Archive for the category “HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN”




Test footage to figure out workflow for 4K time-lapse.

Shot by Josh Randall and Alistair Campbell.

Using Canon 7D – 8mm fisheye – intervalometer – shutter speed of 125th to 30 seconds- iso ranging from 160 to 6400 Intervals from 15 to 75 seconds between 19:30 – 01:00 hours.

Location: M5 motorway between Bridgwater & Highbridge where artist Serena de la Hay’s Willow Man sculpture stands 40ft high since it’s original construction in 2000.
2010 – 2011 saw building sites around the sculpture with a modern estate & 800,000 square foot warehouse for supermarket retailer Morrisons.
RAW L format stills were 5.8k, then placed in screen width of 3996 pixels x height of 2160 pixels (due to end youtube limitation) on Adobe After Effects – with duration of 1 frame/still on a 24fps timeline.

Image scaled down 78% to get maximum image within scaled down screen’s different aspect ratio of 1.85 – then rendered & exported out as lossless with ‘animation’ setting as 8 second 3.6GB QT
Youtube has max file size of 2GB so file via ‘Compressor’ to Apple Pro Res 442 (HQ) bringing file size to 764.7MB

This is about 2 days work for 8 seconds of footage! – the high resolution probably won’t play on the majority of home computers smoothly at the maximum 4K – but the fact that youtube is already going there shows it’s preparing for a future where the filmmaker’s quality of image is important – which I feel they should be applauded for coming from the VHS generation where the distribution (or maybe the audience) simply did not give a shit about quality.
The test was a good idea – as just discovering how to get to location via the new estate and the fact that there is a moat blocking access to the Willow Man by at least 50ft was useful.

The test was done at dusk to get an idea of the change of light to see how the camera would cope from the range of overexposed lens flare sunset and capturing detail in the night sky – but I hope to capture a period of at least 16 hours for the final one. I will try lenses between 10-20mm as the 8mm may have been too wide to appreciate the detail – although it captures the expanse of night sky well.
Having previously interviewed Serena de la Heyabout her work, it became clear that sculpture’s creation had become political, having been a feature in a previously barren area which helped attract the land to be sold for housing and the Morrisons warehouse in the development of Bridgwater brought about by the planned increase of jobs to the area with Hinkley C – a nuclear facility on the cost. As the willow sculpture becomes tatty and frayed – Serena has no further plans to maintain it – perhaps through resentment of it’s intended purpose to what it has become…
The artistic statement of the giant human figure is now dwarfed by the industrial neighbour it has attracted.
There is an unexpected artistic statement here as the original large expression of the humanity glorified as part of nature was reminder to the masses driving an otherwise humdrum M5.

This classical form is now a contemporary expression of the forgotten glory of human nature as it falls apart to the ugly functionality of a capitalist structure when the human is a product in a system.
The wide angle is important as the image frames the ugly houses of a modern estate, the motorway fading into depth forcing an either coming or going direction to the drivers and a warehouse of a food retailer with a successfully cheap brand – generating revenue by supplying low quality food to the nations. In the middle of all this is the decay of humanity but ultimately there is the UNIVERSE – the STARS – the SUN take centre stage reminding us this moment is an insignificant slice of time – making the capitalism bleaker and the unique existence of humanity even more remarkable.

For this test I was pushed to use new software – as I am fluent with Final Cut Pro but it’s 2k architecture meant I had to venture to Adobe’s suite to do this.
Adding sound on After Effects is not as simple as FCP so I gave up on audio with the 4K resolution and added one of youtube’s tracks… On the finished thing I will have something composed that captures the sublime, the forgotten and the system – with the all important perfectly timed key change from day to night for full impact.

Also – extra batteries – more CF cards – more people to allow shifts – warmer clothing and be more aware of where I put my lens cap and several flasks! All those common sense things will be prepped for the finished shoot 🙂
As my first attempt at 4K timelapse – I have discovered a vegan filmmakers answer to fishing – as there is nothing like an excuse to hang out with others in nature for extended periods of time…

Full thing coming soon – watch this space!


SHOOTING FORMATS #0.2: HĂ©liographie

Following the Camera Obscura’s live projected image, the next break through came in the successful attempt to capture it.

Nicephore Niepce achieved this is in 1826 by putting Bitumen, a gloopy black tar-like substance that goes hard in light, on to a pewter surface. After an 8 hour exposure (deduced clearly from the sun lighting the building on both sides) the Bitumen had hardened where exposed to more light, while the less exposed Bitumen was able to be washed off with the oil of lavender- so only the exposed areas remained.

The image had been recorded and the concept of chemical reaction to light to do so was now the next step forward.



Split screen of film and foley artist at work – inspiring!


Here is a great video of some geeks making a Monty Python Zoetrope! In the next couple months I hope to have made one – but not so complex 🙂

Also I like this guy’s invention as it is so simple but works – a 3D zoetrope!


A 2 month long exposure I took with a camera I built!

To get a better understanding of how camera’s work, why not have a go yourself at some pinhole photography – if so download this PDF I have made to show you how to make your own… my next how to will be a zoetrope and a Zoopraxiscope – once I have figured it out myself!

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