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The Wedding Video: A Film by Norman Korpi & Clint Cowen
Jun 13, 2003 Author: Sable Jak

The 29th Annual Seattle International Film Festival kicked off on May 22 with its usual high spirits and the showing of a delightful Argentinean Film Valentin. It is absolutely wonderful and truly a "feel good" film. However, with 200-plus films to be screened over the next three weeks, it is a shame that a new film by Norman Korpi and Clint Cowen will not be among the offerings. Seattle is known for its delight in off-beat, quirky little films and The Wedding Video would have fit right in.
The gist of the film's story is: Norman is getting married. He takes the $10,000 that his mother has given him and hires a videographer to shoot a wedding video. The cameraman (the audience never sees him, just hears him) then travels the country to visit several of Norman's friends and gather up their good wishes. He ends up back in California where he videos the pre-nuptial parties and the wedding itself. The twist is, several of the guests don't know that Sky—Norman's intended—is a man and, of course, a few of them have a problem with that.

Starring 10 ex-members of MTV's Real World, The Wedding Video is a tongue-in-cheek parody of reality-style shows. It's shot in the same manner, on video, with voyeuristic eavesdropping and intimate private comments sprinkled throughout. If you're expecting the over-the-top nastiness so prevalent in reality shows today, forget it. But, it's not all various shades of fluffy pink either. You can't help but wonder how the cameraman is going to edit a loving tribute out of all the mishaps and misunderstandings that constantly undermine his attempts to create what Norman wants.

The film is conceived, directed, produced, shot and edited by Korpi and Cowen and is also self-financed. A comment from the Director's Statement says: "We really had no idea what we were doing … We were reading the instruction manuals to the cameras on the plane the day before we started shooting." Never fear, they learned quickly. In addition to all of the above, the film really wasn't scripted. Normally, the idea of an unscripted film should send any screenwriter screaming from the theater (unless, of course, he's the talented Mr. Guest.) But the premise of this film is so intriguing, it's hard to pass up. So far, it's taken two Best Picture awards in festivals: one at the Adam Baran's Honolulu GLFF and the other at the Indiana GLFF.

While watching Wedding you can't help but wonder: This is such a delightful concept; how come we haven't seen it before? And most importantly: Why is this video/film being released straight to video? It's funny, it's silly, it's intriguing and it's definitely something that will make every writer watching think … "Why didn't I think of this story? It's great!" There is so much material in the concept, it's staggering. If you get a chance, look for it in your favorite video haunts. It's well worth the check-out price. And if it does get a general release and plays in your area, GO. Until next month, keep writing, no one is going to do it for you.

About This Author
Sable Jak is a former actress and dancer and has, like so many others writers, been writing ever since she can remember. She's a columnist with Absolute Write and has radio mysteries running on Virtually American. She is also a charter member of The Screenplayers: Script Magazine -

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