After a recent visit to New York and some timelapse work there, I decided, on a return visit to make a New York timelapse that I felt truly for me, anyway, represented the pulsating, electric vibe of NYC – ‘ELECTRIC NEW YORK’ was born.
On a day job trip to New York, I made sure I got a hotel with a view of Times Square: ‘Park Central’, New York. With the help of a Lenskirt (lenskirt.com) which I had delivered direct to the hotel (thanks again Aaron!) I was able to get the shots at 1:28, 1:38, 1:49and 2:54 through my hotel window. Impossible without the Lenskirt – I know from bitter experience because I’ve had to drop shots in the past because of reflections.
All images were photographed using the technicolor ‘cinestyle’ picture profile (see the ungraded Flickr pictures below for the untreated images if you’re interested in the before look of this picture profile). The technicolor profile shoots a very flat image, and technicolor’s LUT can be applied in post. Since I edited this entire timelapse project in the 64-bit Avid Media Composer 6, this was not possible (since MC cannot import the LUT, unlike Avid DS), so I simply applied an ‘S’ curve in the master curves and made use of spot colour correction on many of the images to super saturate them in a way I personally feel represents what I had in mind when I conceived of this project.
On visting NYC, I felt the cars/taxis/busses/bikes were like electricity pulsating through the streets at the speed of light. So, in pre-planning I decided to use slightly longer shutter drags than in previous timelapses, as I knew this would give me the streaking, ‘electricity’ of light being painted in each frame by the car head and tail lights.
I had only 3 short nights to complete this project, 14th, 15th and 16th February 2012. It rained all evening on the last night, which has given me some nice shots, but meant trying to set up the camera in one hand and hold an umbrella over the lens with the other in the wind and rain. Without anyone to assist, this was severely taxing. Hats off to all ‘lone timelapsers out there’!
The music used in the piece is by a German band called ‘7oop3d’. You can check out their other awesome work on their website here: 7oop3d.com/unmute/ Thanks guys!
The end credits also thank ‘ERH’ and ‘guitarguy1985’ for their police and animal sound effects which I’ve used in the audio mix. You can find their work on freesound.org.
I lived off coffee and grab and go hotdogs and sandwiches during the evenings making this, and as anyone who has timelapsed on either the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridges will tell you – those things MOVE when traffic passes, so get ready to do stabilisation in post!
The grading and editing was all done in the evenings of 22nd and 23rd of February in my hotel room in Milan, and the final edit lock down was completed on a flight from Milan to London Heathrow on 24th February 2012.
This is, of course a low resolution ‘web HD’ H.264 but was produced in Avid DNxHD 185X
It can also be made available in ProRes 4:2:2 HQ and other flavours if required.
If you’d like to license any of this footage, then drop me a line at email@example.com
Thanks so much for watching and, of course sharing!