The 48 Hour Human Timelapse
The 48 Human Timelapse was completed at 0700 HRS on 6th March 2010 on a roof top in Belfast. It was a long haul and obviously we faced many hurdles along the way (It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t).
After watching collections of inspiring timelapse pieces from the likes of Tom Lowe and Philip Bloom on the internet, I got a taste for it. However, I felt like I needed to put a slight twist on matters, why not introduce a human subject into the timelapse itself? I approached Rick Trainor, an excellent 5D Mark II operator and Director of Photography, with the idea. He was keen as always and extremely supportive, even though there were apparent limitations which he highlighted early on in the meeting. I knew what I wanted, but I also knew that the only way I could make it happen was to have Rick on-board. As a Director, Rick has always delivered the goods for me and I am extremely thankful of the time he sacrifices, his invaluable skills and personality that he brings to every production.
The idea: capture a human subject for a 48 hour duration.
As soon as our family and friends got wind of what we were planning to do, they naturally thought we were crazy. I felt comfortable enough to put myself forward as the human subject- who else would do it anyway? I needed Rick behind the camera, his camera and lighting skills by far exceeded those of mine. We also decided that we would dedicate this endurance test to help raise money for Haiti and continue the support that the Belfast 4 Haiti event had started.
After getting knocked back by a few locations due to insurance issues, I contacted Ciaran from Kaya Studios, a popular recording studio situated at the top of Blackstaff Mills. I had seen the location on a photograph on MySpace and thought it was perfect. I was ecstatic when Ciaran gave us permission to use the roof space next to his studio. If it wasn’t for his generosity, the event would not have taken place. The TC-80N3 Timer Remote Controller arrived from Amazon and Rick took it home to play with. The fact that the controller was limited to 99 captures in total before having to be reset was going to be a challenge in the least.
It was into the fourth hour of the shoot, when I realised the mountain we were climbing. The aches and the joint pains from sitting in a chair for a long period slowly crept in. However, it’s the little things that you take for granted. I had to urinate into a plastic bottle which Rick had to keep emptying out for me (now that’s friendship for you). The nights were extremely cold and we were waking up to sheets of ice on the roof top and over our equipment. Beating sleep was impossible and I began to frequently experience mini naps during the second day. The remote controller had to be monitored on a regular basis due to the 99 shot limit. But when the finish line came, we were both extremely happy with what we had achieved (refer to special dance moves during credit sequence). I couldn’t wait to take the stills back to the studio and fire them into After Effects.
For a more technical perspective of the timelapse shoot from Rick Trainor, please click on the following link: