7pm Friday evening through 7am the following Monday. That’s what I was told when asked to shoot time-lapse of an embedded track pour. A finished time-lapse film depicting the work to use for corporate marketing was the goal. Ultimately, they completed the build with 6 hours to spare. That was impressive. I was also impressed with their planning and efficiency, as I have been numerous times since becoming their project photographer.
With single-camera time-lapse films comes the challenge of how to avoid a boring edit and deliverable. Planning to capture supporting visuals from the beginning, middle or end to supplement the time-lapse is my approach for producing a watchable film.
During the edit phase I add audio effects in time with the action to keep my viewers’ minds in sync with the movies’ flow. Below is an example of what I mean. It’s the spot where the cement mixer truck comes into view from camera left at night. By adding the sound of a truck moving into the frame and out again helps to keep interest.
With music but no sound effects:
With music and sound effects:
Overall length of a single time-lapse film is also an consideration taken. Over the course of many films, I’ve found the preferred sweet spot for my work is between 75 and 120 seconds. Give or take.
In conclusion the right sound effects, the right music and the right running time are vitally important when producing a meaningful viewing experience from a single camera time-lapse film.
The final film:
If you’d like my analysis of the best way to time-lapse your next project, be sure to get in touch.