New York City is a breathing, living place that is endlessly fascinating. Every turn on a street corner brings things into view that all too often have vanished from the rest of America. During the day people pulse through the streets, tunnels, buildings, and parks. At night, its vast expanse twinkles and shines like few other cities. This project means to capture this spectacle and to create (through time-lapse imagery and sounds) a film that is exhilarating (and just plain fun!) as it presents a year in the life of the greatest city on Earth.
I've been creating time-lapse imagery for 7 years in addition to multiple nature documentaries. Much of my work focuses on how landscapes change over time, particularly during the course of multiple seasons. The below short film is a good example of this;
However, over the past few years I've been expanding my subjects, and now am in the middle of a longish, short film (20-25 minutes) that looks at how a great city lives and breathes over the course of a year, using primarily (80-85%) time-lapse sequences. I recently completed a short teaser of some of the city sequences, many of which will be included in the longer final film.
To be able to finish the longer film, I need to spend more time in the city and region, in particular during key seasonal shifts (snowfall, spring plant growth, fall colors). Up to now this has been a self-funded project, but I need support and patronage to be able to spend the 12 weeks or more required to capture fleeting moments of weather and events that are difficult or impossible to anticipate in advance. As just a few examples, I want to film ice flowing and thawing on area waterways, tidal flats in Jamaica Bay as Horseshoe crabs creep ashore, growing shifts of the forests along the Jersey Palisade and in Central Park, Fog and mist along the rivers, and of course all the seasonal events of the city itself (fireworks over the Hudson, marathons, parades, etc.). In addition, I plan to film sequences that involve the ever-changing nature of NYC, as local neighborhood businesses and landmarks (some unique in the "only in NYC" way) are increasingly priced out of their neighborhoods as the city gentrifies. These sequences will remember the city that currently is, before "progress" renders much of beyond recognition.
This is where you come in.
$21,000 is the bare minimum I need to finish this project. This level of support will allow me the freedom to travel to NYC multiple times over the next year, spending several weeks during each visit to capture the fleeting events and landscapes needed for the final film. It will allow a very modest amount of post-production work, music scoring, and also the purchase of several needed items, such as;
1. a Canon 7d camera as backup/2nd camera shooting.
2. 5 smaller GoPro cameras for multi-day set-ups in secure locations.
At higher levels of funding (stretch goals), the following levels of production can be reached;
at $27,000, I will be able to hire a local photographer in NYC to assist, and/or spend more time on location. There will also be a world premiere event for the film in NYC. Everyone who supported the project on Kickstarter will be invited (you'll have to provide your own travel and accommodations, however).
at $32,000, I can employ an assistant more extensively (very tiring carrying 70+ pounds of gear and shooting everything by my lonesome), and bump up the post-production budget to make it more likely that the film can reach 26 minutes in length and be broadcast on television (are you out there WNET?).
I also want to create a community of supports here on kickstarter, who will have access to a private production webpage where you can comment and give feedback on the making of the film. In the meanwhile, you can also follow the Kickstarter campaign on facebook and twitter;
Shout-out to New Yorkers who want to help!
If you have access to striking vistas of the city from roofs, windows, or wherever and are willing to let me photograph there, please get in touch! I need to film Central Park, the midtown canyons, the rivers, and on and on. It's frustrating knowing these vistas are out there but not be able to access them. Please help make this project even better!
Only your support can make this film into a reality. But it's important to remember that Kickstarter projects are not charity. At various levels of support, you'll get cool rewards like screensavers, HD films, DVDs and Blurays, and best of all, archival quality photographic prints that you choose! Below are photographic examples you can own, but keep in mind that substantial new work will be created during the project, and added to what's currently at motionkicker.com/photography. In addition, the new material will include HDR photography/time-lapse choices.
There will also be opportunities for New York Year supporters to appear in the film itself! I have in mind sequences that focus on single people in midst of teeming masses and passing subways, as well as small groups. If you can get yourself to the NYC location where a sequence is being shot, you're in the film! Every Kickstarter supporter will have the chance to be in a scene, but if you support at a higher level, or give access to a location/viewpoint opportunity, you can score one of the more desirable positions.
Time-lapse mosaics (NYC seasonal versions will also be available).
Open-edition print examples
Risks and challenges
In recent years I have created multiple award-winning documentaries, shorts, and film excerpts broadcast on television (PBS-regionally, NBC, CBC-Canada, NHK-Japan), as well as shown in venues such as the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Creating films is what I do, and New York Year is already well under way.
One unique obstacle is the need to be on site in NYC for unique weather events that you can't schedule beforehand, as well as the chance that expected conditions don't occur (low or no snowfall winter, fall colors not ideal or blown away by rain and wind before optimal). Because of the unpredictability of events (i.e. cancelled NYC marathon), details in the final film will not be known until completion, but the film will be completed with your support.
Additionally, many of the rewards already exist, and will be available before project completion, guaranteeing that your support and patronage will be rewarded.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (42 days)