October 7th 2012 - We are currently in Switzerland filming the Elopement of Dave and Samantha. If you want to follow along that would be great!
How it all started:
I first met Samantha earlier in the summer. Sam was the photographer and I was the videographer at Milka and Gordons wedding. We got along great and she was a pleasure to work with. A few weeks after the wedding my phone rings and it was Sam. She said, “I have something to ask you.” I could hear a little uneasiness in her voice. “My finance and I are thinking about Eloping to Switzerland and we wanted to know if you would go with us and create a film for us that we could play for our family and friends when we returned.” The first thing that went through my mind is that I hope I didn’t have a wedding during the time they were going. I feel like I said YES YES YES before she even finished with the questions. I could hear the excitement in her voice when she realized that I was extremely excited and up for the challenge. We were able to work out all the details and the planning began..
DAVE AND SAM
The challenge for me is balancing packing light and packing what I need to do the job. I have been researching this for a few months and here is what I decided to bring
1. Canon 5dII + 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.6macro, 50mm 1.8, 135mm f2, 1.4 Extender, 24-105IS f4
2. T3i (Backup and Slowmo)
3. Gopro + Head attachment
4. BenRo Mefoto (14″ folded 56″ max) (http://www.benrousa.com/products_catalog_MeFoto-Compact-Travel-Tripods.html)
5. Manfrotto 561 Mono Pod
6. Generic 18″ Slider
7. Think Tank Slingomatic 20 (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/sling-o-matic-20.aspx)
8. Edelkrone Pocket Rig (http://www.edelkrone.com/the-pocket-rig/)
9. Carryspeed viewfinder (http://www.carryspeed.com/products/lcd-view-finder)
10. Rode VMP (http://www.rodemic.com/mics/videomicpro)
I don’t own the 24-105IS but I knew that it would be the lens that would be the most versatile and Image stabilization was a must. The rental rate on this on borrowedlenses.com was around $150 for a month including insurance and shipping. That was a no brainer. The only macro I own is a Olympus 35 2.6 so I brought that. I knew I needed a low light lens so I brought the Canon nifty fifty. Cheap and light weight. My favorite lens is the Canon 135 f2. It would also double as a great portrait lens for photos. I brought the extender along just to get a little more reach if I needed it. The 14mm was a last second decision that I made the night before. I am so glad I brought it. The mountains here are so amazing and we are right in the middle of everything. It is really hard to translate the size and space that we are seeing. The 14mm is wide enough that it really helps.
As far as the Think Tank Slingomatic 20. It definitely is different than any camera backpack/sling I have owned. I will write more about it later but I can say that I love it and it is perfect for this trip.
The morning started out great. We arrived at the airport and made it from curb to gate in less than 20 minutes. Sam and Dave were smart and booked our seats at an emergency exit which gives you at least a foot or so extra for you feet. Brilliant. The flight from Cincinnati to JFK was smooth.
After some Starbucks, Subway and a 4 hour layover we were headed to Milan. I think we were all tired from preparing over the last few weeks and had fallen asleep. “Excuse me ladies and gentleman, we are having problems with the GPS and are turning around and headed back to JFK” is what we all woke up to about 90 minutes into the flight. It took a second for it to sink in and Dave said, “I was waiting for them to say, “just kidding”". So back to NY we head.
At this point we were just hoping that they were able to fix it and we could leave that night (currently 9:30pm). Three hours later and we were happily greeted to “ladies and gentleman, please take your seat, we are headed to Italy”
The rest of the flight was great. We were originally suppose to get into Milan at 8:30am on Monday morning Milan time. It ended being around 1:30pm. Not a huge deal except the first leg of our train ride to Switzerland was a non refundable ticket and we had missed it.
We boarded the bus at the airport and headed to Milan Centrale which is about an hour trip each way. Once we reached the train station we went to purchase another set of train tickets which was a little amusing and we seemed to fumble through it and get what we needed.
At this point we had almost an hour or so to wait so we went to the main level of the station and made sure we new where the trains left. We were all ready for our first food in Italy which at this point would of been breakfast in the states or a late lunch in Europe. We turn around and the first restaurant we see is… Burger King! Dave and I look at each other for a moment and if Sam wasn’t there to stop us from a poor decision, we would of been eating Le Wohp-aire (Actually that is what it would of been if we were in France).
We turn around and look the other way and see a sign for “Pizzeria”. Thats more like it. This place looks like the pizza joints you see at the mall food courts. We each ordered a piece of pizza and started to eat. Let me tell you, this was the best piece of pizza I have ever had. Not sure if it was the fact that I was in Italy for the first time or if it was just that good.
The travels to get us to our destination in Switzerland will consist of 3 trains, a bus and two cable cars. Luckily the second two train tickets that Dave and Sam had purchased online were good for anytime over the next month so it was just a matter of finding the train we needed.
The train takes off to our first stop which is Brig, Switzerland. It’s a very smooth train ride, looking out the window of the train headed through Milan is definitely not what you see in the movies of a Italian train ride with the lush country sides. It more like a ride through the outskirts of Chicago. Still extremely pleasant. One thing that struck me was how much graffiti we saw. It’s everywhere.
So the trip at this point to Murren Switzerland becomes a little vague to me. I don’t remember the small cities we stopped in to board the next train. Remember, we have no idea what time the next train is leaving. So we get off the train in Brig. As we get off we look directly in front of us and the train we need is literally right there and getting ready to leave. We run and jump on, grab a seat and within seconds it starts moving. It happened so quickly that if we would of questioned it at all before we boarded, we would have missed it. The third train happened very similar except it was about 2 or 3 minutes from leaving when we got on. The way the trains work in Italy is that you board them without giving a ticket. At some point during the trip a officer (attendant) goes from car to car and checks for tickets. On our third train, no one even checked. Traveling in after 6 or 7 pm by train was wonderful. We only saw a handful of people at most.
I believe the last train we got off of was in Interlaken. Then we took a bus to lauterbrunnen. From there it was two cable cars (Gondolas) to Murren.
The last cable to Murren was at midnight. I believe we arrived in Murren around 9:30 or 10:pm on Monday night.
Murren is a little town that people go to and hike in the summer time (as well as extreme sports) and ski in the winter. We are in between seasons so I don’t expect to see a lot of people
The cable car operator gave us directions to our hotels. Sam and Dave’s was about 100 steps from the cable car. It was the first little place you see when you get off.
Today was going to be filled with a 8 hour hike. I call the weather in Switzerland this time of year, San Francisco weather. The forecast for the day was rain and it didn’t disappoint. The primary reason that Dave and Sam wanted to hike was to plant Spruce seedings in a special spot. It was a way to mark the start of their marriage and hopefully would be able to come back and bring their kids to see if the tree grew.
It was a wonderful day of hiking which definitely wore me out. Sam and Dave found just the right place to plant the seeds and marked it with a GPS coordinate on their Iphone.
Thursday October 14th, 2012
Today was the big day for the wedding. I will save the details and point you to the wedding film.
Hope you enjoy!!