Experiments in Long Timeframe Timelapse

I am embarking on a large scale, long timeframe time lapse project that will require cameras in remote locations to function for months and years on end.  There are a few commercial systems on the market but their price is seems abnormally high for the hardware involved.

I am trying to engineer a simple but robust version from off the shelf components.  The current idea looks something like this:

Exploring Hidden Camera Viral Marketing

I love hidden camera shows, I love watching them, I love making them.  I started in high school with a short lived show we were calling SocioFiles that lasted about as long as it took for us to get booted out of the Westminster Mall... cameras were much harder to hide back then.  More recently, while preparing for the #MyTurnToJag spots that I shot over the summer, a hidden camera viral ad for Pepsi was a strong influence on the visual design of the spots.    

Even though we weren't creating a traditional hidden camera spot, the energy of these commercial's was a touchstone on how we wanted our spots to feel, very visceral and in the moment.  

I recently had a chance to discuss the spot with the cinematographer, Charles Papert and it was interesting to note that during their short prep time, he was always under the assumption that the audience would know that the test drive was fake.  There were so many elements that would defy reason, surely audiences are sophisticated enough to recognize when they are having the wool pulled over their eyes.  Apparently not!  By using the stylistic conventions of hidden camera shows from the past, the line between "real" and "fake" is ever more blurred.  All it takes is attention to enough small details, and the inclusion of just enough plausible explanations for how a setup could be possible and audiences are ready, willing, and it would seem actively want to believe what is portrayed in these ads.

 I'm intrigued that this form of television has taken on a new form, Viral Marketing has embraced the hidden camera gag like never before.  Online marketing has released the limitations of the 30 second commercial and now gives enough time to tell the bigger story.  It seems audiences are as much interested in the behind the scenes aspects of the setup as they are the results.

The results are getting edgier by the day,  I'm curious to see how far this will go before people have a negative reaction, with shows like Darren Brown's Apocalypse, it would seem to suggest we are comfortable taking it further than anyone would imagine.

Adventures in Macro Photography - It's time to pay attention to the little things.

In preparation for a new web series for HGTV on Smart Home Technology, I am exploring the world of Macro Photography.  Here is a peek at the new rig that will be occupying my mind for the foreseeable future.  I'm looking forward to the images we will create together!

Nikon PB-4 Bellows mounted to my Pnasonic GH2

Nikon PB-4 Bellows mounted to my Pnasonic GH2