Please forgive me for doing something as technical as this. Think of it as a literature review fused together with romance.
The sound of raindrops practically set the tone of the video. And if you match the Chinese lyrics of the song to what was happening in the video, you’d realise that everything was poetic.
We first appeared in the video, side-by-side under the umbrella to “坐在我身旁”. And as you hear “回家的太阳“, the scene had the sunset in the backdrop, with us walking towards the camera.
Now for my first favourite scene…
Caleb captured our synchronised footsteps in the pouring rain as we walked across the frame. WOW – what a moment! It was an encapsulation of a journey that we would walk together, even in stormy seasons of life! Indulge me please, for I am moved by my own vivid imagination…
The silly way that I swiveled the ring box was something completely spontaneous; I actually did it because I was nervous! But look at how nicely it turned out – the camera transformed my anxiety into cheekiness. And speaking of camera magic, what looked like me gently kissing her on her cheeks was actually me whispering instruction into Huiyi’s ear.
And here comes my rock star moment!
Actually, it wouldn’t have been possible because the original instruction I gave to the crew was to set up my guitar on the guitar stand I asked them to bring along. But I think they didn’t not because they forgot but because they didn’t want to expose my Cort to the rain. They practically saved my guitar…
This meant that I had to take it out from the case when I got there and it created a wonderful MTV-esque scene. I felt like a rock star filming a music video in the rain! It’s like a dream come true, really – to do in real life what I’ve always seen in reel life (without spoiling my guitar). Wonderful!
And the next scene tops it all…
I must really hand it to Caleb’s technical brilliance. As the song reached its chorus and the scene reached its climax, the soundtrack was removed and in place of it was the live recording of my song presentation to Huiyi, complete with the rawness of the rain!
I loved it! And the stunned look on Huiyi’s face was absolutely priceless! Especially when she turned her head to the left and back immediately to size up what was going on – this was captured candidly and beautifully!
At this point, I think Huiyi still had no idea that she was gripping the placards in her hands. On hindsight, looking at those placards must have spurred me on and gave me courage to do what I did. I was staring straight at the love of my life and the answer that she was going to give.
This “YES!” placard, juxtaposed with the five placards in the background, formed a wonderful and self-explanatory picture of a proposal in its purest form.
The raindrops that ricocheted on the camera lens and the glowing lamps created such a wonderful lens flare! It was truly a cinematic moment that only God could help us to create, and at no cost!
(Please continue to indulge me because I think it was so cool when I removed the guitar! Wearing that checkered shirt proved to be priceless too! Yes, my imagination is running amok!)
The soundtrack returned to the video at its crescendo as I got down on one knee to open the ring box to present the ring to Huiyi to ask her to marry me.
And then came Huiyi’s favourite moment of the video…
It was the few seconds when she said “YES!” to me and when I smiled the widest and happiest smile of my life as I removed the ring from the ring box. Frankly, I’ve never seen myself so happy before too! And yes, Huiyi still beams each time she sees that scene.
And as she revealed the other two placards in her hands (that also read “YES!”), her best friend appeared, as if to endorse and affirm her of her decision…
I think it was a special and wonderful moment for the two of them to remember and talk about for the rest of their lives… I’m sure of that!
Again, I must compliment Caleb for syncing “把你未来放在我肩上” with the moment I put the ring on her finger. I don’t care whether it was by incidental or intentional, I only care that it was an inspired moment! Absolutely brilliant timing!
The video closes with us exchanging a kiss with her holding the “YES!” placard and the two of us standing at the front of “Will You Marry Me? / 让我照顾你”. Again, another award-winning moment.
The final Hollywood moment that we enjoyed came at the last shot…
As the camera focus blurred, leaving two orange lights (which matched the orange umbrella) in the background (complete with the lens flare effect), it concluded the entire video for us before it moved into the photo slideshow.
And if you haven’t already realised, what you hear during the slideshow is what Huiyi heard in her earphones just before I removed it.
Man, I think I should enter this out-of-the-world video (which I will embed for the last time) for some wedding competition… Wait a minute – I did!
Next chapter: the after-proposal reflection and reaction.
The song that defined our relationship thus far (and our would-be proposal) was 让我照顾你 by 五月天. I rewrote the verses to contextualise it into our relationship and spent an evening recording it at Johann’s place. I spent a week rehearsing the song on my guitar, after I spent an evening learning how to play it on the guitar from Joel. I don’t play the guitar regularly so my tender finger tips were on the verge of splitting due to a week of unfamiliar overuse.
I am an ambitious sanguine and the original idea was to get Joel to teach me how to play the song on the piano. The plan was to perform the song on the piano and sing it live to her. It was a double-challenge with a difficulty that was magnified four times over.
Firstly, I can barely bang chords on the piano. Secondly, I’m a typical ACS boy and typical ACS boys do not sing Chinese songs. Thirdly, I had to do play the piano and sing the chinese song simultaneously while composing myself in public. Fourthly, I gave myself only a week to master this. And finally, unlike an acoustic guitar that uses battery power, a portable keyboard required a power outlet for it to produce sound.
Basically, it only seemed like a sound decision (no pun intended) to do something a lot more achievable – play the guitar and sing. It was actually Joel’s wisdom that helped me make this decision. He lovingly cautioned, “Joe, if you really want to play the piano and sing this song to her, I will do everything I can to help you succeed. But don’t you want to be able to look her in the eye and sing those lyrics to her instead of focussing on the next piano keys to play?”
So I heeded his advice and reverted to my tried and tested Cort.
Next chapter: the most romantic amateur Chinese song.