Time Flies

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This video was created by member POG, who wanted to document a year with his car in a unique way. -SF


Lets face it, many of us have done it; strapped a camera somewhere on a car or bike. We do it to film our adventures so we can show the world (Or at least our friends and family), or just to reminisce. As S2000 owners most of us have even used the same camera position: The wind deflector.

When I bought my S2000 I immediately stuck my helmet camera onto it and started filming my boring commutes and spirited drives on country lanes. Anything would do. Once I got over just filming random journeys, I decided it was perhaps time to create a plan for the next film. I thus took inspiration from the awesome short film “C’était un Rendezvous”, in which a speculated Ferrari 275 rips through the streets of Paris. It was, of course, not a Ferrari, but a Mercedes 450SEL.

I strapped my helmet cam to the grilles on the front bumper of my S2000 and went for a much less frantic drive. It was great fun, but didn’t come out as I’d hoped. I then turned my attention to the possibility of turning that run into a time lapse film. I did a quick search on YouTube for any other time lapse films in cars and found a great example of a road trip across the USA in an old convertible. It’s titled “Drivin’ USA” incase you want to watch it. I wanted to try the same thing, but with my own idea of a journey through the seasons.
I imagined a seamless transition through the luscious greens of summer, to the browns and yellows of autumn, the dull greys of winter and then the refreshing colours of spring. I realized that the route I had chosen would not accommodate for this very well, as it passed through a rather built up area, instead of the wild landscapes that would offer more vivid visual changes. I also wanted to add some complexity to the film, and so also decided to include a transition through 24 hours. The idea fitted in well as I could represent the seasons better with use of the time of day. For example, morning would emphasize a fresh start like spring, and dusk would emphasize the fade from summer to autumn.
After more research and discussion into how I was going to do this, I mounted an old JVC camcorder onto a frame that my dad helped me build. When filming I would swap the frame and camera with the wind deflector in the car. I had to draw up a filming plan to know at what time I was meant to be filming and where along the route; as I was filming an entire year I only needed to capture a small section of the route each time I went out. The filming plan was a basic graph on a scrap piece of paper but it was indispensible!

Royce's Camera Rig

I collected takes over the course of a year, backing them up every so often. If I’d lost any files, the project would have probably failed, as it’s tricky to fake a season’s characteristics. Toward the end of the year’s filming I started to convert and compress the film files so that I could edit them in Final Cut Pro. I was a little disappointed with the visual quality of the film, as I had pictured it to be much clearer when dreaming up the idea. For a budget film though, it will do, as I had to remind myself that as well as being a stand-alone film, this project was mainly to experiment with the idea of the film technique. If I could do it again with a professional camera and superb location I would.
The original idea was to just have the entire film set at the same speed, like most time lapse films. I didn’t think about playing around with the speed, adding still-frames and cuts to black as seen in the final product. These ideas came when I was piecing together the film. I had made all the transition cuts and put the entire year together but I found it very boring to watch; it needed some excitement and this wasn’t coming from just placing a song over it as a soundtrack. The original idea was to have a rendition of “Bliss” by Muse that I would have created myself, as I wanted the soundtrack to emphasize the seasons, but I was too laid back and ran out of time. I am glad I didn’t though, because when I came across the track that I chose to use on the final product (“We Can Make The World Stop” by The Glitch Mob) it gave me the idea of mixing up the film the way I did.
The soundtrack and inspiration for the speed changes came from another film on YouTube by the GoPro team entitled “GoPro HD HERO2 – 2X More Powerful in Every Way”. It’s an awesome video and I fully suggest you watch it.
The rest is history, as they say. I finished editing the film and chose to upload it to YouTube and Vimeo. I hope you all enjoy the video and I will be most likely be making some more soon.
Happy VTECing!

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