Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Here's a little twist on Trailer Tuesday: Instead of posting a preview of a big Hollywood movie or cool indie title you get to see an entire movie. Okay it's a short film but it's another gorgeous work by local filmmaker Ross Ching . I met Ching here at KPBS, and have screened his work at my student film festival Film School Confidential. His latest film is called Eclectic 3.0: The Roads Less Traveled and as the title implies it is the third in a series of short films shot entirely using a still camera. This latest work required some 15,000 still photos edited together to give the illusion of motion. You could say it's stop motion time lapse. But whatever you call it the results are breathtaking. In the past, Ching has traveled the globe to seek locations. But this time he looked more to his own backyard.
When I was planning this little movie I was ending my final semester of college. I was really stressed out from producing Senescence all semester long and I just wanted to leave by myself and drive. For this film, I didn't travel to South America or have anyone help me out or even spend much time at each location. I didn't want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars flying out to these exotic locations, so what I did was visit The Roads Less Traveled in the western United States.
It's amazing how many beautiful places you'll come across when you go exploring without any real direction (luckily my iPhone kept me from getting lost). I knew the general areas that I wanted to visit - very touristy areas. But when I ventured off the beaten paths it was as if a whole different world opened up. Some places seemed like the surface of Mars and I was the only person in a 50 mile radius.
The stunning landscapes are perfectly matched to a remix of an Ennio Morricone score. Morricone is already linked to the vast western landscapes of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns so this particular heavenly cut works well to create a transcendant experience. Some of the shots look almost like miniature sets for some Hollywood effects shot. Ching explains why:
When you watch it, some shots might look a little odd. As if the objects were tiny toys. Or you might wonder why some things are out of focus. The reason is because I used a tilt-shift lens to rotate the depth of field to make it look as if these huge expansive vistas were tiny models. If you do a Google search for "Fake Miniatures" it'll give you many examples.
Also, I took exposures at the 40D's full 12 megapixels. This meant that when I went into Final Cut, I could pan the image digitally without losing resolution in a 1080p workspace. Final Cut cannot handle clips larger than 1080p very well, so I made offline ProRes files and reconnected them when I was done editing.