03 March 2010

The Sandpit

My friend recently showed me The Sandpit, a short film with New York City as its subject, using time-lapse photography with a tilt-shift look.  The effect is very cool.  By shooting from far away and above, yet having such shallow depth of field (achieved not by lenses, but in post), these massive cityscapes look like miniatures, like some sort of very complex model train set.  Read the interview with filmmaker Sam O'Hare over at AeroFilm's blog, where he goes into detail on just how he created this effect.

(Unsurprisingly, Mr. O'Hare is heavily influenced by the 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi, which remains a sort of breakthrough in pushing the limits of cinema.  This has got me wondering.  Ron Fricke, Koyaanisqatsi's mad scientist cinematographer, who had to invent much of the equipment needed to achieve his shots, hasn't worked on a project of his own since 1992's Baraka.  The last 18 years of his career have consisted of loaning out his talent to a small handful of films like Star Wars Episode III.  The fact that a guy like Sam O'Hare is able to achieve something like The Sandpit in such a short amount of time, mostly on his own, using widely available technology, has got me thinking that if Ron Fricke ever does release another film of his own, it's going to raise the bar to places I can't even imagine.)

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