I’ve always wanted to do one of those remix videos. The perfect opportunity came up with the 2013 Super Bowl. I downloaded all the commercials and edited out interesting sound bits or shots in the videos. For example, someone catching on fire, a guy being thrown into a wall, a canon shooting confetti, etc. I started noticing trends in the commercials. There were 4 commercials that had horses in them (including one with a guy wearing a horse head mask). Two commercials referenced milk. 6 commercials had fire or things on fire. Two of them involved space.
There were a lot of sound bits I was able to combine together. My favorite is when I took a sound bit from the Fast and Furious Trailer. The line “They’ve got a tank” goes right along with the line “No they don’t”, taken from the Audi “Prom” commercial.
Last year I did a video that told about the major events from 2011 using Tweets. The video ended up getting 270,000 views and was featured on a number of popular websites. I wanted to do something similar this year, but more refined. I was thinking of doing one that told about the events in 2012 using social media (not just Twitter). In the end, I had to go back to just using Twitter. It was really hard to find Instagram photos taken during an event from 7 months ago, and you can’t really search Facebook profile posts.
I did partner up with Storify to make this video. Their site was very useful in finding Tweets and organizing them for the video. If it was’t for them I probably wouldn’t have been able to complete the video on time.
I first thought of doing a video about Teddy Roosevelt last year, but was too busy with other projects. I *almost* ended up not doing it this year, but I knew that Teddy was a person that people would enjoy learning about, so I went through with the project. It did take me two all-nighters to finish it on time. :P
This was sort of a random video for me. I was noticing the antics of a Scottish Fold kitten and thought I’d get some footage of it. What I captured ended up looking pretty good, so I decided to edit it into this short video. My only complaint is that I wasn’t able to move the focus, which gives that cliche’ “DSLR look”, but other than that I like it.
In mid September (last week as of this post) the Reddit admins posted about an event that the co-founder and general manager of Reddit were putting together. The Internet 2012 bus tour. The TL;DR version is that they are taking a bus across the midwest to raise awareness of internet freedom during the 2012 elections. I left a comment saying how I’d love to create an animated video for this event, and was surprised to get a response from Alexis Ohanian and Erik Martin (co-founder and general manager).
I had a very short deadline, was prepping to leave for Colorado in a little over a week, and was finishing two other projects. These factors led to me going with the simple sketch style and creating a script under 2 minutes in length. I enlisted my talented artist friend Cory Taylor to create the illustrations, this really helped, I don’t think I would have finished the video if he hadn’t helped me.
He and I wrote a rough draft of the script and went over illustration ideas.
Due to the aforementioned time constraints I went with a really simple sketch for the characters and used a real photo of a face for the head.
The storyboards were very simple, I let Cory play with the design of the sketches, I just told him what
I wanted, and occasionally gave specific instructions on a few items.
Cory drew the sketches in GIMP and I animated everything in After Effects CS6. It was the first time I used CS6 since upgrading from CS4. It’s quite an improvement and was blazing fast on my new retina display MacBook Pro (16GB ram and solid state drives). I did decide that I’ll need to use an external monitor, things did get cramped in After Effects when I was working on just a 15 inch display.
So that’s a quick rundown of the whole process of creating this video. There are a lot of things I’d like to change, but I’m pretty happy with it seeing all the time and schedule constraints I had.
11 years ago digital cameras were not as common as they are today. They were expensive or bulky and took low quality photographs. There were also very few ways to publish your photographs online for many people to see. Contrast that to today where anyone that owns a cellphone has a decent quality still picture camera and can post an image online in front of thousands of people within seconds after capturing it. When the events of 9/11 took place there was a flood of photographs taken by professional photographers and members of the press, but you didn’t see many featured photographs that were taken by everyday people because of the limitations on technology and the internet at the time.
For the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers I decided to curate a set of photographs taken by everyday people that most of you haven’t seen. Thanks to the internet these people have been able to publish them to Flickr, but most of them have less than a thousand, or even less than a hundred views. I found it so fascinating going through Flicker and finding these images, images that very few people had seen. It was like I was witnessing history again, but from an angle that no one had ever shown. I decided to share these photographs with all of you.
For those images that were taken on a digital camera, I’ve made a note of the model of said camera. All images are hosted on the account of the person that owns the photographs, none of them were taken down and re-hosted.
Seconds after flight 175 struck the South Tower. Taken with a Canon PowerShot S100 by George Weld.
Marc Garrett, about this image he captured. “The second plane flew directly over my head and slammed into the south tower. It took me a few seconds to get my head together, and this was the shot I took. I’m not a professional photojournalist, but I believe having a camera in my hand and feeling like a I had a “job” to do helped me keep my head.”
The photographer who took this photo mentions that at the time it didn’t occur to him how bad of an idea it was to walk so close to the tower right after it was struck. Later he discovered that he had been hit in the leg by a piece of falling metal, but didn’t notice it until hours later after he had settled down. If you read the comments you’ll find one by the owner of the open delivery truck you see in this image. He mentioned that the driver of the truck, seen in the blue shirt and pants survived the ordeal. The truck, however, was crushed. This image and the following were taken on an Olympus E-10.
This image struck me on a deep emotion level. In the midst of the chaos and destruction there were still people willing to show their selflessness and cover the remains of the victims.
Taken a few moments after the second tower was hit, you can see the cloud of paper floating through the air. Photograph by Ronald Smits.
You can see the outline of the plane’s wing span. Photograph by Hiro.
I think this image speaks for itself. Photograph by Luke Kurtis.
Photographer Jay Boucher says: “My wife had called me that morning to let me know she was safe. “Huh?” I said. She told me to turn on the TV and there was the Trade Center, burning. I grabbed my cameras and ran out to Hoboken’s Pier A. This is what I saw”.
Photograph by George Weld, taken on a Canon PowerShot S100.
Photograph by Michael Foran, taken on an Olympus C2000Z.
Photographed by Harvey Silikovitz on Houston Street in Greenwich Village. “An out-of-town TV reporter who is covering the 9/11 tragedy looks at the smoke emanating from the wreckage of the World Trade Center, a couple of miles to the south. Taken during my pre-digital days, this picture happened to be on a roll that for some reason I had gotten burned onto a CD when I got it developed.”
A rescue team taking off to attempt a rooftop rescue. They never made it. Photograph by Bryan Thatcher, taken with a Sony Cybershot.
Photographer Michael Foran says “This man was overcome with emotion as we listened to the calls of the Firemen and Police trapped in the rubble of the collapsed towers on his police scanner radio.”
Photograph by Eddy, taken on an Olympus C3000Z
It looks like this woman is shooting with an Olympus film camera. I think I still have the same lens and camera. Photograph by Marc AuMarc.
Photograph by George Weld, taken on a Canon PowerShot S100.
There are a lot of photographs of messages scrawled into the dust covering the cars. I can’t make out what the note says. Photograph by Marc AuMarc.
Photographer Hiro says “The firemen were utterly covered by the debris. We all could tell that a lot of it was asbestos, though no one said it outloud. It crossed my mind that this could be the real terror, if all the people around became ill after the fact.”
Taken with a Nikon E990 by George Hackett.
Photograph by Shayna Marchese. Her father posted this image on his Flickr account, he says “This is 6th Avenue and there was no traffic on it at all. Just pedestrians beginning to realize that the first tower had fallen.”
Photographer Brian Boyd says “I’m running North on West Side Highway, just one block from Chambers street. The tower just collapsed seconds before this photo.”
Photograph by George Hackett
Photograph by George Hackett.
Photograph by Bryan Thatcher, taken on a Sony Cybershot.
The photographer that took this photo says he doesn’t recall taking it as everyone fled the debris cloud created by the collapse of the South Tower.
Photographer Santi-Jose says “I never go down to that area of the city during the week, but there I was on that morning. chance or fate? I was to witness this moment in history. ever since that day seven years ago I almost never leave the house without my camera.”
Brooklyn onlookers. Photograph by Hans.
Photograph by Ken Eng. Taken on a Fujifilm FinePixS1 Pro.
Photograph by Ken Eng.
Photograph by Ken Eng.
Photographed by Rob Sheridan from his Brooklyn apartment, on a Canon EOS D30.
This was taken the day after 9/11, on September 12th, by Eddy.
I worked with the company MobileFWD in my latest video. I took an infographic they created for their trivia app and turned it into a video.
The drawings were created in Photoshop and then everything was animated in After Effects.
Artwork took about 2 days to complete, animation was another 2 or 3 days. The music is Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No 3, 3rd movement.
Thanks to the following sites for posting about the video:
Below are my sources, plus some extra information if you want to read more.
If you have any questions, just post them as a comment and I’ll try to answer them. You can find me on Facebook here.
Click here for an album of iPhone photos documenting the shooting process.
For the 4th of July I wanted to make a follow-up type video to the one I did last July 4th that involved me putting tiny cameras on fireworks and launching them up into the air. This time I thought I’d put the camera up in the air and have it looking down. It ended up being more difficult than I imagined.
Here is the sketch I drew about two months ago showing my idea for the video.
My plan was to buy a giant helium balloon and tie it down with two strings, the GoPro camera would be suspended below the balloon. I wasn’t sure if I was going to do this video. It wasn’t until GoPro released their Wi-Fi BacPac that I decided to go through with the idea. The Wifi BacPac allowed you to remotly control your GoPro camera and to view the video live on your iPhone or iPad. I knew this would be perfect because I’d be able to see how the shots were framed and if I was getting the fireworks on camera.
I bought the Wifi BacPac, 2 outdoor 3 foot balloons…
and two canisters of party balloon helium from WalMart.
I also obtained a few fireworks, I stuck with mortars and the large stick fireworks. My plans were going well so far until I found out that GoPro hadn’t released the iPhone/iPad app for the $100 BacPac I purchased. Apparently they didn’t think they needed to have some text explaining that the app wasn’t out yet. Oh well, at least I’d be able to remotely turn the camera on and off with the remote.
The first attempt at filming went well, but I had a tiny problem. My balloons stopped going up in the air at a certain point. I attached about 10 party balloons to the two large 3 foot balloons, and it still stopped going up into the air. I was perplexed and frustrated. The footage I got wasn’t that good because the balloons didn’t go above the exploding fireworks, I just got a bunch of shots of the fireworks flying past.
I decided to try it again, I purchased 4 more giant balloons. Thankfully before I bought any more party balloon helium I found out that the stuff sold specifically for balloons usually has other gasses in it, so the height the balloons go is limited. I purchased a giant tank of helium from a welding supply company for about $75, which was actually cheaper than the party balloon helium at Walmart. I did have to put down a $150 deposit on the tank, but that was refunded after I returned it.
I switched from thick fishing rope to 20lb test fishing line. I bought one of those spools you use for kite string, took off the string that was on it, and added my fishing line onto the spool. It took a while to wind 450 yards of line, but in the end it was worth it.
This time I attached 3 balloons to the camera, just to make sure I had enough to get it up in the air. This time the balloons went up really high…but…they stopped going up. I had a small problem…wind. The balloons would be blown sideways, if I let more line out they would just go further and further away, not straight up. Not only were the balloons not high enough, but the camera was being tossed around by the wind and balloon movement. Back to the drawing board.
I decide to scrap my camera attachment method after hearing about the Picavet system. It’s a rig that when made properly will keep your camera fairly level even if what it’s attached to is moving around. My dad and I put together a pretty nice looking rig from random parts we had laying around the house. This significantly improved the stability of the camera.
Click here to get info on making your own Picavet system. It took three more attempts at filming to find a moment where the wind had died down, but I eventually got the shots I wanted.
I’d say this video is the most difficult one I’ve done because I wasn’t expecting to have issues with wind, the camera mount, and the right type of helium. I’m not sure if I would do something like this again because it was hard to get a moment where the wind stopped moving, and even then the wind picked back up a little bit after the balloons were high enough. However, it was a fun project, and I learned a lot. Hopefully you find the resulting video amusing/enjoyable.
Thanks to the following sites/blogs for writing/posting about this video!
The Daily What - http://thedailywh.at/2012/07/04/early-bird-special-335/
I thought it would be fun to make a Portal gun, and be one of the few people out there to make one that looked authentic.
You have to understand that up to this point I had zero prop making experience, and my arts and crafts experience was limited to finger painting as a kid. I had assisted my dad in building projects, so I knew how to use tools, but he had designed the structure and bought the parts. If you had a list of people that you would want to make something like this for you, I would be at the very bottom of the list.
Many people have commented on my Portal gun, saying how they would love to be able to make something like it, but didn’t know how to do it. I was that person, I had no idea how to make anything prop related, but I had a vision, and I wanted to see it come to life, so I set out to create this Portal gun. I’m making this tutorial for people like me, who didn’t have the skills, but want to try prop making. If you have experience in prop making you can learn what I wish I had done differently and use that information in your own build. :P
Here is what it looks like underneath the large shell.
Here is what it looked like after I added the apoxie sculpt between the cracks, painted it over, and sanded it down.
Here is what my core looked like, sans the plastic and with the wiring.
To connect the barrel lights with the battery under the shell I ran the wires under the core.
I had an orange and blue LED running up under the shell to light the little area on top.
Everything was controlled with one switch. I could go from orange to blue, or turn it all off.
It all was connected inside the PVC section under the large shell.
I’m not the best when it comes to building electronics, so I had to get some help on a forum. You can read the forum thread to get detailed information on how I put the electronics portion of the gun together.
So there you have it! That is the process I went through to make my Portal gun. In all, it cost $300-$350, but it was a very good learning experience and I would do it again. I hope to try other props soon, or maybe doing set design or model work. If you have any questions, post a comment and I’ll try to answer it.