Digital Media Design


Short Form Video – The Pitch Tilt Shift

Thursday 27th January 2011

The Commuter

This is going to be a Short Form Video shot in a Documentary Style inspired by Koyaanisqatsi .


I’m going to be using Tilt Shift effects to add an additional perspective to the video. Where it would be used to film groups of people; cars, trains and bicycles in the daily commute. The addition of tilt shift effect adds an element of fun to the video. The scenes of the video will take on a model like appearance, the people will seem like ants scurrying around an unreal environment bright with colour.

I’ve picked the daily commute as the theme primarily because this is the most active part of the day, the time where most people cars and trains are in motion which is needed for the tilt shift effect to be most effective.

Time Lapse

The sequence will start ideally with a Huge Faked Sunrise to set in the audience minds that it is the early part of the day, we then cut to  people waiting at a Bus Stop using Time Lapse.

  1. and as the Bus Pulls up we cut to a Tilt Shift of lines of cars headlights as they stream into Bournemouth.
  2. The next scene is another Tilt Shift view of the trains coming into the station.
  3. This is followed by a Tilt Shift scene looking down onto the Square in Bournemouth watching the people scurry around the shops.
  4. The penultimate shot will be a Tilt Shift of a line of cars tail lights as they leave Bournemouth (Shot at the same time as the morning shoot).
  5. Finally we have the scene of a commuter on a Bike with a Huge Faked Sun setting with a final close up of the rear bikes spinning wheel.

I would also like to shoot the video using a variety cameras, for example a Digital SLR, GoPro, Flip and of course Sony Z5. The GoPro might give the best result because of its wide angle lens and the HD cameras would give the best quality images for the start and end sequences which are not to be Tilt Shift. But the DSLR might work the best as this has a time lapse function which would be ideal for these sequences and they would also have the benefit of being in HD as well.

I’m still considering whether apart from a music soundtrack whether a voice over would be appropriate as well as any other soundtracks for example one of the videos above starts with an extract from a Radio Traffic Report which I think really sets the scene by establishing the time of day and that it’s the morning commute. It might be a good idea to do something similar and also at the end of the video add the evening traffic report again setting the time of day into the audiences mind that a day has passed. NB: Not 24hrs but a working day say 7:00am to 6:00pm.

Storyboard – Photographs

Ice Cream Boat - Poole Harbour

Ice Cream Boat - Poole Harbour

Customs Boat - Vancouver Sound

Customs Boat - Vancouver Sound

Street - Las Vegas

Street - Las Vegas


Short Form Video – Idea Development (Part 2) Tilt Shift

Tilt Shift, Time Lapse idea development.
Thursday 20th January 2010

Tilt Shift Video

Tilt Shift and Time Lapse video has become front runner for my idea for the Groups Short Form Video. I’ve looked again at the assignment brief and its parameter’s and how this will effect the work of our Group 2. I now realise that my first idea of the small drama titled ‘Gangland’ could be made to work but its potential could be wasted firstly by the limitation of duration of just 2 minutes and the loss of creative control by having its beginning and end scenes pre-determined.

For these reasons I have decided to consider alternatives and one in particular which is very much a personal interest would be the filming of a sequence using the Tilt shift method. Having seen some examples of these in lectures at the end of 2010 I have become fascinated by this photographic/video effect and would welcome any opportunity to produce my own version.


“Tilt-shift photography” refers to the use of camera movements on small- and medium-format cameras, and sometimes specifically refers to the use of tilt for selective focus, often for simulating a miniature scene. “Source: WEB Definitions”

Ok that’s not that helpful it’s probably best to look at an example and then describe what’s happening.

Tilt Shift example 1

This is a great example and ties in well with the brief title ‘a week in the life of’.

How does it work? well starting with videoing from a high vantage point seems to be the way to go  in this way your subjects are already in miniature. Next you need to decide in which area of the scene you are going to focus on and then in post you mask this and then blur the rest. In photography this seems to have the same effect as changing the focal length of the camera. There are special lenses produced to give this effect and they seem to work by moving the lens away from the sensor (Digital SLR) and they also give some lateral/tilt movement hence the term Tilt Shift you are literally tilting the lens.

I’ve seen an example of a home modified camera/lens setup where the camera lens has been moved a small distance away from the camera body by using a black flexible pipe. Changing both the the focal length and giving some flexibility to the camera body/lens angle.

Anyway back to the point in post we can simulate this effect by blurring the image outside our area of interest which is safely masked. Then to add to the Toy like effect you ramp up the saturation to give a very unnatural colour to your subjects (Primary Colours) and then up the speed of the video sequence making the subjects move across your screen at a rapid rate.

The big idea ‘A day in the life of Bournemouth’ Tuesday ‘Bus Stop to Bike Wheel’

My idea is to start our 2 minute sequence with a close up of a Bus Stop in Bournemouth’s Triangle and rapidly zoom out manually blurring the entire scene seemingly in one movement refocusing the scene from the  high vantage point from where we would be filming from. This would be ideally from the roof of one of the buildings overlooking the Triangle. The best day I’d suspect would be a Saturday just so that we maximise on foot traffic.

We’d have to experiment to see how much footage we would need to give the desired effect but I’d say we’d need an hours filming for each minute on the screen. My idea would most probably be more effective if we then moved to 2 more vantage points to vary the scene avoiding the audience losing interest.

My first thoughts would be filming the beach from the top of the BIC or the now defunct Imax building or Pavilion and then onto a 3rd location overlooking the Wessex Way during commuting time and maybe include the trains coming in and out of the station. In fact there are so many interesting locations to film that we would almost certainly have more footage than we would need.

The final sequence would be zooming down to a cyclist again seemingly in one movement to an extreme close up of a bicycle wheel.

What’s Next?

Assuming my pitch is successful and the rest of the Group are on board with the idea then we will need permission to film from one of the possible location sin the Triangle. A site survey would be needed to work out the best location but my immediate thoughts are Debenhams in the Tirangle, The BIC and ASDA’s or a Bridge across the Wessex Way. I think there maybe a Bournemouth University building overloooking the Wesex Way which maybe a possibility.


We’d have to try what is available to us to see what works, that is the Sony Z5 and it’s Zoom but if possible I think an SLR with a good quality Manual Zoom lens would be the best choice for this application – can we get access to one of these?

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