I don’t care who you voted for in the presidential election, or who you support now. I don’t want this post to turn into a political flame fest. The video below from Cyprien Clément-Delmas while political in nature is also a reflection of really solid editing, cinematography, and pacing. Shot in black and white on 16mm film, Day One is a reflection of the scene in Washington DC on January 20th, 2017. One of the things I really love about this is how the short film descends from calm to anarchy over the course of four and half minutes. It doesn’t choose sides or make a statement about who’s right and who’s wrong, it simply documents what is happening and edits it together in a way that builds tension and discord. This is a great visual lesson in how to edit and pace a film in order to create atmosphere, mood, and tension.
When I first watched this video on Vimeo, I was drawn in by the fantastic cinematography, and the atmosphere that is created in Alan Williams studio. The visuals hooked me but as his story, and discussion about process unfolded, I knew I was here for the full 8-minute duration. After watching it with the sound on, I muted the audio and watched it again, full screen and really looked at the way this was shot, edited, and composed. Ben Cox does a really nice job of framing his shots and using shallow depth of field to focus the viewer on specific elements within the frame. Lighting and color grading come together to really help enhance the story and create a mood that captures Alan Williams personality and the artwork he creates. This short has such a solid look, and great story hooks as well, it’s definitely going in the visual reference library for inspiration at a later date.
Here we are 4 days into 2017, and officially 3 weeks into winter. Tomorrow, we are supposed to get 4 inches of snow, and the high temps are going to maybe hit 20 degrees, which frankly has me longing for my favorite time of the year, mid-May through early July. All of this got me to thinking about the powerful thunderstorms that roll through the midwest fueled by warm moist air blowing up from the Gulf of Mexico and colliding with a cold front rolling in off of the Northern Plains. That got me to searching the internet for some video footage to warm my chilled bones and remind there are just 84 more days until spring.
My discovery this afternoon was the video below by Mike Olbinski. Shot in 4K, color graded to black and white, timed out to just under 5 minutes, it’s absolutely breathtaking. The fact that he had the idea of taking this in a new direction with a black and white post production just makes it. The soundtrack adds to the ominous power of the visuals and makes me long for the opportunity to be able to sit on the sun porch and watch this happening live. (not the tornado part, I like my house).
If you have the opportunity watch this in 4K on a larger TV. The visuals will knock your socks off. For more info on how Oblinski made it click through here.
Remember life before your smartphone, tablet, and social media? Yeah I know, it’s kind of hard to imagine not being constantly connected anymore. The video below from Max Stossel & Sander van Dijk is a poetic send up about how we have all become addicted to that piece of tech sitting in your hand right now, or waiting to be retrieved from your pocket as soon as you put down whatever tech you are looking at now.
The video itself is great. A nice live action short with really well thought out graphics that have been motion tracked to specific source points in the frame. Solid editing and post work really help to polish this, but the real meat is in the message. A message with a direct call to action at the timewellspent.io website. The blurb before the video pretty much sums up what they are about.
Today apps and media compete in a race to grab our attention. Join a movement to:
- Live better with more empowering settings for our media and devices.
- Change incentives so media competes to improve our lives, not get eyeballs.
- Invent new interfaces that help us to make room for what matters.
A poetic short film by Max Stossel & Sander van Dijk:
In the Attention Economy, technology and media are designed to maximize our screen-time. But what if they were designed to help us live by our values? timewellspent.io
What if news & media companies were creating content that enriched our lives, vs. catering to our most base instincts for clicks?
What if social platforms were designed to help us create our ideal social lives, instead of to maximize time-on site and “likes”?
What if dating apps measured their success in how well they helped us find what we’re looking for instead of in # of swipes?
As technology gets more and more engaging, and as AI and VR become more and more prevalent in our day-to-day lives we need to take a look at how we’re structuring our future.
Time Well Spent is a movement to align technology with our humanity: timewellspent.io
Director, Co-producer, & Visual Effects: Sander van Dijk: sandervandijk.tv
Writer, Co-producer & Lead Actor: Max Stossel: maxstossel.com
Production Company: Yacht Club Films
Director of Photography: Conor Murphy
Music & Sound Design: Wesley Slover –
Steadicam Operator: Kyle Fasanella
Graphic Artist: Aaron Kemnitzer
CG Artist: Joseph Pistono
Visual Effects Assistant: Chelsea Galen
Roto Assistant: Regina Morgan-Munoz
Lead Actress: Crystal Lee
Most people never realize just how much work goes into producing a TV commercial. For the most part what we see, if we are fast-forwarding over them, is the fifteen-second edit of the original sixty-second spot. They whiz by in a blip sandwiched between other ads that blend into a seamless stream of no one paying attention. But occasionally someone posts a video showing how things get done.
Have you ever wondered how they match the 3D animations to live action footage? Blend shots together? What the total production of a video looks like? The video below for Canal+ shows you. No it doesn’t go into any lengthy detailed VFX breakdown, but it does give you a pretty solid idea of what it took to produce the promotional spot titled “The Kitchen”.
The finished sixty second spot
How they made it.
After watching the second presidential debate last night, and reading all the fall out this morning, I decided I needed a break from politics 2016. Below is a trippy, mind-bending video from BlinkmyBrain” featuring Led Zeppelin and some crazy CG work.
It helped me not think about how screwed up this election is for a few minutes, and that made me think others might not want to think about the election for a bit either. So I am sharing. Turn off your mind, tune into the Zeppelin, and forget about this year’s elections for a bit.
Over the last ten years, there has been a steady shift on the internet for news agencies and content creators to produce more video. The New York Times has been an absolute champion of this with a steady stream of well-produced documentary news shorts that have bolstered readership and helped the paper transition from a traditional news source to a multimedia powerhouse with content that rivals any broadcast news agency. Another online source that consistently blows me away with animation and visual information is Vox. They are producing some serious animated content that teaches and presents information with a high production value that is engaging and compelling for the viewer. Case in point, the video below on American / Cuban relations dating back to the 1850’s. Even if you aren’t really into history, it’s hard not to be drawn into this video and watch the entire 4 minute animated short. Why? Because it is so well done. Great visuals, solid script, smooth narration, and relevant information about a current event. Hat tip to the producers at Vox. Nicely done.