Was reading twitter the other day and ran across a tweet mentioning Roger Ebert's blog post (Roger is a famous movie critic) and how he loved this Canon EOS 7D (reviews) movie called “Idiot with a Tripod” – so I just had to check it out. While I'm not a film connoisseur like Mr. Ebert – who said this about the movie: “This film deserves to win the Academy Award for best live-action short subject.” – I do love a good snowstorm and Jamie Stuart has captured and edited this one beautifully.
UPDATE Jan 3: TV interview
Last weeks blizzard along the East coast of America caused chaos for thousands, shut down airports and brought traffic to a standstill…. but one New Yorker braved the arctic conditions at the height of the snowstorm and went out with his camera to create a short film called ‘Man in a Blizzard' (An Idiot with a tripod)
The film features a series of shots of New York streets, buildings and residents all being attacked by the storm. It's been viewed online by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and US film critics are even saying that the film is good enough to be nominated for an Academy award.
Original video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kD_M50-V6s
Update: Jan 4
turns out this is becoming insanely popular… so popular, Jamie's put up a special page for all the news! here's the TODAY show interview
I recommend becoming a member at vimeo so you can download the full size video!
Here's a high-quality copy of the short that's been circulating. It's also known as “Man in a Blizzard,” as it's been called by Roger Ebert.
Thanks to everybody who's seen the short and liked it.
More from Jamie
So we wrote to Jamie and asked if it was ok to use some of the emails he's swapped with Mr. Ebert (read the whole story on the Ebert blog) and he said of course!
“The simple answer as to how it was done so quickly: practice.
“Most of the work I've done for the past half dozen years has been improvised online press-related shorts, which by nature requires a fast turnaround. Before that, I used to storyboard all my work — so I had a strong sense of film language. The trick is to step into situations, often without a plan, and try to make it look like it was all planned. For instance, when I first started doing work for Filmmaker Magazine, I had just done my NYFF44 series, and Scott Macaulay asked if he could see the scripts I used for the episodes; I had to tell him there weren't any.
“Technically, for “Idiot with a Tripod,” I shot with my Canon 7D and edited it with Final Cut Pro. Early on, I was able to vary things a little more — I used macro diopters for the close-ups during the day shots, my portable slider for the dolly shots and also, a 75-300 zoom for the rooftop shots. I was more limited at night because of the weather conditions, so I stuck with my 24mm, 50mm and 85mm — all of which are manual Nikon lenses. Which meant that in the middle of that maelstrom I was changing lenses, wiping off the lenses and manually focusing/adjusting each shot.
“The funny thing is, for the first part of the shoot I felt early uninspired and almost stopped. But I kept going. And it ultimately turned out really nice.
“Because the 7D shoots H.264, which is a web format and not meant for editing, I made selects from the footage and converted the selects into ProRes 422. I started it that night, but it takes a while to do. Went to bed my normal time around 1:30 am. Got up my normal time around 10am. Finished converting the footage. Then, I edited until I finished around 5pm. (I took a regular lunch break at around 2:30 — chicken noodle and Saltines.)”
Our thanks to Jamie and please visit his site at the Mutiny Company.
(Photo credit: snap from the video)