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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old November 9th, 2011, 06:33 AM   #1
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Time lapse


I've just had a bride ask if I can do a time lapse for their video. The sample video they showed me was of a sunrise and also of some clouds whooshing past the Empire State Building. I understand how time lapses are created, what I'm wondering is if you all shoot them on the wedding day, or in advance of the actual wedding date? If its on the wedding date, do you film them yourself or does your second shooter do it? If by yourself how do you build in the time needed for the time lapse, and finally, how long do you leave the camera set up for the time lapse? Is it 5 minutes, 10 minutes?

I'm asking because depending on other's experiences I may need to push this bride to getting a two camera-man package.

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Old November 9th, 2011, 06:52 AM   #2
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Re: Time lapse

I've only done it once, and I had a second shooter. Don't want to leave your gear unattended.

As far as when and how long I'm not sure. I think that really depends on the speed of the clip, how long it will last in the edit and if you want people in it.

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Old November 9th, 2011, 07:07 AM   #3
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Re: Time lapse

I usually shoot mine on the day of the wedding because all my packages are 2 shooters. However I have done a few prior to the wedding. As far as timing it varies. I have had some that took 10 mins, simply because the clouds/action in the frame was moving rather quick. Others, such as a sunrise take around 30 mins to an hour.

If you are interested in tracking the Sun, you definitely want to check out the iPhone and Android app. The Android one is called Sun Seeker, not sure the name of the iPhone one. This app allows you to view where the sun will be in hour increments. This way you can track it through the frame perfectly.

Timelapses can add a lot of value to a video, but definitely are difficult to master. Best of luck and hope that helps.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 01:08 PM   #4
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Re: Time lapse

I used to use my Sony EX1 for timelapse, but now I have an ordinary Sony camcorder devoted for timelapse. I put it on a gorilla tripod (the one with flexible legs,) and let it roll for 30 minutes, then in post, speed up the footage 3000%. If I need faster or slower motion, I adjust my timeline speed accordingly. Very easy and simple, and no need to tie up your main camera.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 01:34 PM   #5
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Re: Time lapse

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Old November 10th, 2011, 09:21 AM   #6
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Re: Time lapse

I did a sunrise timelapse for an SDE a few months ago. I chose to shoot it a couple of days before the wedding as I knew the day was going to be crazy enough. Plus, I didn't know if I would have the stamina to get up at 5:00am and stay sharp till midnight. By shooting it in advance I faced the risk that the weather might have been different on the wedding day which wouldn't match the time lapse. I lucked out as both days were sunny with a cloudless sky.

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Old November 10th, 2011, 03:19 PM   #7
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Re: Time lapse

Why not to buy from a stock footage agency?
If you choose to shot it yourself keep all your setting on manual and set exposure down because the sun have no such power in first minutes.
Like here: HD Video Time Lapse Stock Footage - Time Lapse of Sunrise, Sun Rise, Clear Sky
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Old November 10th, 2011, 05:48 PM   #8
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Re: Time lapse

I tell my clients that it requires a 2nd (and sometimes 3rd) cameraperson. It is also weather dependent, as you can't order clouds just for the big day in order to get your shot. I also agree that purchasing stock footage might be the better way to go. If you can't find stock from your chosen location, you might want to tackle it on your day off and when the weather is suitable. Otherwise, you can find someone who has already covered that location in timelapse.
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Old November 19th, 2011, 09:40 AM   #9
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Re: Time lapse

I do it in advanced nowadays mainly due to weather and time constraints of the actual day
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Old November 19th, 2011, 10:00 AM   #10
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Re: Time lapse

If you want to do a sunset and get rid of any flicker, this helps:
How To Order

I have yet to do one, but like the others said, I'd either get a cheap camera and set it rolling video, or do it on another date and babysit the camera.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 09:08 PM   #11
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Re: Time lapse

Try faking it. Take a few minutes of footage of the area you have in mind, loop it if need be, rotoscope out the sky and add some stock footage of a cool sunset, add some lighting effects to the scene as if the sun were setting and voila.
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Old November 29th, 2011, 10:43 PM   #12
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Re: Time lapse

Fake it unless you got some downtime...last thing you want to do is tie down the camera and miss something!
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