Sure, creatives are famous for their memorable holiday cards or party invitations. But when it comes to creating their own major life events, expect something truly extraordinary. Corey McKenna and Rachel Stark (both 23) wanted their wedding invitations to be more than just card stock and letterpress. To herald their June 2009 wedding, they decided that nothing short of a video invitation, produced in stop-motion animation, would do. Four months and 5,500 photos later, McKenna created a video wedding invitation their guests would never forget.
The four-minute video stars a suit and a party dress as they whimsically prepare for a wedding, with Vampire Weekend’s song M79 as the soundtrack. The practical information—date, location, time—is literally spelled out using refrigerator magnets. There’s even a clever approach to a “GPS street view,” as McKenna films the route to the wedding from the dash of his car.
McKenna made the film by patiently photographing each frame in the movie, then uploading the photos as a slideshow in iMovie. He then shortened the length of the picture down to a tenth of a second.
This was all about as easy as it sounds. “Unfortunately, the computer I used was bogged down with so many pictures that towards the end of the project, it would take hours and hours for the clips to render,” says McKenna. “Then, I would do all the necessary cuts and editing to make it move smoothly with the music. A really productive day consisted of many twenty seconds of footage (or 200 photos) and a not-so productive day would consist of anywhere from zero to five seconds of footage.”
Laborious, but well worth it. The invitation was mailed to guests as a DVD, wrapped in another invitation of card stock, just in case the recipients didn’t view the DVD. The response? “There were a handful of people unfamiliar with DVDs, trying to play it in their CD player,” says McKenna. “But otherwise, people really loved the video. Everyone watched it by the time the wedding rolled around, which added excitement, making it a blast.”