Yesterday we had a rare glimpse at just some of the majestic beauty captured by Eric Kessler in his video ‘Time Escapes’ shot at Timefest. Timefest was a small gathering of some of the brightest minds in production today in Mammoth Lakes, California.
The roster included Tom Lowe, Vincent Laforet, Carson Garner, John Carr, Ben Wiggins, Mike Flores, Drew Walker, Shawn Reeder, Dustin Kukuk, Nilo Merino Recalde, Mike Goveia, and, of course, Tom Guilmette.
Eric took some time to talk to me a little bit about his video, TimeFest and how the experience steeled his resolve to continue to improve Kessler products.
KU: What was Timefest?
EK: Tom invited me out to spend some time seeing how the film was being created. I then asked Tom Guilmette and Carson Garner to come as well and then Tom Invited a few more and before we knew it we had 12+ of the most talented time lapse guys in the US showing up to what became “TimeFest 2011”.
KU: What was the daily Routine?
EK: Pretty much it goes like this. Wake up around 1-3pm, get the gear ready, hit the road, stop for supplies and food, drive to location, (6-8pm) set up shot, start the shot (10pm) go back to camp and relax until around 3am, check cams, reset for 2nd shot, back to camp, (5-6am) retrieve gear, grab live shots if need, pack up, hit the road, back to house (7-9am), dump cards, put batteries on charge, eat breakfast, go to bed and then it starts all over again. These guys are machines.
KU: With all this talent around, was everyone working on their own projects at the same time?
EK: Andrew Walker and Mike Florez were doing their own thing. Vince, Carson, Tom Lowe, and Tom Guilmette were working with me capturing some of the BTS. Tom Guilmette was not only helping with the BTS footage, but he was also getting interviews of everyone involved and documenting the entire event. I was also working with Tom Lowe to set up our new Keyframe Motion Control System for his timelapses.
KU: Is this your first filmmaking effort?
EK: I do not consider this a filmmaking effort. I mainly went to TimeFest for product testing and to visit my great friends. I just had a few of the time lapses that was shot at TimeFest so for fun I decided to do a quick edit.
KU: Do you plan on making more, and if so, what are you interested in doing next?
EK: Don’t know? I guess if I get moved to I will. But I am in no way a film maker. I just got lucky that some people liked this one.
How did you get the blue and red lightening effect?
EK: Everything you see in that video was exactly how it was shot. There hasn’t been any After Effects work or color grading done. I just edited it, added music it to it and added a title card and that’s it. The red is our head lamps.
KU: How did you choose the soundtrack?
EK: Well I was kicking it to Dubstep when watching the TimeLapse clips and thought it would go good together. You always see TimeLapse put to surreal, celestial or easy listing music so I thought it would be cool to try to snap it up a bit. Like I said this was just for fun. But it looks like it work ok. Some people love it others not so much. Also I knew I had to have something with a fast beat so I could do a lot of cuts because I only had like 3 finished Timelapses and 4 BTS Timelapses so I thought to spread it out a bit it would be cool to break up the 3 finals with quick cuts of the BTS stuff giving the viewer a quick glance as to what went into the Time Lapses.
KU: Considering the response you received from the video, it being featured in the Huffington Post and various other website and blogs, do you feel like you might pursue more projects like this in the future?
EK: I want to make gear that makes filmmakers, filmmakers. That’s what inspires me.
KU: Do you think it’s important for a manufacturer to do field tests themselves with their products?
EK: When I travel with my own gear and start packing it around, my mind automatically goes to how can we make this lighter. It’s one thing to here other people’s ideas about your products, but once you start lugging this stuff around out in the field, you start to put more of your heart into it. Going on this trip was invaluable.
For a different perspective of TimeFest from the man behind camera during the entire event, check out Tom’s Guilmette’s blog at: www.tomguilmette.com