Walk Across America – Levi’s Ad

by Ian on July 23, 2010

I am impressed by time-lapse photography. I like even the clichéd shots of clouds on the California coast rolling in, or of flowers emerging and blooming. I have even bought intervolemeter cable releases in the past and my current camera can do time-lapse intervals internally. However, I have never had the time or the dedication to put something together. So, I remain an admirer. Unfortunately with the advent of time-lapse capable cameras I see a lot more poor work than good.

That’s why even if this was shot as advertising, it is worth sharing. It is done so very well.

(Watch it in the full 1080HD if at all possible.)

Behind-the-scenes and more, after the click.

This video is so very impressive precisely because it manages to make it all look so easy. Once you stop and think about the process and the complications, the video becomes all the more exciting. For example, panning around a stationary model is difficult enough – distance to the subject must remain constant, and the space between each frame must be similar to avoid jitters creeping into the motion. Panning around the model while progressing through the landscape and keeping the poses fluid and connected throughout the sequence of individual frames demonstrates a genuine commitment to exactitude that is inspiring. That the people behind this project did it on a limited budget and in a short two-week shooting period only adds to my amazement.

From a technical perspective it was an extremely difficult shoot. The entire project was shot using the 5D, a tripod, 24-70mm F/2.8L lens, a tape measure, and a photoshopped protractor. Measurement was very key to our success. If our measurement or my framing was not consistent then none of this would have worked. There was intense heat most of the shoot but kudos to Canon, because the camera did not overheat once. Neither did our behind the scenes camera which was a 7D. via

Check out the behind-the-scenes commentary video for information about how the project was shot. I think including this video is the best part of the whole project. I’m glad they took the time to produce it as well.

For more on the process and the people behind check out the posting on Planet 5D Blog. Also see the post at PetaPixel which includes a Google map of the route taken. The production company behind the ad was Conscious Minds Productions .

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