Light Emitting Dudes takes a team of freerunners, geared up from head to toe with LED lights, and sets them loose on the streets of Bangkok at night. With acrobatic grace, they carved up the already buzzing nightlife spots while adding their own flair and colour to the mix.
Jason Paul, Shaun Wood, and Anan Anwar are a team of freerunners whose homes are already quite far apart, coming from Frankfurt, Sydney, and Bangkok respectively. Director Frank Sauer and Costume Designer Christina Zahra also had to fly in from Germany, so getting everyone together to shoot this video was a challenge in and of itself. With no definite locations, pre-planned stunts, or even a working LED suit prototype, making the decision to fly to Thailand was a real leap of faith. All I had was an idea in mind of what I wanted to create.
I had worked with Jason before in 2011 to create Dream World, which documented Jason's journey to London to compete in the Art of Motion Freerunning competition. Since then I have been looking for another opportunity to work together and to get the rest of his team involved. I wanted to portray freerunning in a way that hasn't been done before. I realized that freerunning at night was a barely-touched space where I could do some ground-breaking work, so I began thinking about LED suits as a concept.
One of the biggest challenges was putting together a suit that both looked cool and was functional. It had to be able to withstand the stresses of high impact acrobatic stunts, while adequately lighting up the surroundings as we passed through them. Luckily, Christina, with a wealth of experience as a fashion designer, was there to put it all together. Armed with a few morphsuits, some batteries, and a plethora of LED strips and duct tape, Christina really did a great job of fashioning together a Tron-style LED suit on a shoe-string budget.
Once the suits were ready, and we were tired of playing dress-up in the apartment and scaring the cat, it was time for the team to hit the streets. This opened up a whole new can of worms. It turns out, walking around the streets looking like creepy Neo S&M Power Rangers attracts unwanted attention, making guerilla-style shooting particularly difficult, to say the least. And the traffic police didn't take our presence at busy intersections light-heartedly either. Go figure.
The mix of dangerous stunts and exhaustion due to all-night shoots really tested our resolve to finish the video. Maintaining the suits in good condition was also a continual hassle. They needed to be disassembled from time to time so the batteries could be recharged, and damaged LED strips needed to be unthreaded and replaced. The schedule being what it was meant that the suits never really had time to air out. We had to work with the mild stench of men’s locker room on us the whole time. The low light conditions presented their own challenges for shooting, but did provide an opportunity to experiment with long exposure to create beautiful light stroke shots.
For two weeks we were out every night collecting shots and enjoying the confused look on peoples face when we walked by. Oddly enough the cool factor of looking like a general bad ass never wore off. I think a lot big kids dream of dressing up like superheroes and leaping around the city. That's something I can cross off my bucket list, now. We had a great time together. In the end, it's definitely worth it to create something new and unique in a way only you can.
WRITTEN & DIRECTED Frank Sauer (frank-sauer.com)
IN COOPERATION WITH Team Farang (farang-mag.com/)
EDITING Frank Sauer & Sebastian Linda
COSTUME DESIGN Christina Zahra
SOUND DESIGN Jens Fischer
TITLES Stephan Baumann
MASTERING Matthias Greule
MUSIC Metric - Artificial Nocturne (Love Thy Brother Remix)
CAMERA: GH2 (Hack: EOSHD Vanilla)
LENSES: Voigtlander f/0.95 25mm, SLR Magic Hyperprime f/1.6 12mm, Panasonic f/4 7-14mm , Canon FD f/1.4 50mm, Canon FD f/2 85mm# vimeo.com/54321299 Uploaded 581K Plays 6,251 Likes 168 Comments
Short film dreamt by Aaron Paradox.
Dreaming hero wakes up and sees the Dreamer himself. Is he? Time dissolve and we are seeing things as they are. Are we? Narrated by British-born American philosopher Alan Watts.
Narrated by Alan Watts audio courtesy of alanwatts.org.
Music: “The Way” by Zack Hemsey.
Sound design by Jacob Thomas Czech.
Additional 3D Animations by Mike Winkelmann.
Dreamer’s voice by Paul "Bear" Vasquez.
Visuals and animation by Aaron Paradox.
Kensho posters and screens: https://www.flickr.com/photos/133149322@N02/
"This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief." - Rumi
Review by Globalish.com: http://life.globalish.com/aaron-paradoxs-new-film-kensho-is-an-audio-visual-feast-for-your-soul/
If you want to help with international translations of Kensho please contact me at paradoxaaron[at]gmail[dot]com. Thanks :)
Portuguese by Lindenberg Munroe ( http://behance.net/lindenbergmunroe ).
Spanish by Data FilmZ X ( http://youtube.com/channel/UCThofJg-gXf6h_tZe7u7Ukg ).
Russian by Herman ( http://youtube.com/channel/UCLz6yBivbUVdHzJvFk3dd3w ).
Turkish by Fatih Aruk.
German by Paul Merkel.
Albanian by Taulant F. Devolli (email@example.com).
Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) by Isabella and John Chan.# vimeo.com/133547455 Uploaded 273K Plays 6,388 Likes 154 Comments
Uploaded 4,198 Plays 10 Likes 0 Comments
Blu-Ray discs available here: mikeolbinski.com/shop/
Music by Peter Nanasi, find his work here: peternanasi.bandcamp.com/
Follow me: twitter.com/mikeolbinski / facebook.com/mikeolbinskiphotography / instagram.com/mikeolbinski
On June 12th, I broke down into tears. Minutes earlier, I had been outside my truck, leaning against it, head buried in my arms, frustration and failure washing over me. I wanted to quit. I got back in the car and as I drove, the pain got the better of me and the tears came.
This past spring was a tough one. Supercell structure and beautiful tornadoes had been very hard to come by. In fact, the tornado in the opening of this film was the only good one I saw this entire year. I had been on the road longer than ever before. Driven more miles. I was away from my family for 12 straight days at one point, and when I got home, I had to tell them I was going back out 24 hours later for June 12th. It was just too good to pass up. It promised to be a day that I could get everything I had been hoping for this spring and I had no choice. My wife understood, even though I knew she wished I stayed home. And I wished it too.
I knew right where I wanted to be that day. But this year I struggled with confidence in trusting my instincts. Maybe it was because the lack of good storms this spring made me question my skills, or maybe it was something else inside of me. Whatever the case, I let myself get twisted and unsure, and found myself 80 miles away from where I had wanted to be when the tornadoes started to drop and the best structure of the year materialized in the sky. The photos from Twitter and Facebook started to roll in and I knew I had missed everything.
It may not be easy to understand why, but when you work as hard as I did this spring, a moment like that can break you. I felt like I let my wife down. But mostly I let myself down. I forgot who I was and that's not me. Or it shouldn't have been me. I failed myself. And it seemed like the easy choice to just give up and head for home.
But I didn't. I'm not sure why, but the pain slowly began to subside. I realized it was only 4pm and the storms were still ongoing. Maybe if I could get in front of them the day could be saved. Ninety minutes later, I got out ahead and saw some of the best structure I'd seen all spring and a lightning show that was so incredible it's one of the very last clips of this film.
And that's why this film is called "Pursuit." Because you can't give up. Keep chasing, keep pursuing. Whatever it is. That's the only way to get what you want.
I learned something about myself on June 12th which carried over to the final few days of chasing this spring. I trusted myself again and those days were incredibly rewarding. This was who I'd been all along but had forgotten. I can't wait for next year.
The work on this film began on March 28th and ended June 29th. There were 27 total days of actual chasing and many more for traveling. I drove across 10 states and put over 28,000 new miles on the ol' 4Runner. I snapped over 90,000 time-lapse frames. I saw the most incredible mammatus displays, the best nighttime lightning and structure I've ever seen, a tornado birth caught on time-lapse and a display of undulatus asperatus that blew my mind. Wall clouds, massive cores, supercell structures, shelf clouds...it ended up being an amazing season and I'm so incredibly proud of the footage in this film. It wasn't the best year in storm chasing history...but I got to chase storms and share it with you guys. All worth it.
I wanted to do something new this year, so I worked with composer Peter Nanasi to develop a custom track for Pursuit. I'm super excited about it and loved the process of exchanging ideas and building the song as the editing of the film progressed. I am so thankful to Peter for what he came up with, I'm in love with this track!
The time away from my family turned out to be over a month all told. I'm always and continually blessed by a wife who supports what I do and backs me completely. But not only do I have her to thank this spring, but also her parents who hung around for a good chunk of May and early June, to help out wherever needed, watch the kids, run errands and generally be there for Jina. I don't have enough words to convey how appreciative I am for them being around while I was gone.
I think that's about it. I could write a lot more, but I'd rather you watch the film and hopefully have a taste of what I saw this spring. There is nothing quite like strong inflow winds, the smell of rain and the crack of thunder. I miss being out there already.
I hope you enjoy and I'll do my best to answer any questions in the comments below!
I used two Canon 5DSR's along with a Canon 11-24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 135mm and Sigma Art 50mm. Manfrotto tripods. The final product was edited in Lightroom with LR Timelapse, After Effects and Premiere Pro.# vimeo.com/226958858 Uploaded 389K Plays 4,170 Likes 178 Comments