Traveling love stories

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014


HIS latest overseas project was in Rome, he said, where he had a couple, magnates in the local real estate biz, frolicking across a vineyard, walking hand-in-hand along cobblestone streets and passing by the city’s little alleyways—a visual love story made sweeter by the quaintness of the locality.

Locally, he has done many projects across the Philippines, too. He has created many mini movies against the bustling backdrop that is Metro Manila, to the countryside of several cities and municipalities around the Philippines.

In Cebu alone, he has done “countless” pre-nuptials and wedding projects, and his most recent one was a promotional video he filmed for Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa’s first bridal fair, Of Veils and Trails, that was held on Mar. 29. The video showcased the relaxing beach lifestyle, and how it makes the perfect setting for a wedding destination.

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The video veered away from Jason’s usual line of non-commercial work, yet still he gave it an intimate air by staging and directing a wedding, and capturing it the same way he would have done a real one—creatively and spontaneously. The video debuted on the day of the fair.

A highly sought-after videographer throughout the Philippines, Jason has often been cited as the one whom a bride will move her wedding date for, just so she can get him to do her video. Whether that is actually true or not, his thousands of followers online, who are always on the lookout for his next masterpiece to be uploaded, can nevertheless vouch for his unparalleled talent.

Jason is a visual storyteller with a journalistic style, allowing the story to unfold on its own. With it, he has reinvented what had previously been the dull, monotonic manner of wedding videos, and also popularized the “same-day edit” (SDE) concept in the country. “What do I want to convey? That’s the way I edit. I’ll bring you up, down and up again. You’re taken for a ride,” he said.

A former video production professor in a university, Jason has been doing wedding videos for 14 years. His first client was a student’s older sibling who got hitched.

It went from there until he found himself signed to do high-profile weddings of celebrities such as Verns Buckley, Cheska Garcia and Doug Kramer, Ryan Agoncillo and Judy Ann Santos, Maggie Wilson, Roxanne Guinoo, Andi Manzano, Iya Villania and Drew Arellano—and even that of the fictional couple Ser Chief (Richard Yap) and Maya (Jodi Sta. Maria) of the television show Be Careful with My Heart.

“When I was starting out, wedding videos didn’t have a good rep. You look at the wedding videos of our parents and these are two-hour videos on VHS, including a shot of the road from the church to the reception,” he said. “I thought, ‘why can’t wedding
videos be more entertaining, arresting and emotional?’ That’s what got me.”

His work-related travels-across-the-world first started when a Filipino balikbayan contracted his services as videographer, and things just grew from there. Watching his videos on his Vimeo page is like going on a three-minute, 360-degree trip to those places he has also been to. Far more than seeing the beauty in even the simplest of love stories, he also puts the spotlight on the charm of each destination.

When asked about his “favorite” video out of the thousands he has created, Jason said, “The most memorable for me is the most recent one. From the point of view (of one) who has done this for a very long time, my idea is that you should always have a current favorite. After six months, palit na. That means you’re improving. (It means that) I, as an artist, should have grown by now.”

Although working full-time as a videographer, he also travels to and mentors in video production workshops for aspiring youngsters nationwide. He said, “there are basics and there’s theory, but half of it is (achieved through) practice and hard work.”

“It’s a great job. You get to travel, (eat) free food, and meet happy people in love,” Jason said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 10, 2014.

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