Short Films: Inside the Fence

When It Began

A little over a year ago I began producing a series of extremely short films called “Inside the Fence”. The premise going in is that I’m on site for only a portion of the process, but long enough to show what the job requires in terms of equipment, workforce deployment, safety gear and type of activity. These films are made for people who are interested in joining the industry by illustrating construction processes with short and artistic film stories. My work is primarily used for social media and education. The films, comprised of snippets of activity are short and sweet, 30-90 seconds. That’s by design. I want to make them entertaining and visually stimulating through the use of color toning, camera work, editing and sound design. To gather enough material for this length of film, takes 4-6 hours and multiple camera rigs.

I’m attracted to all construction processes, even demolition. This is one of the first in the short genre format and is 100% time-lapse: Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement.

Why It Began

The thing I appreciate most about the art and craft of construction activities is my front row seat documenting highly specialized, (CIDH) construction tasks. The intricate and time-consuming choreography project managers lay out, the work superintendents and foremen oversee, and the workers who do the work are exciting to learn, watch and memorialize. Capturing construction activity through stills, live-action video and time-lapse, allows me to flesh out stories in unique ways. Balancing all three provides a better viewing and understanding experience for your audience.

My latest is about the first embedded track pour for the OC Streetcar, under construction in Santa Ana, CA.

 Thanks for reading.


Michael Stern

Born and raised in Los Angeles, I live in the shadows of the entertainment industry. After a 20+ year run being a preferred media provider for the entertainment industry, it was time for a change. Since 2011, my work has been centered around the construction and industrial arenas providing stills, live-action and time-lapse media. Some days are better than others but all in all I have FREEDOM!
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