the floor next to us are going "What the heck!!! No one multiplies faster than us.. NO ONE! These two aren't even married yet and look at them divide on the screen.. God! What will happen after they are married? No one will use as an example of reproductive prowess, in biology textbooks!"

That is when the video goes "cut.. cut.. cut.." and I start to replicate myself on the screen while a frozen San watches.

We zoom in from the left, right, top, bottom, fade into each other, we have vertical and horizontal blinds that come and go only to reveal me change to her and her change to me as the blinds shift, we spiral into the screen as though we are already dizzy after a few hours of marriage, and the list goes on. In short it is an endless fun of various moviemaker options for 10 mintues straight. By this time anyone watching the video (other than us) will be in splits, laughing.

This is followed by me zooming into a freeze frame on an oval shaped inset as I watch San smile and do all kinds of video tricks, which is promptly followed by San looking down on me (yeah, it started right there) as I do cheap tricks that include but are not limited to, me looking circular, elliptical as well as linearly polarized, having a star filter around me, a central me with five mini me's orbiting around the central me(all with star light patterns), etc. You get the picture by now?

All this within the wedding reception! The actual wedding part is of course a combination of "Innerspace", "Star Wars" and "The Blair Witch project".

The camera zooms into the mouth of the yawning guests, clearly revealing the lunch menu on the big screen, so others can be motivated to get in line for the next "pandhi". This is followed by the camera doing a rolling move alongside the dining table with the food served and ready. For some strange reason, the cameras lateral movement close to the table reminds you of the title captions on the Star Wars movie!

The rest of the video can easily put "the blair witch project" to shame. Maybe they got the idea for that movie only after seeing bootleg copies of our wedding video, err, our videographers resume!

Now where was I? Wedding websites, in case the videographer screws up....

A post that started as an altruistic freelance advice to the BIL and his would be, ends up becoming a description of our wedding video. Tsk, Tsk! Deep are the wounds from the one time viewing of that fateful VCD!

It is now time to let the BIL and BILie, write their own video saga!

ps. I will be there with my own camera phone, camera, camcorder, etc. etc. to witness the event, just in case the....

pps. My dear BIL, not to worry. The material scientist in me is going to bring a flame retardant spary for your back, to protect you from filament lamps, as you tie the knot! I got you covered.

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I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

Hi Sundar, you had me in total splits with this post! What a seriously funny way of describing your wedding video! But coming to think of it, whatever u've said is sooooo true. I really loved the replication and multiplication parts!!! Soooo funny!!

Not to mention the wedding albums too, where you have such weird wallpapers and backgrounds that the groom and the bride would be posing in front of!!!! These days the wedding photographs have gone to the extent of printing 2 sets of coffee mugs each to the bride and the groom's side with their pictures in various poses on the mugs. Also a wedding desktop calendar - with pictures of the couple on each page!!! creativity at work!!!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 3:44 AM, Blogger L wrote...

Ha ha ha..vizhundu vizhundu sirichaen Sundar..you really had me in splits too!!!!! You write so well...PG Wodehouse
book padichu sirikkara maadiri irundadu!!


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

wedding website ellam vanthu couple of yrs aachu sir..... ewedding.com, momentville.com kinda sites allow u to host ur own wedding site, full with background stories, pictures, invites, guestbook n wat not!!! u can create ur own XwedsY.com websites this way :-)

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...


I choked on my morning cereal reading this post. Its so true how funny the video gimmicks can be. You had described it really well. I imagined you and san in it and am giggling at work. Hope your BIL has some luck with his video guy!


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

This post was hilarious. I LOVE how you described the coffee ameoba's being jealous of your replication. Classic! :D

Anyways, on a seperate note, I always thought Tamil weddings= circus because of Video and camera dude. But, apparently things have been getting better. You should see this group called EC sharp(they can be found on facebook- just type EC sharp in the group sections) they take such beautiful pictures.

It makes the likes of me think there is hope for Tamil weddings after all!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:34 AM, Blogger Pavithra wrote...

This comment has been removed by the author.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:36 AM, Blogger Anu wrote...

Lol!! My sisters wedding video was like that.. and the best part was a flower /heart blooming, only to have her face in it.. it was hilarious and she still gets kidded on it.
Btw, I have friends who have dedicated wedding websites . They have games (how well do you know the groom/bride), guest book, links to google maps to get to the wedding,photo gallery and of course their biography. (eyes met over coffee on June 1st 1996, and the groom spilled most of quickies coffee on himself :D ) ...if your BIL develops one of those..plz let us know

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

ha ha ha..i was in absolute splits. I gave specific instructions to our video grapher about how there should be NO flowers with the brides face in it, no 1000 pictures of the bride and groom looking into each other's eyes or the bride having her hand over the grooms shoulder etc. he still screwed up, but not so bad.

and with regards to wedding websites, there are a lot floating around. though i love your idea of guests posting photos they took during the wedding. you should patent it

aruna (no longer anonymous)

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:53 AM, Blogger Unknown wrote...


For my wedding they had a picture of a bullock cart and some languid hero singing some song with ten damsels !

Neither did i get the damsels ( the extra ones that is), nor did i get the bullock cart.

I guess i am left with clutching memories from this post !

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

HI Sundar,

I've been reading your blog for quite some time. I live in Bay Are too. I've never left a comment. But today, I had to.

This post is hilarious. It is so funny, I was laughing until I teared up. I tried hard to muffle my laughing so that my co-workers are not disturbed. Keep coming up with such great posts.


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 10:11 AM, Blogger Silicon Valley Blogzine wrote...

A wonderful post that all of us can relate to. The Amoeba's getting Jealous and being able to view the lunch menu during a yawn were pure masterpiece's.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:35 AM, Blogger mitr_bayarea wrote...


nice post, Loled at the videographer's gimmicks during weddings. K has some photos that he is embarrased to show out.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

That was hilarious!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 2:24 AM, Blogger BangaloreMom wrote...

Hi Sundar

Laughed loud and then tried to muffle it and it came out as an awful squeak which made people from nearby cubicles stare!!

Lovely! Simply hilarious!!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:39 PM, Blogger Unknown wrote...

thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts.

glad to know you had a good laugh..

you are welcome to come watch the video or get free copies of it on two conditions

1. we will not be within 50 feet of the vcd watching(we have a self imposed restraining order)
2. you will watch it in its entireity without access to a remote control.

ps. no excuses to get out of saying you need chips or need to go to the restroom.. watch it in its entireity is the deal..


two things in my life which share the same fate..

my gazillion page Ph.D. thesis (apparently only 8 people have checked it out in 10+ years from the college library and I am ready to bet not one read it fully)

my wedding video which no one has watched fully..

well, life goes on!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 5:54 AM, Blogger dipali wrote...

Sundar, I am so glad that when I got married there was no such thing as a videographer! In fact, the few black and white photographs of our wedding were taken by a friend. If I come to Cupertino I will certainly come and watch your video, following all your conditions:)
Loved this hilarious post!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

The wedding websites seem to be the fashion these days. Like Anu said, they are also a bit interactive. One of my friends also took suggestions for honeymoon spots. I think it's pretty nice.

As for the videos, I've watched ours atleast 2 times ...but never once without a remote! Did I mention that my husband's name was spelt wrong in the video?

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:13 PM, Blogger பதிவுSpot wrote...

Hi sundar..
ur blog has been listed in Pathivuspot

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 10:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

VDs really get very creative. i have not watched my wedding video after the first time when it was handed over to us (with the remote for sure).

I may be able to laugh my head off at it now remembering your descriptions!

Keep up the humor!!

- Shree


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