This is production footage from my forthcoming debut film, "TimeScapes," a portrait of the American Southwest. This video was filmed and edited at 4K (4096x2304) resolution, four times greater than regular 1080p HD. A 4K DCP file is available upon request. Shot on Red Epic and Canon RAW still cameras.
Thank you to Terrence Malick and Godfrey Reggio for their support and inspiration. Also thanks to Eric Kessler, Curt Morgan, Jim Jannard, Vincent Laforet, Bruce Allen, Phil Plait, Dave Finley, and to Helio Collective for the beautiful title logo. My most sincere and humble respect to Mark Magidson and Ron Fricke.
Thank you to my sponsors Kessler Crane, Adobe, camBLOCK, Vinten, Canon USA, TVLogic, Borrow Lenses, Wooden Camera, and KATA.
COPYWRITE: CAMERON MICHAEL PRODUCTIONS
This time-lapse production has been a wild and exhilarating ride, with a lot of physical work lugging my 120-130 pounds of gear around all of Manhattan. I bent (broke) some laws and made a ton of friends. Thank you all for your support and please feel free to help out a starving artist and share this video with the world.
Music Provided by: BLACKMILL
Licensing and purchase of "The Manhattan Project " is available
A big thanks to Matthews MSE (msegrip.com) especially to Bob Kulesh, Tyler & Ed Phillips for their generous support and patience of this lengthy endeavor. Most of the linear motion control shots were captured using their FloatCam DC Slider, a wonderful piece of engineering for the time lapse world.
'Nightfall' is a three minute tour of light through the City of Angels.
I shot "Nightfall" in an attempt to capture Los Angeles as it transitioned from day to night. As you probably know, LA is an expansive city so shooting it from many different angles was critical. Usually I was able to capture just one shot per day with a lot of driving, exploring, and scouting in between but the times sitting in traffic or a "sketchy" neighborhood often lead to new adventures and interesting places.
Nightfall in particular is my favorite time to shoot time lapse. Capturing the transition from day to night while looking back at the city as the purple shadow of Earth envelopes the eastern skyline and the warm distant twinkling halogen lights spark to life and give the fading sun a run for her money- this will never grow old or boring to me.
In this piece, it was important to me for the shots to both capture and accentuate the movement of light through the day and night and the use of multiple motion control techniques allowed me to do so.
I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed creating it.
An English translation of the lyrics-
"It is late. I am looking for my other home, taking an unfamiliar path: a small trail near the factories and the city, cutting through the forest. I can barely see nature when suddenly, night falls. I am engulfed by a world of silence, yet I am not afraid. I fall asleep for a few minutes at the most, and when I wake up, the sun is there and the forest is shining with a bright light.
I recognize this forest. It is not an ordinary forest, it is a forest of memories. My memories. The white and noisy river, my adolescence. The tall trees, the men I have loved. The birds in flight, and in the distance, my lost father.
My memories aren't memories anymore. They are there, with me, dancing and embracing, singing and smiling at me.
I look at my hands. I caress my face, and I am 20 years old. And I love like I have never loved before."
***NOTE: All opinions & perspectives shared come from my experience as a shooter and may not be the best way of doing things. I am simply sharing MY WORKFLOW when both capturing and processing RAW time-lapses similar to the ones seen in the INTRODUCTORY video below***.
The target audience of this series will be the independent filmmaker who is open to learn. In the series, I hope to give a thorough breakdown of how to shoot RAW time-lapses. There is no perfect formula to get incredible shots other than practice, practice & more practice. These shorts will simply give you a look at how I approach shooting time-lapses. Comments and recommendations for future videos are encouraged.
This series is a work in progress and will continue to evolve as I learn more. Below you can find the current content breakdown:
This video will introduce the series as well as showcase the types of shots that will be present in the time-lapse series.
2: Kit Breakdown / Software & Hardware Solutions – Introduction
In this video, I will give a quick preview of what equipment I use when shooting time-lapses.
3. A Closer Look at my ‘Tool Kit’
In this section, I will look closer at my ‘go to’ equipment and also break down a few different kit configurations depending on shot requirements as well as shooting conditions.
4. PRE-PRODUCTION — (Story, Scouting & Scheduling)
Pre-production is by far the most important part of the process for not only time-lapse photography but filmmaking as a whole. By being prepared from the beginning and by having a well laid out plan, production & post-production will ALWAYS go way smoother. There are a few specific areas that I will be investigating as part of the pre-production phase.
- Searching for Locations.
- Prepping Gear.
- Shot Lists.
This section will be the most extensive and will encompass a wide array of possible time-lapse setups. For a list of the current tutorials to be covered in the series, please see below:
- Camera Settings/Modes: Understanding the Basic Functions of a DSLR
- Static Time-lapses
- Motion Controlled Time-lapses
- Day to Night Time-lapses
- Astro Time-lapses
- HDR Time-lapses
- Walking Time-lapses
- Bulb Ramping
6. POST PRODUCTION
For this section, I will be covering a few different methods for processing the time-lapses as well as cover some of the ways in which to remove flicker from your time-lapses. I will also be focusing on a few composting techniques.
Some of the programs/codecs I will be covering include:
- LR Timelapse, Lightroom, After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere, FCP 7, Quicktime 7, GB Deflicker, CHV Time Collection, ProRes vs CineForm, Photomatrix, GBS Timelapse & more.
NOTE: I will be spending a substantial amount of time discussing how to remove flicker using various programs as it is a highly requested topic.
7. Distribution: An Expanding Market Opportunity
The demand for online content is increasing. Grants for web series are becoming available. Discounts that used to exist for online content, such as discounted actor rates, are quickly disappearing as many are seeing the added value in online content. Crowd funding is also becoming a viable option for funding. With this shift, it is key to create an online presence — and get your work seen.
Paying it Forward
The gap between low quality and high quality video is quickly closing and this quality content is becoming available at a fraction of the price. It is becoming even more important to find ways to stand out from the crowd.
Now the main reason I am asking anyone that learns from the tutorials to either post their work or post something they learn along the way is because of the impact this work could have upon someone else. By posting your content online, you may be posting content that a viewer can relate to. You may even inspire someone or speak to them on a deeper level that could inevitably cause a life altering event. Who knows?!?
With this new market that is emerging, many people now have access and it is becoming even more important to find your niche. There are a few things you can do to stand out. Do work that relates to personal experiences. Continue to work hard and be passionate about the work you do — no matter what you are working on. Do the best possible job you can do on EVERY job. If you continually grow and work hard, good things will happen. It doesn’t take much to push yourself as a filmmaker. I’ve found that it is actually harder to be complacent!
Although only a quick look, the above post breaks down what I will be covering in the tutorials. If there is anything you would like to see added to the list or any advice on how you would like the series to be approached, please share in the comment section below!
When we're first starting out, it's easy to use the same lens over and over again. But putting story first means catering every choice you make to your story and your shoot, and that means picking the lens that works best.
Here we share five of our favorite Canon lenses with you, and some of the discoveries we've made about them over the years.