Hello everybody, today I’m with Jörg. How are you?
Hi. Fine, but also a bit tired. I’m on a trip in Germany. And in the morning and the evening I answer questions and remarks about my time lapse video “Venice in a Day” - I’d better say “Venezia in un giorno”, because you’re from Italy. I’ve uploaded the video just before departure and I have expected a somehow broader reaction than my previous time lapse movies about the Swiss mountains and the city of Zurich. But it just became an incredible avalanche now with reactions and requests from all over the planet.
Eheh :-) Can you introduce yourself?
I see myself as a very undecided person. Since the age of 12 I am interested in photography. Later I started filming with Super 8 first and then with horrible VHS video. And still today I’ am somewhere between photography, videography and journalism. Luckily I have somehow managed to get a job where I can use some of these interests. In the 1990’s I was working as a reporter and editor for newspapers and was also able to cover events with my photo camera. Then I have started my career as a TV reporter, covering national and international news. Right now I work as senior producer for the Swiss TV in german language, the Swiss National Broadcaster, a kind of RAI for you in Italy. I am still doing some reports for TV on my own, which means I do the editorial part of research and organization, the filming and the video editing.
Do you think Zurich is a nice place for creatives?
Yes and No. Zurich is without any doubt the economic and commercial capital of Switzerland. It’s also where most media or advertising agencies are based. It has more museums, art galleries and music clubs than other European cities with three or even five times as many inhabitants. The culture offered here is really up to the large cities in Europe, in quality and quantity. But it is also a very expensive place to live. So I think, when you’re settled as an artist or working in an interesting, creative and paid (!) job like me, it’s a good place. But for young artists there aren’t many niches and places to be to try out and find their way to create new things never seen or heard before. There are people achieving this but many find a day job before they really become artists with their own voice. One reason might be that here - unless in many EU countries including Italy as far as I know - young people still find good jobs quite easily.
I got it. When did you start to make time lapses?
A bit more than three years ago. I’ve seen them on Vimeo and tried the technique with my Digital Cameras I had for photography.
What do you like most of this technique?
It’s kind of an in-between-thing. As I do a lot of videography for work and a lot of photography for my passion it’s like a fusion for me, a new dimension. And more than with photography or filming with video cameras, you never know what you really get in the end. You have to go home first, load the tons of images into your computer, put them together as sequence, do some rendering and finally then you see if it works out the way you have imagined the whole scene during the time you were standing there beside your camera. It’s still every time a pleasant surprise or a deception because I’m not able to cue things 20, 40 or 100 times fast forward in my mind, although I have some more experience now and can see better what works and what doesn’t.
Does the Internet influences your works?
Oh yes. Especially Vimeo.com is a very important platform for me to discover new approaches and techniques from filmmakers and creative people around the world. This rich box of good work, so easy accessible, is something unimaginable only ten years ago.
I know what you mean. Can you tell us something about your working method?
Most of my time lapses I do on the fly or on travel. That means: on places I am anyway. Sometimes, like in Venezia, I get up earlier than usual to do the shots at Rialto at dawn. Or I do a little extra hike in the mountains, to get that special angle of a Mountain in the clouds. Often I do them with the smallest equipment possible: a Canon G10, a timer and a table tripod or Manfrotto clamp. More you don’t need to do basic time lapses. Some effects, like some blur for the tilt shift effect or pans and zooms I add in post. For this I use Apple Motion or After Effects. The final montage I do in Final Cut Pro or Premiere. This part of work is like editing normal video.
What are you working on these days?
Not on a specific project. I still have many basic or untouched sequences on my hard drives, that I would like to finish first before I start shooting new material. The Venezia material for example was shot during two short trips in 2009 and 2010. It’s really a time-consuming process, and besides I have a family, a job and I do photography as well.
What are your plans for the future?
As said before: Finishing some unfinished work. And then I’d like to start new projects, probably more focused on a specific action or process. It’s not very concrete yet. I’m not so sure how far I will or I can go with time lapse. The downside of this worldwide shop windows for video - be it Vimeo, Youtube or others – is, that the viewers get used to the best footage and new techniques so fast. I for myself I feel like tired seeing Sunset No. 125’565 or Moving Clouds No. 4’457’984. I was not even sure if my Venezia video is too old fashioned already.
Now there are time lapse pros out there using robotized sliders and rigs to create stunning movements. I’m not able to keep up with this level as long as I do this as a passion and not as a paid job. So in small experiments I’m constantly trying out new techniques or the combination of different stiles or methods, to make the things I want to show interesting enough.
Thank you, the interview is over. Is there anything else you want to say to our readers?
I think I have talked a long time already and if they have read until here, I would like to thank them for their interest. And yes: watch some of my other videos, “ZurichLAPSE VI” for instance or “River Works”, a short film without time lapse filmed in the Province of Brescia, in Italy.