Posts tagged #Timelapse

Witness An Amazing Aerial View of the Northwest in "Pacific"

It's always great to get a little perspective, especially when it comes to our sense of home -- Texas-based filmmaker, Matt Johnson gave us this perspective in his beautifully moving film "Pacific" he recently shared with us.

In part of Johnson's travel series, he explores different vantage points of places he visits capturing the sounds, panoramic views and everything short of smell. Each timelapsed and aerial drone footage paired perfectly with the serene and ethereal vibes from Josh Garrel's track "Slip Away" all coming together into one ode to a place we're honored to call home. Enjoy.

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Why Passion Projects Matter

Field Notes Interview #27: Michael Sutton, Filmmaker

At the end of the day, an artist's life is emotionally fulfilled by the projects dictated by passion over finances. Acclaimed filmmaker, Michael Sutton proves that you can have success in both areas in his new time-lapse film Frozen Fortress featuring the track "Fleeting" by Marmoset Artist, Kevin Matley.

Over the last few months, Sutton documented the magical setting of the hand-built ice castles in Lincoln, NH out of sheer awe of these ethereal structures. Filming in sub zero temperatures, this project was a labor of love and the results are paying off. Since its premiere, this film will be featured in Gizmodo, Buzzfeed and Discovery Channel Canada showing that projects from the heart go a long way.

We got a chance to interview Michael about this project and the importance of music, passion and collaboration in all of his films. Read on and let us know what you think by commenting below.

M: When did you know you wanted to be a filmmaker?

MS: When I was 16 years old I had a natural gravitation towards cameras. From there it moved to movie cameras 16mm and 35mm.

M: What's your favorite moment in the filmmaking process?

MS: I enjoy the capture process more than anything else. A lot of time I do not get to see the final project and in some cases even the dailies and I have learned to love shooting.

M: How did Frozen Fortress come into form? What's the story behind this project?

MS: Frozen Fortress came to light after my wife mentioned Ice Castles would be opening a location in NH about two hours north of where we live. I was originally going to grab a few clips for my film Operation Origami: The 100 Cranes, is a time-lapse film my wife and I have been making since 2011. Once I got permission to film at Ice Castles in Lincoln, New Hampshire, I went up and was blown away by the man-made structures and the process of how the castled were made. I knew right away I wanted to make this its own film and I wanted to collaborate with someone. Julian Tryba (Boston LayerLapse) stepped up to the challenge and I am glad he did.

M: What do you think defines a filmmakers' "voice"?

MS: That's a tough question. I think we all have different voices in various areas, so I feel that if you can convey a feeling to someone else, be it happiness, anger, sadness, etc., you might have made your voice known.

M: Do you always have a clear vision in mind when filming?

MS: No. I almost never have a plan in place and often find myself getting into a project only after the fact. Frozen Fortress is a great example of this.

M: Were there any happy accidents when filming?

MS: The main happy accident was finding the drive to keep going back to the film and not rush it. I personally made 8 x four hour drives and Julian made 2 x six hour drives to get the shots.

M: What role do you feel music has in film?

MS: The music is such an important element for this film as it sort of tells a story. There isn't any dialog in the film and it's pretty much animated elements via time-lapse. The music sets a mood of this magical location.

M: When do you know that you have something ready to show the world?

MS: For me, its when you get a lot of people asking to see the final product. I often post BST stills on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages. When I start seeing some of these hitting 400+ shares, it solidifies a winner for me. Also, I have had several well known blogs reach out asking to see the project.

M: How do you feel music is misused in projects?

MS: I come from a strange train of thought in that its really the filmmakers vision as to what they want to use. Something that might not seem like a good fit to one person might make perfect sense to others. The intended audience might not seem obvious as well so one might pick music that it more fitting to the target they were intending. If someone outside that demo watches the project they might think it was a bad choice, for the right demo it might be a hit. Its all subjective.

M: What's coming up?

MS: Next up is Operation Origami which been in the making since late 2011.


Check out the amazing online workshops that Michael Sutton is doing with our friends at Story & Heart in their Academy of Storytellers community. Become a better filmmaker with them.

What's a place that's completely floored you? Share your work with us at sharing@ about this place and we'll feature it on the Journal next week and award the winner with a Marmoset Shirt and a Field Notes Notebook.


Songs That Travel // Fitting Songs for Epic Outdoor Journeys

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Ever reach the summit of a long hike or see the sun set over a desert plain? Have you felt the need for some grand, sweeping strings or booming drums to play over that moment? We get you.

Here are three songs for adventure that pair well with those stories - especially when those stories are filmed.

The North Face // Alex Honnold

Our video collaboration with The North Face and Camp4 Collective centers on professional rock climber Alex Honnold, who is well known for breaking speed records up rock walls with his free solo climbs. Watching the footage itself is a tense ride, as Honnold tackles one of the largest solo climbs in the world - a 2,500 foot ascent up El Sendero Luminoso in Mexico. One of the coolest parts is how the music (or lack of music) matches the shifting emotions of the film. The Camp4 crew uses silence to its advantage, as gorgeous aerial shots and timelapse footage of the rock wall, its surroundings, and Honnold himself climbing without ropes shows the gravity of the situation and what might happen if he falls. Complemented by the interspersed music, the silence is broken up by Matthew Morgan's "Sun Through the Clouds." At first emanating a deep sense of seriousness and focus, the dainty flurries of piano later exude a feeling of triumph and wonder as Honnold determinedly makes his way up the wall. At one point, three simple piano notes repeat slowly while a fixed overhead shot shows Honnold carefully strategizing his next holds. At another, strings rush in behind the piano to create a sense of wonder and happiness as Honnold stands carefully on a tiny ledge thousands of feet in the air, making it hard not to smile right along with and his sense of adventure.


Joe Simon // The Valley of Fire

The Valley of Fire National Park in Nevada is known for its red sand stone formations that bring to mind burning fire when they reflect in the sunlight. That's a bit different than the rain-soaked, Doug Fir-laden lands we are used to here in NW, but this video draws us to there regardless. A collaboration with filmmaker Joe Simon and The Delivery Men, this video combines sweeping shots of the Nevada national park with "This Moment" by Pistol Shrimp, juxtaposing an electronic approach to views of wide open spaces. This might seem like an unlikely combination of the natural and machine-made, but the floating harmonies and big drums keep the music from feeling cold and match the warm colors with expansiveness of the desert plains. The song's rises and falls are paired with slow moving, spacious shots and then more rapid cuts through the scenery, setting a captivating pace that holds attention on the awe-inspiring mountains. With an M83 influence and walls of synth that keep the whole thing anchored, the song creates a hazy, echoey vibe that makes the imagery seem all the more epic.


Shane Black // Adventure is Calling

We weren't a part of this collaboration, but this video gets an honorable mention for being so awesome. Sighting what he deems a "call to adventure," timelapse photographer Shane Black set out last summer to travel across the country with friends, photographing the spectacular views around him in between teaching workshops. Amidst layered timelapse shots of thunderclouds, shooting stars, sunsets, desert plains, canyons and everything in between, light and ethereal post-rock guitar plays supported by echoey touches of piano and chimes. All of these elements lend themselves to a feeling of awe and majesty at nature spinning by. Matthew Morgan's "Dawn of Time" from our singles catalogue captures a similar feeling of pure astonishment, as delicate piano drifts in waves, not unlike the clouds rolling by in the video. Often accentuated with hazy harmonies with synth in the background that blankets what might normally be a fragile sound, this track has got slow moving, jaw-dropping nature written all over it.

- Kaitie Todd