In honor of the 2nd anniversary of my proposal to Olivia, we are releasing a revised version of our proposal video that originally coincided with the introduction of A Peachy Life Productions. For a long time the video needed some touch ups and we felt it was time to give it a proper release. On top of that, this film lacked a well defined blog post. And finally, we wanted to share this exclusive video in hopes that future couples will become interested in doing proposal or engagement style music videos. There truly is an interesting story coupled along with this video and I feel it is certainly worth telling. It was first shown in public on Olivia and I’s dating anniversary (a few months before our wedding). The concept for this proposal came in November of 2011. I turned to my partner in this business, Tao, and he became the very first person to know I had made the decision to propose. Having a natural gift for suprising Olivia, I needed this one to be big; I also needed it to be caught on film. In many ways, this collaboration is what gave birth to A Peachy Life Productions. Tao and I’s ability to put together a grand scheme for fooling Olivia into thinking that 1. We were just shooting a music video for fun and 2. Secretly filming and recording audio at a public place for the proposal lead me to think this was the start of a beautiful partnership.
The idea for filming a music video had been in the works for quite some time and when the proposal idea came to fruition, the music video took on a whole new purpose. We drafted a storyboard and began filming right away in December and January. The story of the video was meant to retell the beginning of our relationship. There’s a little romanticizing here and there for entertainment purposes, but for the most part the story of the video matches up well with the actual story. Although we technically did not meet while running on treadmills at a gym, one of the first things we did as friends was hit the gym together, and we often ran the treadmill alongside one another. People have asked me if I actually fell off the treadmill in order to grab her attention. Though I appear to be quite the pick up artist in the music video, no, that’s not exactly how it happened. The next significant scene has me sending a text message to Olivia asking her out on a date to Yogurt Mountain. This did, indeed, actually happen. I would be willing to argue over which one of us made the first move in asking, but I settled on it being me for the sake of the video. It took a great deal of takes to capture Olivia’s action in a way that seemed natural, but I assure you she reacted just like that when it really happened!
We didn’t think twice about filming on location at Yogurt Mountain and Starbucks. In those days, we didn’t bother asking for any specific written permission to film, besides, we got the go ahead from the employee who was on duty that particular night at Yogurt Mountain. It feels as though we wouldn’t be so lucky anywhere else. We attempted to film a video for the BIG BANG song “Bad Boy” in Ybor City, but were shut down by the fuzz. I wanted to make sure we captured as much of our story as I could because this video would be a document of how we fell in love and how I proposed. There are a lot of really interesting proposal videos on the internet; people have dreamt up some really dazzling ideas. What was important to me was that our friends and family were there, that we were at the same place where we had our first date (Starbucks) and that we captured everything with audio and video.
The planning, of course, took a tremendous amount of work. Planning something at this scale required a lot of precision. I ended up with a contact person; her friend Lillian who did a fantastic job keeping everyone on track and informing them of our location. Once the big day came, there was no chance for me to communicate to anyone. I had to leave it in the hands of others and hope that things worked out. The main point was that Olivia did not become aware of our plans! As you will see in the video, the plan was a complete success.
The song selection for this video is a peculiar one for most western listeners out there. We chose a K-POP love song because it’s one of our earliest connections. I’ll never forget the first time I heard this song. I was studying abroad in Italy, away from Olivia for 6 weeks. Our relationship was still in its infancy, but there’s no doubt she was dominating my thoughts. I was just finding my way into the K-POP world when I picked up 2ne1’s album. The moment I heard “You & I” for the first time I felt goosebumps. Without even considering our time zone difference, I leapt for the phone and called Olivia right away. I’m pretty sure I woke her up as a I excitedly told her about my discovery and how she had to listen to the song right away. I can’t think of any other way that music can be more moving than when it can bring two souls together for a harmonious four minutes of listening bliss. The song itself is charming and cute; the embodiment of cheeky korean pop culture. The ultimate take away is the song’s message of you and I together against the rest of the world. Not letting anything get in our way. Fortunately for Olivia and I, we found that message resonating. And we’ve been weaving our own unique love story ever since. And our little boy is the perfect example of our tireless spirit.
Now that I have basically covered the timeline for how we managed to film this (thanks Starbucks!). But now I’d like to say a little something about why I chose to have our proposal filmed. Look, my purpose behind all this filming was to show my best friend just how much she meant to me. I think people endeavor to do amazing things when they feel moved by another soul. That other soul compels them to respond in the most dramatic way. To laugh, to cry, to scream, to be frantic and numb all at once. It forces them to fill a void that words cannot express. How tired must the word love feel! For millennia it has been used and abused in so many ways; how can anyone legitimately prove their love with mere words? There has to be a superior expression. All I can ever think of is what can I do to bring about that genuine smile that I fell in love with years ago? That smile is life affirming.
There’s no rule book about how to live your life. There’s nothing inherent about monogamy or love or any of that. We’re left to make of it what we will. For some it could be other things, but for me it’s this one person that truly makes life worth living. This whole experience is a grand mystery and full of more questions than answers. But there’s nothing I’ve ever been more certain of than spending the rest of my life making this one other person, my wife, happy. The vows I took are now etched onto my soul and from here, anything is now possible.
Happy two years since getting down on one knee!
Featured Image and all photographs, unless otherwise noted, courtesy of the infinitely talented Shipra Panosian.