Combining timelapse, slow motion and realtime

Over the last three years we produced a full-length documentary about the city of Frankfurt called “Format Frankfurt”. The film starring people who live and work in the city will be released this May.

The title song was performed by local band AZZIS MIT HERZ which is also part of the film. Artists DANIEL SAHIB and DON BENE tell their personal story about what the city means to them. We previously made all kinds music videos for them. Filming outdoors, indoors with big and small camera, jibs or just hand-held. For this new song we wanted to do something different. In the song the city is the main character and the artists appear just sometimes.

You can also watch and download the video in a less compressed version on Vimeo:

Most music videos for movies just feature footage from the actual movie like a trailer with a different audio track. We didn’t wanted that sort of music video and decided to shoot everything exclusively – almost.

Back in November 2012 we rented the SONY FS700 for a day to shoot a few slow motion sequences for FORMAT FRANKFURT. We used Canon glass with the Metabones Speedboster since the FS700 does not have an EF mount. The form factor and overall structure of the body was far from comfortable especially when only having a few hours to shoot with it. The weather wasn’t great at all but the footage still looked impressive – because it’s slow motion – and what doesn’t look good in slow motion!? These are the only shots that appear in the film as well as the music video.
I had the idea of combining those 240 fps shots with realtime footage of the city and timelapses to speed up things a little.

To get detailed shots I chose the (back then new) Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera for realtime and the performance part plus the Canon 7D for capturing timelapses. The Pocket Camera has a timelapse feature but dealing with raw 5K files from the Canon 7D just gave me much more freedom in post escpecially when it comes to cropping or the ability to expose for a long time.
We shot the performance part back in October 2013 on a foggy day near the European Central Bank. We combined hand-held shots with the artists standing and smooth slider shots with them sitting.
All the b-roll was filmed in January and February 2014 as well as the timelapses which was really time consuming.

The timelapses were edited using Adobe After Effects but the rest was all done in Premiere Pro. The 1080p ProRes footage from the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera was color corrected using Filmconvert which is usually the quickest way if you don’t have much time to grade or the budget. The vintage slideshows that feature different photographs of locations were animated in After Effects using a lot of different tools and effects.

We will also be posting a short making of video soon!

Written by Moritz Janisch

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