I'll be appearing at the Los Angeles Center for Photography on March 19 for a talk about the ideas behind producing a time lapse narrative short film. Come on down…
Thank you Kat Ward and Hometown Pasadena... Interview with Michael e. Stern, local time lapse expert.
As more construction time lapse projects come into my office that require long term self-contained self-powered systems, it became imperative
to develop a check list to ensure that camera controls, intervalometer settings, power set-ups and connections are appropriately set so I can sleep at night.
And by association you’ll sleep better too. A checklist takes on more importance the higher up and less accessible the installation location is.
To wit: The Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project currently under way at the Port of Long Beach, (POLB) is the type of assignment I’m talking about here…
Time lapse is the art form I cultivate
In order to create better collaboration between creative and business types, I’ve put together this list of time lapse definitions with accompanying examples when appropriate. Although there exist some differences from the norm, for the most part these definitions are common and familiar within the time lapse and motion picture industries.
I hope you find this informative, invaluable and motivating enough to call me to discuss your pie-in-sky project. Hello? 818-422-0696…
The following definitions are common. If the definition is one I’ve come up with vs. what is commonly used, I’ll let you know with a • before the definition While there are some truisms, rules are made to be adapted by the creator and that’s part of what you’re buying from a professional time lapse director/producer/photographer: a willingness to jump off the deep end for the sake of the project.
In the interest of furthering overall knowledge about the process of making short time lapse films (or narratives as I like to call them), the 3 distinct phases of production…
If you want your organizations’ story told using time lapse as the format, for social media to engage, entertain and inform your followers, please read the following and consider the elements necessary for a successful outcome.
Putting cost aside for the moment…
First off, time lapse photography at its’ core is documentary in nature. Time lapse photography is usually a straight forward process: one or more cameras diligently record a scene, event, process or phenomenon. It can be as straightforward as a single stationary camera set out for several hours, or it be exponentially more complex when cameras are placed in remote locations for weeks, months or years. Recording a variety of ambient sounds for use in the editing process is also a consideration. (Sometimes easier than trying to source it online after principal photography has been completed.)
In the previous post, “Well Hung Hardware”, I blogged and showed how I hang a variety time lapse rigs used for short and long term assignments. The reaction was very positive and I decided to add to the collection:
This one I call Spidey.
Gorilla Pods are great for the odd situation. But you have to rig it pointing down for stability. The sequence lasted about 45 minutes.
That’s a 12 volt lead acid battery for powering the 6 rpm motor. The weights add stability.
What should be your guiding principal when planning shots, especially when it comes to motion control time lapse sequences? The four keywords I keep in mind are: education, documentation, preservation and entertainment. Every decision I make rides on the backs of these four words.
I jumped into time lapse photography in ’03 and have been hacking away at it ever since. During this time, I realized I was developing a new specialty: the commercial time lapse narrative. Now I offer a boutique experience to my market in that I shoot time lapse projects with the mindset of a movie director. I offer and provide multiple camera set ups daily, weekly and monthly. In addition to the usual fixed or static camera that records all that happens in front of it I also place what I call rover units throughout a site in order to tell the complete story, whatever it may be…thus the decisions that come with this approach.
Trying something new here...my first video promo/post where I'm discussing the merits of the eMotimo TB3 motion control unit. Hope you find it useful: Thanks for watching. Michael