“Jennifer Davies – Lapse Of Time” Incredible Timelapse in 5D Mk III + Magic Lantern

by Barry Andersson2 Comments

We love to feature projects that didn't have a huge budget and the creators used their creativity and sweat to create something cool. This is one of those videos.

Message from Maxx Peter:

I'm a young photographer and based in Cheshire, UK, and I've followed your work for a long time. First I want to thank you for all the inspiration over the years, I've learned everything I know about photograph and cinematography from blogs like yours and youtube videos!

I have just completed my first music video which we did on a budget of less than £500. I shot the whole thing in London on my Canon 5D Mk III using a combination of time-lapse and Magic Lantern Raw.

I really hope you like it, it was such a lot of hard work but I'm very proud of what we achieved.

I spoke with Maxx to ask him about some of the interesting techniques he used in creating this music video:

Barry: There is some sort of flare or or reflection over many of the shots. Was this intentional or by accident?

Maxx: I added the flares in post-poducion using Video Copilot's “Optical Flares” in After Effects. I like the effect and it also helps to smooth over the green-screen sections which were shot under studio lights and help it all look ‘as one' and together.

Barry: There is almost a 3D discoloration to some of the shots. How did you create that look?

Maxx: That's a really nice filter in Final Cut called “Prism” under the blurs section. I created a vignette mask and just applied it to that to give it a bit of an analogue feel.

Barry: What rig did you use to do the circular motion for the time-lapse around Jennifer?

Maxx: No rig at all!! Just my 5D mk III on a tripod and some chalk tied to a piece of string! We got Jennifer to hold the string and drew a large circle around her. We then moved the tripod around the circle (with the Magic Lantern intervalometer running) keeping the distance between each shot roughly equal.

Barry: You said she sang the song at 75% and then you speed it up to match the timelapse footage. Did you just slow her master track by 75% and have her adjust to that to capture that effect in camera?

Maxx: Basically I did a few tests at different speeds and found that slowing the master track down by 25% gave the best result. I then filmed her performing that slower version, and sped the footage back up to the original track speed afterwards. This ‘fast-forward' effect gave a much more dramatic performance that gels far better with the time-lapse backgrounds.

Barry: What was the best part about shooting RAW from Magic Lantern?

Maxx: The best part on this occasion was the increased colour depth with gave me a much better green screen mask than I would have got using the H.264 compressed video. Especially around the moving hair!

Barry: What was your biggest issue shooting with Magic Lantern?

Maxx: It biggest issue I had was that on about 1 out of 5 shots i would get dropped frames that often meant the footage was unusable. Thankfully Jennifer is extremely patient and not at all a diva so we were able to shoot many takes! I was using a ‘komputerbay 1050x' card but it obviously is not quite fast enough…

Check out the final music video and let us know what you think. Just remember his final note and make sure you have fast enough cards! Happy Shooting.

Jennifer Davies – Lapse Of Time

Director Maxx Peter explains how Jennifer Davies’ incredible ‘Lapse of Time’ music video was created…

From Press Release:

As soon as I listened to the song I knew that we needed to to capture the the heartbeat of London, one of the world’s busiest cities, and juxtapose it against the phenominal isolation and tranquility of North Wales’ epic landscapes. Filming with Jennifer and our tiny team took place across 3 nights in London, where we shot the zooming and spinning timelapse sections as well as the lip-sync time-lapse sequence which was very challenging.

Jennifer Davies - Lapse Of Time BTS shot

Jennifer Davies – Lapse Of Time BTS shot

We used my Canon 5D with the ‘Magic Lantern’ hack so we could use the intervalometer. We also shot timelapse with Jennifer for a day in the Welsh mountains, shooting the sunset on the beach in the evening and we then did a day in my studio (shooting again with the 5D using ‘Magic Lantern’s’ raw video).

Jennifer Davies - Lapse Of Time BTS shot

Jennifer Davies – Lapse Of Time BTS shot

Jennifer performed the song at 75% speed on a green-screen so we could speed her up to make her movements more dramatic, jerky and blend in better with the incredible motion-timelapse backgrounds that Paul Richardson had created. They took him eight nights, he cycled over 200 miles around London carrying over 20kg of gear and he shot around 20,000 photos with his Canon 6D.

Jennifer Davies - Lapse Of Time BTS shot

Jennifer Davies – Lapse Of Time BTS shot

Motion sequences were shot using his home-built dolly and an Emotimo TB3. I then took all these elements, edited everything together, and graded using a combination of Final Cut Pro X, Adobe After Effects and Blackmagic’s Davinci Resolve.

Overall I think the video really goes to show that if you’re prepared to put the hours in and work incredibly hard then you don’t need a massive budget, huge crew or trailers full of equipment. It was a proper team effort and I’m extremely proud of what we achieved.

(cover photo credit: snap from Maxx Peter)


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