Life Series: One minute of footage takes two years to make

March 31st, 2010


http://tuvok.wimp.com/videos43ll/5f0ee5046182567fb4ff7a516231e506_minute.flvSo you know those time lapse sequences on the ever-so-amazing Planet Earth and the new LIFE series? This video, from the new LIFE series on BBC, shows how they make those epic time lapses. I’m still in awe every time I watch this video. The amount of room for error is huge here, yet they nail it perfectly. Ninety-five layers deep in what looked to be After Effects most certainly was difficult to work with.

The rigging that the crew used is also very cool. You can see in the video that they are shooting Nikon and using a large gliding dolly combined with an arm/crane to help with the fluid movement. They used a similar motion control setup when shooting the autumn mountain landscape, Japanese cherry blossoms in bloom and a sand storm in the Sahara (see them all here) the more well known of Planet Earth’s time lapses.

Video sourced from Wimp

Posted by on 03/31/10 in Photography, Process, Workflow

12 COMMENTS   »  Leave your Comment

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by graphdesign: Planet Earth: One minute of footage takes two years to make http://ow.ly/1t0Tn

  2. Ian Houghton says:

    Thanks so much for posting this Shelby, it’s absolutely amazing. It must be so satisfying to put that much work into such a beautiful project. Quite jealous of the guys who got to work on that series.

  3. Ian – You’re more than welcome. I’m glad I came across this last week. It was very inspiring to me because I’ve tried shooting time lapses…and its difficult to get it perfect the first time.

    Update: This video is from the new LIFE Series and not Planet Earth.

  4. NAVIS says:

    James Cameron has nothing on these guys. That was incredible.

  5. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by joesebok: so incredible RT: @clintob AMAZING video showing the making of time lapse shots for Life and Planet Earth. http://bit.ly/bAqaXV

  6. rent says:

    This blew my mind when I first saw it. Still can’t entirely fathom how something could be so tediously planned out to produce such a shot…mind blowing.

  7. Shane says:

    Same goes, thought this was done so meticulous and careful. That team put a lot of time into that one minute. Thanks for posting.

  8. Michael says:

    This was amazing, enjoyed the viewing! Good shit!

  9. [...] how BBC did the time-lapse in Planet Earth. Now I know. (I must say: I feel rather gypped.) /via Wanken Share and [...]

  10. [...] The rigging that the crew used is also very cool. You can see in the video that they are shooting Nikon and using a large gliding dolly combined with an arm/crane to help with the fluid movement. They used a similar motion control setup when shooting the autumn mountain landscape, Japanese cherry blossoms in bloom and a sand storm in the Sahara (see them all here) the more well known of Planet Earth’s time lapses. (via Wanken) [...]

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  12. Alex Burner says:

    This video nearly crushed my soul, until I realized it was LIFE not Planet Earth. The thing that I loved about the Planet Earth series, what amazed me above and beyond the beautiful photography, is that they shot it in the field. The crew didn’t unearth plants, drag them into a studio, and casually photograph them.

    The Planet Earth series is an example of Man adapting to Nature, instead of the other way around (which has been our M.O. for quite some time, and with population and technology expansion has begun to cramp the planet’s style a bit).

    The shots from the LIFE crew look great, and I like that they actually did shoot a bit in the field. But despite their hard work, I believe the means add a lot to the ends. Planet Earth is so beautiful for the fact that it wasn’t shot in a studio. It was shot on planet Earth.

    Seeing this video was like learning Santa Claus wasn’t real all over again. It reminded me of losing my original disillusionment that documentaries are true to life. After high school, I learned about the biases and shortcuts that go into any production. Planet Earth amazed me for it’s apparent lack thereof. It’s too bad not everyone has caught up yet, but I suppose I shouldn’t hold humans to such a high standard. We’re only human.

    And who knows? Maybe Planet Earth cheated plenty too.


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