The beginning of the end of the iconic St. Petersburg Pier was one year ago. Tampa Bay video production company CMR Studios was set to document the demolition with three strategically located time lapse cameras. It began in August of 2015, the waterfront site was supposed to be cleared of the inverted pyramid and approach in about six months. That initial prediction was way off. As a result the three solar powered camera installations have been shooting an image every five minutes for, thus far, a year. That totals some 315,360 images that have now been edited into a dramatic time lapse video that belies the months it has been underway. The result is an edited time lapse video of just a minute and a half.
Adam Weber, the photographer and producer of the project, visited each camera on a weekly basis to perform maintenance and offload the images to create the video. That included climbing onto the roof of the Birchwood Hotel on Beach Drive in downtown St. Petersburg. That camera provided a dramatic elevated clear view of the entire pier. Another camera was placed at the St. Petersburg Marina for a water level view of the south side of The Pier and another at the Vinoy Marina captured the demolition on the north side. The three locations insured that all the action would be captured and shown in the final edited video.
Incrementally throughout the year the images were processed and edited to delete periods of inactivity. And even though the cameras were mounted firmly, camera shake that would not be visible in normal speed video became very apparent. So the thousands of images had to be processed and stabilized.
Taking the process even further, Adam selected images from each camera that matched the lighting conditions and color from frame to frame and represented dramatic changes in the structure to create GIFs from each angle that are just a few seconds long.
The production is not yet complete. Filming continues of the demolition of the approach. Then the cameras, and Adam, will get a rest before capturing the construction of the new pier to bring this multi-year time lapse video full circle. The video will become part of the historical archives at the St. Petersburg History Museum which sits on the approach to The Pier.
Careful Positioning of Cameras Makes Time Lapse Videos Move
When shooting time lapse video of a large construction site, it’s most common to see a long static wide shot of the site. Unfortunately you miss seeing the details of what work is going on. The solution is to use multiple camera positions and angles that selected for maximum view, action and details. This video we shot for Alstom Power and Tampa Electric Company. It really lets you appreciate the skill it takes to set into place pieces that weigh almost two million pounds each.
It takes time to build a house. But showing this unique building concept for all concrete construction only takes a few minutes after several weeks of actual work. This video uses time-lapse to show the many benefits of building precast homes in a dramatic fashion. It was designed to be a marketing tool to persuade other homebuilders a faster and safer solution to traditional wood-frame homes.
In this convention video, we used our trademark multiple camera time lapse technique to show the erection of the acres of tents in this huge outdoor exhibit in Orlando next to Universal Studios.
We start with two 21 stories up on the hotel roof. Then used two more on the ground that we coordinated with the construction of key or unique tent types. After shooting for two days we went back and edited the multiple source tapes into this video which was shown a day later as the opening video for the keynote function. It got a standing ovation from the international audience. We also shot detail video of unique tents requested by the association and later provided those on DVD for on IFAI website as educational tools.
Panel Home Construction
This simple one camera time lapse shows a small crew building a house in just a few days. A fast job is even faster, making this a useful sales tool. One camera moved to locations on the construction site with the most action lets us see the process from start to finish. Notice the small group watching the work. That was the contractor/builder and architect. They forgot about the filming and watched for quite a while from that spot until we told them that they’d look like they weren’t doing anything while all the activity happened around them.
8 Months in 5 Minutes
This is our longest single location shoot to date. We shot footage over an eight month period at the Port of Tampa to capture this unique detailed look at shipbuilding.
Over an eight month construction and shooting schedule we captured all the milestone events to detail the patented process used by this multi-national company. First they cut the ship in half to add an entire section in the middle. Then the ship was dissected to remove the deck and structures underneath. A new second hull was added to create an inner liner to hold crude oil. Then the deck section previously removed was put back in place. We shot simultaneous time-lapse with multiple camera positions. On location several days a week we also shot in all areas of the ship including being in the bilge when massive sections were set on top of us. The images had to tell the story. There is no narration so the video could be used internationally without translations. Our work was awarded two ADDY awards for cinematography.
A time-lapse film for ship-builder Maritrans by St. Petersburg video production company CMR Studios was awarded two Silver ADDYs for Cinematography at the Tampa Bay Advertising Federation ADDY Awards and the 4th District Advertising Federation ADDY Awards. “Eight Months in Five Minutes” documented the double hulling of the fuel barge “Ocean States.” Director of Photography Mike Weber utilized multiple synchronized cameras at the Port of Tampa to capture the disassembly and rebuilding of the ship last year. Camera positions varied from high on the catwalks of the dry dock to the bottom of the bilge inside the hull. CMR utilized their proprietary time-lapse techniques to turn the eight months of footage into a dramatic five minute show that Maritrans uses at trade shows and for web marketing.