Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Valentine stood behind Alexa, touching up her sister's blonde ringlets with the curling iron. Pierre the Photographer and his trusty young assistant crowded into the bedroom doorway, filming and snapping pictures.

For the next seven hours on that Saturday the Jacob family would make no move not documented by our own personal paparazzi.
I hired these fellows on recommendation from a Burkinabé friend.

Studio Magix Photo Plus, it’s called. “Plus what?” you may be asking. Well, let me tell you - Pierre gave me a sample film to watch and it was “plus” every single special effect in his editing software. The image of the newlyweds exchanging vows went heart-shaped, folded over into a box and then turned into a butterfly and fluttered off into an aquarium full of virtual fish. And that was just the first 30 seconds.

Our whole family watched, completely enthralled. It was fascinatingly bad. JP remarked that it should be aired at Cannes and then said, quite seriously, that we HAD to buy a copy of it to show to a film-making pal of ours in Switzerland.

Strange coincidence: the film featured a marriage that JP and I were invited to last February! It was the wedding of a young French researcher where JP works and a Burkinabé student. As we were pretty busy and I didn’t even know Elodie to say “Bonjour” to in the street, we declined. But if we had made a bit of effort, we too could have been in the amazing wedding video!

There was no question about it. We NEEDED a cool Burkina-style video of the twins’ big day!

Digital, 35mm and video. The guys juggled cameras and followed us gamely into the garden for some portraits. Then it was time to get the twins to the church.

Have I mentioned yet that it was hot? It was hot. I think my confident citing of predictions for cooler weather for the weekend jinxed the whole thing. It was especially hot if you happened to be wearing a floor-length, long sleeved, high-necked robe, as in the case of the twins and their little friends.

Our church members include people of very different economic means. There are very wealthy families alongside people that don’t even own a bicycle. That means that some of the girls can fly to Paris and buy magnificent dresses for their First Communion. Others are not so lucky. So, the tradition at our church is that all the children wear white robes lent out by the church. If you have a fancy dress, you have to save it for your party afterwards. I think it’s a great rule, even though the robes are hot in the Burkina spring temperatures.

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