Creative ways to document events with time lapse

Read this case study featuring creative ways to document events with time lapse.

Documenting events with time lapse is an original, eye catching way to capture your project on video.  This project for Dropbox was commissioned by Streaming Tank and was shot in Shoreditch, London over five days.  The video was going to be used on social media and featured on the High Snobiety web site.  The brief was to produce a minute long video highlighting the creativity and energy of four graffiti artists painting a mural on a wall.  

Good preparation and organisation is vital when organising a project like this. The mural was going to be painted on a wall located on Great Eastern Street. The roof terrace opposite, above Village Underground, offered a great viewpoint for our camera. I visited the site prior to the event to recce the location. We can then assess the filming environment and check out power options, the path of the sun and options regarding positioning the camera in a safe, stable place. The weather forecast predicted very cold temperatures but fortunately no rain or snow. 

Four graffiti artists: Jamie Julien Brown, Roids, Walaha and Pref each had a day and a half to create their artwork using a limited palette of colours. Luckily we didn’t have any heavy rain, which would have affected the working conditions for the artists. The project was managed by Grafittilife, a specialist agency representing prominent  artists in this field.  The collective execute projects all over the UK. 

The first DSLR camera was positioned on the roof terrace.  It was mains powered and protected for the elements with a waterproof rain cover.  This camera was running all day, from early morning and into the evening.  Wth a second camera, I shot at street level, documenting short sequences of the artists at work.  Initially I chatted with each artist in turn so I could understand what they were going to paint and how they were going to paint their mural.  This meant I could plan my filming to capture key elements of their process.

There are many challenges when documenting a public event with time lapse.  Locations can be very busy, fast moving traffic and lots of pedestrians. You have to be very aware of what’s going on around you. Take care of your gear and make sure you do not block the pavements or create any hazards with your equipment. Safety is paramount.

It was the coldest week of the year. I was wearing full ‘artic’ gear. It is very important to keep warm and dry when working on location. I did drink copious amounts of hot coffee. Luckily I was very near the best coffee shop in London The Coffee Studio.

A project like this produces thousands of individual RAW image files. These need to be processed, enhanced, exported as a JPEG format and lastly stitched together to form the time lapse videos. These individual videos are then imported in Final Cut X where we edit and create the final video for the client.

Please visit our CREATIVE TIME LAPSE page featuring loads of information about creative ways to document events with time lapse.