Rhythms of Spring: An Eight Day Time-lapse Workshop Film

By on May 17, 2013
8723799287_595d654fe0_z

With summer just beginning, 2013 workshops have begun and the first workshop took place in Glacier National Park from May 7th to May 15th. First off, I must say that the experience was a HUGE success and cannot wait for the next one! For people unfamiliar with these workshops, the structure is unlike most other workshops out there because you leave with a finished film. These workshops take you through the entire process of shooting a time-lapse film including story development, scheduling, scouting and much more!

These workshops come in two forms – the 4-day basic and the 8-day extensive. Rhythms of Spring was shot and edited during an 8-day extensive with one day of final tweaking following the workshop. If you are at all interested in attending one of these workshops, I am only taking three more people this year! Without further ado, check out the film we produced below!

One unique aspect of these workshops is having access to a variety of time-lapse equipment including multi-axis time-lapse configurations. To put it in perspective on this trip I had fourteen pelican cases full of goodies. Obviously location is a huge determining factor to how much gear can be brought.

IMG_0179c

Another aspect of these workshops that make them unique is the their laid back nature. There is no set curricula / schedule which allows for flexibility. All content is catered on a per request basis. However, if someone is hoping for a structured curricula, we can work together to break down all that is to be covered.

Leading up to the workshop, some pre-production was done determining possible shooting locations using google maps as well as some other basic pre-production work. However, most of the work for this film was done during these eight days. To best understand how this film came together, I’ve broken down the days below.

Day One – Story, Scheduling, Scouting & Time-lapse Basics

For this project, we knew we wanted to focus on the element of water. Coming into the shooting days, the weather forecast was calling for clear skies and although it is nice to shoot in these conditions, it makes it tough to make a landscape scene dynamic with no clouds. We also knew that the last few days of the workshop were calling for rain and an overcast sky. As a solution, we decided to focus on the water element.

Our focus for day one was breaking down the story, determining our schedule, scouting and starting on the basics elements of shooting a time-lapse. We knew that there was a chance that our desired locations would be inaccessible because of the time of year so we knew we may have to resort to a backup plan for the locations that we had scouted. Upon scouting, we quickly realized that we would not be able to film in Glacier National Park as planned.

Day Two – Scouting, Static Time-lapses & Archiving

The focus of day two was to do the last bit of scouting and to start shooting static time-lapses. Unlike other photos tours and workshops that have pre-determine locations, I feel that it is imperative to walk through scouting when determining the best location so people have an idea what to look for in a location. Prior to the workshop, I was out in Creston, BC and on my way to Glacier National Park, I passed some amazing locations. Luckily, these locations were just south of the park so we were able to shift our focus to these unique locations. We found ourselves at Sutherland Falls. By the end of day one, we were able to confidently able to move onto motion controlled shots.

Day Three – Motion Controlled Shots (One Axis)

On the third day, we were centralized to one location for a majority of the day. This was great as we were able to hike into the location and remain here the entire day. Our focus of this day was to breakdown how to shoot motion controlled shots using a variety of shot types and locations. The weather for this day cooperated with us and we were able to film a majority of the required shots for the project. We also spent the night shoot astro time-lapses in another area of the park as we knew we would be limited with the upcoming rain.

IMG_0151

Day Four – Motion Controlled Shots (Multi Axis)

With our focus being on more advanced motion controlled shots, we knew that we would be limited on the amount of shots that we could accomplish in a day. As a result, we decided to check out a new location early in the morning to shoot some static shots for variety but then settled on two key areas of the park for the remainder of the day.

IMG_0149

Day Five – Shooting & Post Production Workflow

The fifth day was our last primary day of shooting. Our focus was on nailing the last critical shots for the film and then focus on post-production techniques. When shooting time-lapses, it is important to shoot both jpeg and raw. By doing this, you are able to quickly render out your jpegs and work with them as you would work with proxies when working with larger formats. However, because we wanted to turn around this film quickly, we decided to work with the full resolution files so we focused on rendering out our full resolution sequences. We started rendering out 35 full resolution time-lapses starting at 8pm and they took 30 hours to render out! Each time-lapse was run through LR Timelapse.

IMG_0175

Day Six – Post Production Workflow & Software

Our focus of day six was going over a variety of software solutions for processing, deflickering and editing. As predicted, we were hit with rain and overcast skies for the most of the day so it was great that we got out critical shots leading up to this day.

Day Seven – Post Production Workflow & Rough Assembly

With most of the processing complete the evening prior, today we focused on a rough assembly based on our shots and script. We had an idea of the feel for the piece so we were able to get very close on the pacing.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 7.59.27 AM

Day Eight – Rough Cut

Our last day of the workshop was dedicated to assembling the story or the rough cut. Being that the story was a visual one, we knew shot sequencing was imperative. While waiting for our final sequences to finish rendering, we headed out to shoot our last pickup shots for the piece. Our trip came full circle as we headed into Glacier National Park to capture these last shots. Thanks again Wendy for an amazing week!

Technical Specifications
Interested in participating in one of these workshops? I am only taking THREE more people this year so make sure to sign up now. To find out more, check out the catered workshop section.
Preston Kanak

About Preston Kanak

Based in Saskatchewan, Canada, Preston Kanak is a filmmaker and time-lapse photographer. His portfolio includes broadcast and independent work with a focus on capturing the human condition as well as the environment they live in. For the past three years, Preston has been filming a series of three minute short films focused on experimenting with various techniques and workflows. In 2010, Preston produced a short film everyday for the entire year. Currently, Preston is producing an extensive time-lapse tutorial as well as offering workshops across Canada — with the end goal of establishing an online educational resource for new media creatives. He also currently works with Kessler University producing tutorial and educational videos.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply