In June of 2010, we received a phone call just as we were closing office for the day. A Suri Dhaliwal fromWinnipeg was calling to inquire about our Cinematography & Photography services. Normally, we request the client to call back during business hours, but on a whim, I asked Suri to call my cell 20 minutes later.
Twenty minutes later, I was out shopping with the family when Suri called back accompanied by her fiancée, Ruben Karla on speaker phone. While my wife carried on with the shopping, I wandered around aimlessly, immersed as I was in the conversation, which lasted about 30 minutes. Even though I’d never actually met the couple (not yet that is), they struck me straightaway as clientele for whom we would no doubt do something very special.
Two months later, when the couple flew down to Toronto to visit Suri’s sister, we met up with them, even though it was our busiest weekend of the year. I had 45 minutes to spare in between a ceremony and a reception taking place at the Bellevue Manor in Vaughan. Suri and Ruben drove down there, where we established that their wedding would require a concept production.
Between September of 2010 and July of 2011, the couple flew down twice more from Winnipeg to Toronto, to shoot in the winter and summer seasons, for their concept video. During that time, we communicated mainly through text messaging and skype conferencing. The texting exceeded 150 messages, and the conferencing time, in total, was at least 6-7 hours long.
Once 70% of the production was complete, it was time to film the story element. When I found out, on the couple’s second visit to Toronto, that they were attending a Rahat Fateh Ali Khan concert, I thought of including some concert footage, specifically Rahat’s song “Tere Mast Mast Do Nain,” in the concept video. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to secure tickets. But never fear, when Suri and Ruben are there . These two promised to pull some strings to ensure our attendance with a license to shoot (concert footage) at Rahat’s Winnipeg performance. After a month and a half of Suri and Ruben cajoling the concert organizers, I finally received a call from Suri at 3 p.m. on the day of the concert, informing me that we’d gotten the green light. Luckily, my schedule was open that evening so I quickly checked and booked flights, made arrangements to leave immediately for Winnipeg and just made it onto the plane as the boarding gate was about to close. Very Bollywood, as Suri pointed out . I got into Winnipeg just in time, and got to witness the legendary Rahat live.
After filming the concert, I flew home to Toronto on the first flight back. I had some footage for the story element now, but the whole of it still needed to be filmed. This filming took place literary 2 days before the wedding, as it was the only time that both FilmStyle and Suri and Ruben were open-scheduled. The timeline may have been tight but the effort and enthusiasm was in abundance on both sides, and the end product, I must say, certainly reflects this.
I have to say that Ruben and Suri are not only a strong, steady and ever-smiling couple but they are also quite the pair of dedicated troopers. Despite their extremely busy schedule in the medical field, they devoted a great deal of their time and energy to ensuring the completion and perfection of this project. During all the various shoots, they showed great patience and were very easy to work with. Finally, their real life chemistry transitioned beautifully onto the screen and made this production all the more stunning. It was an absolute joy to produce “Tamana.” To top it all off, we’re all good friends now. So overall: It was a blast. Good stuff guys!