Watching Joe Capra’s promotional video, “Australia’s Gold Coast – Timelapse,” you may find yourself inflicted with a sudden outburst of wanderlust. Which is exactly the purpose of that video, as it was commissioned by Gold Coast Tourism, an organization whose goal it is to promote both the business and the leisure opportunities of the city and surrounding coastal region, located in the state of Queensland, Australia.
But Capra’s video has much more to offer than just beautiful scenery, such as the city’s beaches, waterways, and nearby rainforest. It combines various photographic techniques as well as a captivating soundtrack by local music act Fairchild, which make it an outstanding piece of videography in its own right. We wanted to take a look behind the scenes and find out more about how this video was made, so we had a litte chat with Capra.
The video, “Australia’s Gold Coast – Timelapse,” was commissioned by Gold Coast Tourism. Was there a specific set of locations you were asked to cover, and specific techniques such as hyperlapse and HDR that were required? Or did you have full creative freedom?
Correct, I was commissioned by Gold Coast Tourism to shoot this video to highlight their city. There were only a couple specific locations they wanted me to shoot, so for the most part I had full creative freedom in shooting. They also didn’t ask for any specific techniques. I tried to use everything I had in my time-lapse tool bag for this project, including helicopter time-lapses, hyperlapses, pan and tilts, and dolly moves.
The video looks like it took quite an amount of work. How much time did you spend on its creation?
The video was shot over a 14-day period in March 2014 and took me about two months of location planning, Google Earth location scouting, and just general pre-production. Post-processing and -editing took another four months to complete (including edit revisions from the client). So about six months total.
What kind of gear did you use for the making of this video?
I used three Canon 5D Mark III cameras, various Canon lenses, a Dynamic Perception Stage Zero dolly for the motion control shots, and an eMotimo motion control system for the pan/tilt shots. The gear used did change from location to location. The shot types available at each location really decided the gear I would use for each location. Some locations allowed for great dolly move shots, others were better suited to pan/tilt shots, and others would only allow for static shots. I would scout out each location and then decide what shots I wanted and which gear was best suited for the shot(s).
Some shots in the video were apparently taken from the water or the air. How did you manage to achieve such steady footage?
None of the shots were taken on the water, they were taken from nearby rocks, rooftops, or from the beach itself. The helicopter shots were quite tricky. This was my first attempt at these type of shots so it was a real learning experience. In the helicopter I had the camera mounted on a Tyler Middle Mount gyro stabilization system. This Tyler mount did most of the stabilization work for me, however, I did use the Warp Stabilizer in Adobe After Effects to post-stabilize the footage a bit more.
Many scenes in the video have a very vivid, HDR-like look. Can you tell us how you achieved this look, and how you managed to replicate it for each photo to make it look so seamless in the final edit?
Actually, none of the shots in the video are HDR. It is just the way I process the footage that makes it look like it is HDR. I took about 120,000 photos for the whole shoot, but the final video contains only 5,760 of them. It was a lot of footage to process and work with! The first step was to import all the images into Adobe Lightroom for organization and color correction. From Lightroom the shots then went into Adobe After Effects for additional color correction, stabilization, and any other touch ups that needed to be done. I rendered out all 200-plus individual shots out of After Effects and then brought them all into Adobe Premiere for the editing.