Light Writing Proposal
January 11, 2010 3:36 PM   Subscribe

I knew I wanted to find a very special way to propose to a very special woman. This long exposure, and the making of footage, were shot over three nights in Raleigh, North Carolina as a marriage proposal to Emily. [more about light writing]
posted by netbros (57 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
This gave me chills. What a sweet gift.
posted by emilyd22222 at 3:42 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. 3 days worth of work for a creative and beautiful proposal is so much more precious than 3 days worth of wining, dining, vacations, or anything else to prime for a proposal. This is wonderful.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 3:47 PM on January 11, 2010


Now she'll construct a giant bullhorn and say "No!" loud enough for everyone in town to hear, but he'll insert an irrigation system into his face so he can cry buckets of tears and he'll have extra legs sewn on so he can get down on all of his knees and beg her, so she'll marry a one-eyed midget named Lester just to calm things the fuck down.
posted by pracowity at 3:54 PM on January 11, 2010 [11 favorites]


This is really awesome. Thank you for sharing!
posted by headspace at 4:03 PM on January 11, 2010


I'm surprised that the local DHS didn't take this guys down. Bunch of weirdos out at night marking things with lights, chalk, lasers...yet nobody saw anything. Odd.

Oh, and if you're looking for the definition of TACKY, no it's not the childish scribble in the proposal, it's the Donate to my Wedding/Honeymoon Fund button at the bottom of the proposal page. Wonder if he'll make a viral video of the birthing of his kids and post those as well and ask for money raising them.

Sweet dreams with this guy, Emily. Sweet, fucking dreams.
posted by jsavimbi at 4:05 PM on January 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


This gave me chills. What a sweet gift.
posted by emilyd22222 at 3:42 PM on January 11 [+] [!]


You would say that, EMILY.
posted by mrnutty at 4:11 PM on January 11, 2010 [12 favorites]


Sweet dreams with this guy, Emily. Sweet, fucking dreams.

I'm pretty sure light-writing drove over jsavimbi's childhood puppy.
posted by Tomorrowful at 4:16 PM on January 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


Oh, also: Childish scribble? Think about how far away the camera was when these shots were taken. Without checking the Making Of, I'm pretty sure there's some real work being done to get the letters that spot-on straight.
posted by Tomorrowful at 4:20 PM on January 11, 2010


Man. I'm a hater, but I can only dream of achieving the level of hate-nirvana that jsavimbi has reached.

This was really cool and it makes me wish I had been so clever.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:21 PM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


jsavimbi:
Oh, and if you're looking for the definition of TACKY, no it's not the childish scribble in the proposal, it's the Donate to my Wedding/Honeymoon Fund button at the bottom of the proposal page. Wonder if he'll make a viral video of the birthing of his kids and post those as well and ask for money raising them.

Sweet dreams with this guy, Emily. Sweet, fucking dreams.


On the outside chance you will be invited to the wedding, I would suggest that your toast could use a little polishing.

Seriously. WTF.
posted by nickjadlowe at 4:28 PM on January 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


OMG VIMEO WORKS ON THE IPHONE.

When did that happen?
posted by kbanas at 4:38 PM on January 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


While I do tend to think that love matters are both more special and less annoying when not broadcast to everyone on the goddamn planet, this Emily character did say yes, so mazel tov or whatever, and many happy page-views to the bridge-and-groom-to-be.

Now, put in her position, I would have chartered a skywriting plane to spell out "OH BARF," but to each their own.
posted by wreckingball at 4:39 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ok, maybe it's acceptable in your neck of the woods to attention-whore something and then ask for a "donation", or maybe I'm just reading too much into the personality of someone who would go through the trouble of making a project out of a cotidian experience with the desired outcome being "Hey, look at me!" when it should be personal and without material gain from the same people you're trying to impress.

In one case the donation button is tacky, and I'd be hard pressed to concede that it isn't to anyone of polite society, and in the second case we have someone who at a young age knows how to make a buck off of sentiment.

But then again, maybe they're two peas in a pod so there's nothing lost there.
posted by jsavimbi at 4:46 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm with jsavimbi about thinking the donation button is tacky.

Proposals are lovely. Doing some light-writing project is lovely. A light-writing proposal project is lovely.

A crowd-funded proposal sends my ick-meter off. The reward for a proposal should be a marriage, not PayPals from strangers.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:52 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's my understanding that putting a Paypal button on websites like this is pretty standard practice (not that that makes it OK, but this is not without precedent). Some people are really touched by these things and are flush enough with money that they want to put some of into the pockets of people who do interesting/creative/particularly sweet things. Chills aside, I am not one of those people, and neither are you, jsavimbi or Sidhedevil. However, just because you are not one of those people does not make it inherently ick, in my opinion.
posted by emilyd22222 at 4:57 PM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seems like a lot of work for something that could have been done with photoshop.
posted by amro at 5:06 PM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's my understanding that putting a Paypal button on websites like this is pretty standard practice

PayPals on websites for creative projects are standard practice, and not ick at all.

This is the very first time I've seen a PayPal button on a website about a proposal of marriage. That's what makes it ick to me.

I put lots of money into the pockets of people who do interesting/creative/generous things. Into people who propose marriage to other people? Not so much, no. Because that shouldn't be for me--it should be for the person being proposed to.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:06 PM on January 11, 2010


Eh, I wrote this comment about being proud of what you've done and sharing it with the world and he didn't have to share so what's the big deal about the donation button -- but then I looked again at the page he set up, and saw the "I love emily; help me spread the word" with a digg button, and the "thank yous" to people and companies for loaning the equipment, and I can't help but think Emily might feel that he did it for the attention more than to make her happy.
posted by davejay at 5:07 PM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


PayPals on websites for creative projects are standard practice, and not ick at all.

Maybe it's just a difference of opinion at the heart of this- I actually see this as a creative project, and pretty inspiring in terms of thinking outside of the box about how marriage proposals are approached.

I am racking my brain trying to think of where I saw this, but I have definitely seen at least one other similar marriage proposal website where there was a creative proposal and a Paypal button. If it matters, I believe they got shit for it too. I just personally don't have a huge problem with it.
posted by emilyd22222 at 5:10 PM on January 11, 2010


so, we're not taking up a collection???
posted by HuronBob at 5:16 PM on January 11, 2010


What's with the haters? The guy created something meaningful - a lot of work to ask her hand in marriage. And you guys turn it into etiquette debate? Do you really have that little of a life? There is nothing wrong with having a donation button on that page. It's not like you can't choose *not* to donate. Jesus fuck, assholes.
posted by yoga at 5:20 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was going to do this for my now-fiance but... I ALREADY WORK AROUND THE CLOCK!
posted by billysumday at 5:20 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Shut up you guys. This totally made me cry like a little bitch.
posted by banannafish at 5:31 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I suppose there are some people that don't buy into the greed-grubbing, all-about-me, attention-whore concepts of a bridal shower. Or wedding gifts. Or baby showers. Frankly, weddings aren't missing much in losing the support of these motive purists.

Get a hold of yourselves. Some guy gets all excited and runs with a touching idea, that works within his moral and romantic comfort zone (and obviously that of his friends and family as well we assume). It looked like fun to do. You can slam the guy if you want, but I'm guessing he doesn't give a fuck if anybody other than his fiance, family and friends liked it or approved of it. People put things up online for SO many reasons other than to gain as much attention as they can.

Because he put it online doesn't mean he was inviting you into his life in any significant way. Your critique does not indicate a finer sensibility. Nobody cares what you think his motives might be beyond what this video actually was...a marriage proposal. If you like it, smile. If you don't, don't mock somebody else's idea of happiness. It makes you look little. And lonely.
posted by nickjadlowe at 5:39 PM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ok, maybe it's acceptable in your neck of the woods to attention-whore something and then ask for a "donation"

I live in Silicon Valley, so the answer is yes.

(although I generally prefer not to have people's attention, myself)
posted by wildcrdj at 5:40 PM on January 11, 2010


Are they going to sell tickets to the wedding party?

Listen, I think he went a little overboard, but to each his own and if his friends helped him all the better. But the subsequent attention-whoring and donation thing betray his real motives and feelings and, I predict, his future behavior where everything he does must be met with popular approval, whether solicited or not.

In my opinion, this guy is a douche.
posted by jsavimbi at 6:08 PM on January 11, 2010


But a clever douche.
posted by scrowdid at 6:17 PM on January 11, 2010


I watched the movie and saw the donation thingy and thought it was tacky and immediately felt like an asshole. Then I read these comments.

I love Metafilter.
posted by lizjohn at 6:26 PM on January 11, 2010


If the donate button had been huge and at the top, I'd certainly think it tacky.

But it was small, down below everything else, after he thanks those that helped him. What a thing to focus on, guys!
posted by _paegan_ at 6:26 PM on January 11, 2010


Let's complain about the music instead.
posted by Evstar at 6:28 PM on January 11, 2010


Proposal dude, the rule is under-promise and over-deliver. You're just setting yourself up for endless "I married a guy who proposed with a light-writing movie and yet we can't seem to get the house painted" conversations.
posted by maxwelton at 6:34 PM on January 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


Seems like a lot of work for something that could have been done with photoshop.

Hi, dear! I have something special for you ...

"Can I haz matrimony?"

See, it's like the cat is talking! Isn't that hilarious? Here, look, I made a special thread on 4chan ...
posted by krinklyfig at 6:36 PM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I liked it.


but proposing shouldn't be a competition.
posted by Corduroy at 6:57 PM on January 11, 2010


> In my opinion, this guy is a douche.

So this guy is a douche because he put a donation link on a wedding announcement page and seems a bit too proud of his creative endeavor? If he's a douche, what does that make John Edwards?

Seriously, when did the douche bar get set so low?

(or high, I can't remember which way is bad in douche-land)
posted by foggy out there now at 7:08 PM on January 11, 2010


Looks fake to me.
posted by spilon at 7:23 PM on January 11, 2010


But it was small, down below everything else, after he thanks those that helped him. What a thing to focus on, guys!

Some things really jump out at people. At first I thought it was a little too over-involved, then way too proud for an achievement that, to be honest, wasn't the greatest thing I've ever seen, then came the sense that our groom-to-be was far more concerned with attention whoring the operation, which made the insult of the donation button even greater.

The fact that he actually stopped, thought out and implemented the donation scheme however small and set aside as it was, explains a lot about his true character and sentiments.

If it was a competition than he should have entered one as such. If he was looking for cash to further his experimental art, than he should have presented it as such. He did neither. Instead, he submitted his work to social networks in an attempt to overcome some feelings of underachievement and to hopefully make some money while masquerading the whole thing as an act of love. I call bullshit.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:30 PM on January 11, 2010


What awesome rage. It's like jsavimbi was bitten by one of those zombies in 28 Days Later and is now raging all over this thread biting everyone else; in a good way.

Where were you when that whole wedding dance thing was going around? I just watched that the other day and realized that it has not aged well.
posted by Mid at 7:45 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where were you when that whole wedding dance thing was going around? I just watched that the other day and realized that it has not aged well.

I had never seen that. Fluffy, autotuned pop music does not typically age well. Most things you thought were really cool and fun at that wedding you attended five, ten years ago ... don't age well. But this is only true for the people who weren't involved. For the people who were there it's always going to be a sweet memory, especially if it looks goofy later.

So ... it's sweet. But, hell no, never going to happen at my wedding, if it ever comes to that. Those guys look happy, total goofballs, and that's cool, but that's not my idea of an ideal wedding day. I guess it's not really up to me, if it does come to that ... Still, at least George Clinton would be a better soundtrack. Or Stevie Wonder. Have a bit of dignity, man! OK, maybe the P-Funk would be just as goofy, but you better bet we'd all be gettin down like we mean it, probably all the way to the reception.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:04 PM on January 11, 2010


Thankfully, I guess I missed out on the wedding dance thing.

For the people who were there it's always going to be a sweet memory, especially if it looks goofy later.

The context of time and place rarely sells well beyond the memories of the participants, and if anything I'd encourage people to record and share more of their experiences. Just don't tout me as you display and promote something that has no greater benefit to the community other than a marginal time-waster.

I'm not raging over it. I watched the video, made some observations and then concluded that this guy is so caught up in himself that bride be warned. And I posted that. Of course I'm hated on because who would say a bad thing about anything surrounding marriage, the great institution that it is? We have a different way at looking at peoples' motives but now I'm small. And lonely. And my puppy got runned over.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:47 PM on January 11, 2010


Shit like this makes me want to cock punch Dave Eggers.
posted by felix betachat at 10:22 PM on January 11, 2010


Man, I think his taste in music is questionable and don't really get the donation button thing, but nevertheless, I feel compelled to point out that haters ride the douche bus.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:29 PM on January 11, 2010


don't really get the donation button thing

Let me get this straight: you're inability to grasp a concept and formulate an opinion and post it equates into douchery for those that can?
posted by jsavimbi at 11:04 PM on January 11, 2010


I would just like to say that everyone who is commenting on this thread is an attention whore. EXAMPLE.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:09 PM on January 11, 2010


What's with the haters? The guy created something meaningful - a lot of work to ask her hand in marriage

It didn't strike me as very meaningful, considering it could have been done in Photoshop, the time spent making it could have been spent together, it didn't produced anything "real" i.e. you needed special exposures and photoshop to collage it all together, it's not it was message she could actually turn around and see on the side of building one romantic night and finally it doesn't bode well for the future. "Hey, we need to talk and no, I don't need you working for 3 days on a special project to answer me, let's just have a conversation, ok?!"

But hey, if it worked for them and they get donations, cool!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:11 AM on January 12, 2010


Wow. Fighting about Buddhism and getting peeved at other people's marriage proposals. Geez.

I would like to provide some balance by saying that I LOVE EVERYTHING THIS IS AWESOME.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:45 AM on January 12, 2010


Wow. I just showed the little guy over here the wedding dance video and he's never, EVER loved anything that much. Not even muppets.

He's trying to get more of it now. People dancing in suits must have magical powers over toddlers. I've never seen him like this.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:52 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I watched the video, made some observations and then concluded that this guy is so caught up in himself that bride be warned.

Nah, people are jumping on your for BS like this -- you really think you can judge his character and the success of their marriage based on a PayPal button?

considering it could have been done in Photoshop

Some things are worth doing the hard way.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 9:04 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised that the local DHS didn't take this guys down. Bunch of weirdos out at night marking things with lights, chalk, lasers...yet nobody saw anything. Odd.

Clearly, you've never been to downtown Raleigh in the middle of the night.
posted by EarBucket at 9:19 AM on January 12, 2010


In my opinion, this guy is a douche.

In my opinion, jsavimbi is a douche.
posted by metaxa at 9:22 AM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


That was pretty cool, but this seemed weird to me:

(I seem to recall her answer being yes; but you’d have to ask her to confirm)

I guess it's a little joke, but really? You went to all of that and then the actual result of it was a little bit of a jokey afterthought? Her actual part of it?
posted by kingbenny at 9:26 AM on January 12, 2010


Yeah, the donation button got a raised eyebrow from me, but whatever.

It was a lovely thing he created for a special woman in his life. The people who say "aw, he could have done this in photoshop" just don't get it. He took the time, he put the effort in — it mean that much to him. It's like saying someone who painted a picture for someone could have just bought them a Monet poster. The act of doing it is as meaningful, if not more, than the result.

And jsavimbi, in the spirit of your willingness to douche-define someone for a single act done on the internet, I will return the favor: you are being one huge douche about this.
posted by papercake at 10:32 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, every wedding site I've seen from friends and acquaintances has had a PayPal feature. I'm in my mid-20's. It does not make you tacky, it makes it easier for the generation you are a part of to donate.

This guy appears somewhat tech-saavy. It is likely his friends and family are somewhat tech-saavy and this is a huge benefit to them. Chances are, he wrote that little write-up after he got a slew of emails.

Judge away, but this guy is awesome and I'm sorry you're kicking yourself for losing a girl like Emily. It's a good thing divorce rates are what they are, maybe you'll have a chance to woo her again in Photoshop.. lazy asses.
posted by june made him a gemini at 11:35 AM on January 12, 2010


This guy appears somewhat tech-saavy

He did his wedding proposal with a fricking laser or something, I hope he's got tech-saavy going for him.

I took jsavimbi's rage as more performance art than anything else.
posted by Mid at 11:40 AM on January 12, 2010


p.s. the software you want to use as snark is After Effects.
posted by june made him a gemini at 11:40 AM on January 12, 2010


For what it's worth, every wedding site I've seen from friends and acquaintances has had a PayPal feature.

I disagree with you on the tackiness of that, but that's simply a matter of opinion. What I will says is that if there's no invitation, there's no donation. I hope we can agree on that.

But this isn't about friends and acquaintances, is it? It's about a strategy to promote a product across social networks, tracking users and soliciting a donation. That's a business proposal, not a sentimental one. A basic fundraising strategy where the viewer is shown a product designed to elicit a positive emotional response which is then followed up by a solicitation for funds. Not to friends and acquaintances, but to as many strangers as possible over the internet. I'd be surprised if he didn't have a little CV handy for when the tv cameras show up.

Please answer me the following:

If this was just a simple, loving marriage proposal then why do the two pages of their wedding website each have the following:

- Facebook share widget, with counter
- Digg submit widget
- Solicitation (on the welcome page he added "(or however much you wish)" over the original $1 figure)
- PayPal Donation button
- Hit counter (so 90's, so tacky)
- Google Analytics

I won't even mention the credits and links to his braintrusts.

Why the fuck is he tracking with Google Analytics? For what? By looking at his code and noting the presence of a visible hit counter, I can easily determine that he's not very tech-savvy outside of film making, but shit, man, one has to wonder why he bundled all of that together under an umbrella of the whole marriage thing. I think he should've enacted some boundaries because none of that stuff belongs on a wedding site unless it's being used for something else.
posted by jsavimbi at 2:31 PM on January 12, 2010


Proposal dude, the rule is under-promise and over-deliver. You're just setting yourself up for endless "I married a guy who proposed with a light-writing movie and yet we can't seem to get the house painted" conversations.

Although I think this was meant to be a bit funny, I'd say that's very good advice. Yes, and do over-deliver in the marriage itself.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:56 PM on January 13, 2010


jsavimbi - Like I said, he probably started getting messages from all over the place and set these things up to deter them from bothering him. I'd do the same if my idea started catching on over the internet. You might as well ride that 15 second wave if it means that you and your future wife get to have an even more awesome wedding + honeymoon.

Just let it go, dude.
posted by june made him a gemini at 9:36 AM on January 14, 2010


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