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Long Term Time Lapse for Colorado River Film's video poster

We're building long term time lapse rigs to give meaning and insight to some of the most important processes of the natural world. Read more

pledged of $5,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on May 26, 2011.

We're building long term time lapse rigs to give meaning and insight to some of the most important processes of the natural world.

About this project

I work for an production company called Kontent Films.  We're based in San Francisco and we ride our bikes to work every day.  Our latest project is a stylish documentary about the Colorado River Basin, water use and water ethics.  The River is the life blood of 30 million people making it one of the most dibbled, diverted and dammed body of water on earth.  

But my Director Mark Decena doesn't want ours to be another talking head, doom and gloom documentary. It's going to be fun and edgy; part animation, part creative film making, part beautifully shot vérité and portraiture. 

But we need your help to make the film more unique.  Heres how:

I'm sure you've seen some AWESOME time lapse videos.  Clouds and stars zipping across the sky in full HD… Sun rises and sun sets, crazy motorized pans and tilts that change the perspective ever so slightly: just beautiful!  

An image shot on a different time scale from every day life- whether it be super slow motion or time lapse, can have a profound impact on a person's perspective of the world around them.  Some of the most inspiring shots I've ever seen is time lapse that explains a natural process.  When I see clouds forming and colliding in the wake of a mountain I understand a little piece of the mystery of weather.  A  beautiful night time shot with the stars making their circle around the north star does more to explain astronomy and our place in the universe than any physics text book could.  Plants sprouting from the earth seeking the sun- wow.  Just phenomenal.  

Well I want to bring that insight and clarity, that sort of inspiration to the Colorado River.  There has been an incredible snow fall in the rockies this year and all that water is going to become apart of a intricate system stretching for thousands of miles and integral to the fabric of life.

It is  going to melt, rush down the river, surging and rising in its banks, filling the many reservoirs that halt its flow for human use, and maybe, just maybe, reach the Gulf of California.  

With your help we'll document this process in a way no one ever has before.  I've built a small time-lapse rig that will capture images continuously for several months.  It can be placed in a snow covered valley as it empties of all its snow; or on the banks of Lake Mead to witness its water level rising up 20 feet.  Or, maybe a farm to capture the cycle of the human curated life the river supports. 

Actually why choose? Why don't we do them all?  Well, the deadline for the film is in November so to capture the most dramatic season, late spring into summer, I need 5 of these long term time lapse rigs running simultaneously.  And thats where I need your help.  To build each one, we need a digital SLR camera, lens, high capacity memory card, a large car or boat battery, power inverter converter thingys, an intervalometer, and a durable, water proof case to house it all in.  I've bought all I need for one rig using my own savings, but with your support I'll be able to build 5 of these units and have enough for gas money to place them in a couple of weeks.

So give it a think… Imagine how awesome these shots are going to be.  How much more insightful and powerful our film will be.  How important your contribution to a great cause will be….. and if you're able, please help us out.  

Thank you and I'll bet you'll never look at a river the same way again.

* the timelapse in the video is courtesy of Scott Compton, & myself.  Music by ccmixter user DoKashiteru


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  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    12 backers

    Thank you in the film credits.

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    9 backers

    Early online access to the time lapse videos before the film comes out and postcard for the film.

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    14 backers

    Digital instructions on how to build your own long term time-lapse rig and set of small prints taken during production.

  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    25 backers

    We'll send you a DVD of the final film.

  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    11 backers

    Your choice of a Large Print of the gorgeous scenery in the film.

  • You selected
    Pledge $750 or more

    0 backers

    You'll get to commission us to do your own custom time-lapse. If you have a (reasonable) idea for a cool long term time-lapse, we'll work with you to set it up with one of our rigs. Studio style shots or SF Bay area locations.

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers

    You'll receive one of the long term time-lapse rigs used in the film.

Funding period

- (30 days)