updated 3 Sep 2013, 03:26
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Thu, Jul 25, 2013
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Elaborate wedding videos
by Gillian Pinto

One week, 14 hours each day - that's how long newlyweds Navin Nambiar, 32, and Ellya Abdullah, 31, spent filming their 20-minute wedding video in India.

The couple are seen strolling in front of the Taj Mahal, dancing with a Bollywood dance troupe, boarding railway trains and re-enacting scenes from their favourite Hindi movies.

The long hours spent filming and travelling were not the difficult part. Instead, it was trying to complete filming before crowds formed or passers-by tried to cut into the frame.

Though their video - which has garnered over 3,000 views on Vimeo and YouTube - looks like a clip from a Bollywood film, the couple didn't have the luxuries that celebrities enjoy.

They had to change in vans, film in unexpected and dangerous places around Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, and were chased away by police four times.

Ms Ellya, a lecturer at ITE College Central, decided to do a Bollywood-themed wedding video after stumbling upon a similar concept by a British-Indian couple in London.

She told her then fiance: "This is so us. Let's do it, it's once in a lifetime."

Mr Nambiar, managing director of The X-League Singapore, agreed.

The couple spent a month conceptualising the video before approaching production studios.

When they approached CST Production Singapore, which specialises in Malay weddings, the studio was taken with the idea.

CST told My Paper that it had filmed almost 70 wedding videos, but Mr Nambiar and Ms Ellya's video - which was shot in March - was their biggest project so far, with an estimated production and filming cost of $7,000.

The couple travelled to India with three videographers and a choreographer, whose job was to coordinate the dance-and-song sequences.

Mr Safar Samat, manager of CST, said: "Our common interest in Bollywood films made us decide to sponsor (the production cost), but they paid for our airfares and accommodation."

The filming process was no easy feat. For a 15-second scene of the couple jumping on and off a train, the crew filmed for more than eight hours to get a good shot.

The final result is a moving story with picturesque landscapes and close-up shots of the couple embracing and dancing.

Another local production studio that specialises in customised wedding videos is Reddot Studio.

"Every couple is different," said founder and creative director Bernard Teo. "So videos should showcase the uniqueness of the couple." According to Mr Teo, videos cost at least $3,500 to produce, depending on location and days spent filming.

Producing wedding videos is big business and engaging international companies such as Mayad Studios - known for producing high-quality cinematic wedding videos - to document wedding memories is not cheap.

Based in the Philippines, Mayad Studios has done videos for Chinese couples in Bali. It shot Malaysian singer Fish Leong's wedding video three years ago. The video has garnered more than 238,000 views online.

International wedding packages by Mayad Studios start at US$8,500 (S$10,700).

Though her video didn't come cheap, Ms Ellya believed that it is a "lifelong investment".

She said: "For the rest of our life, we'll be watching this video and showing it to everybody... We hope to inspire others through our love story."

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