Icelandic Land-Lapse Project: Day 8 of 8

This is the last full day of my Kickstarter campaign for the Icelandic Land-Lapse Project, my second feature film. This fund drive ends at 12:00 PDT on Sunday 28 March 2015. Thank you to all who have contributed so far, and thanks in advance for those of you mulling it over. I cannot make this film without your support.

A fellow Kickstarter supporter suggested yesterday (in a comment on my post about the project budget), that I have underestimated the costs of this trip. I understand that Iceland is one of the most expensive places to visit in Europe, however it can be done frugally. One way of course is to eat cheaply, even though McDonalds left the island in October 2009, there is still another possibility.

The IKEA Reykjavik cafe is the most popular restaurant in Iceland. They serve meatballs, chicken, turkey, soups, hot dogs, and of course, ice cream. If you want to take the food to go, you do need to pay for a box (150,- króna). They are very helpful on the phone. Thank you to the anonymous IKEA employee who tolerated my questions this morning.

Thank you for supporting the Icelandic Land-Lapse Project.


Icelandic Land-Lapse Project: Day 7 of 8


An important question to answer regarding my Kickstarter for the Icelandic Land-Lapse Project is about the project budget – how will the pledges be spent? My total project budget is $ 8,000 USD; my Kickstarter goal of $ 5,250 is for the initial production costs only (about 2/3 of the budget); I plan to cover the rest with personal savings.

The largest chunk is for the airfare from Los Angeles to Keflavik International Airport near Reykjavik. The project requires (at least) two alternating drivers; one manning the controls of the car, the other manning the controls of the camera and monitoring for errors. During the production of From Sea To Shining Sea, the second driver was also responsible for recording the audio (wild sounds and interviews).

The remaining production costs assume an overall stay in Iceland about about 5 nights – one night before and one night after the trip itself to account for setup – and include the car rental (round trip from Keflavik); three nights accommodations in Reykjavik, one night of Höfn, and one night in Akureyri; gas (at $8 USD/gallon); and meals (five days for two people). Post-production costs (music, film festival submissions) are not covered in this campaign. Note the allowances for contingencies (the unknown known) and the 10%-ish Kickstarter fees.

Thank you for your consideration of the Icelandic Land-Lapse Project.


Icelandic Land-Lapse Project: Day 6 of 8

One of the things that I am planning to experiment with and focus on a bit more in the Icelandic Land-Lapse Project is the audio collage.

During the filming of From Sea To Shining Sea, every time we stopped the car to reset the camera and download footage, we recorded a minute or so of wild sound. In editing together the audio collage, we noticed that the sound of the landscape changes: one hears a different bird in Virginia than in Utah; one hears the rain in Indiana; the rumble of the Golden Gate Bridge; the barfly chatter in Kentucky; the vast emptiness of Nevada; the crickets in Kansas; the canyons in Colorado; etc.

This morning I created the piece above – From Sea To Shining Sound – which focuses on the transition in the sound of the landscape – sans music. I plan to do something similar when filming the Icelandic Land-Lapse Project to capture the sound of Iceland’s landscape – the geysers, volcanos, earthquakes, etc.


Icelandic Land-Lapse Project: Day 5 of 8

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 3.41.09 AM copy

A little over 3 days left in my Kickstarter campaign to fund The Icelandic Land-Lapse Projectmy second feature film.

And that’s a subtle tweak to my pitch today: I had been planning to compress the 800-mile drive around Iceland into a film about 30 to 45 minutes in length – a short film. However, given that the scale of Route 1 (aka the Ring Road or Hringvegur) is much smaller than the Interstate Highway System experienced in From Sea To Shining Sea – and since we will not be going at such as high rate of speed (perhaps half) – it may be more appropriate to slow it down a bit, and give more emphasis to the beauty of the Icelandic landscape: the lava fields, the glaciers, and of course, (ahem) the blind curves.

It will give more time to experience the landscape – and that’s the core of this self-described land-lapse genre – it is experiential. To achieve that immersion, it is key that the landscape dominate – and the 16:9 ratio and 4K video quality will certainly help (as will the audio collage, which we will talk about in more detail over the next few days).

At the moment, the Kickstarter campaign is at about 27%: this project will not happen without support from viewers like you. I can’t do it without you – it’s just that simple. Thanks for listening.


Icelandic Land-Lapse Project: Day 4 of 8


Just about halfway through this quick Kickstarter campaign to fund The Icelandic Land-Lapse Project. With 4 days left, pledges are at 24% of my goal – appreciate it if you would get your friends and neighbors to look under the sofa cushions for a few extra quarters.

When we drove cross-country to film From Sea To Shining Sea, I made a point of capturing the color palette of my environs from time to time. This was done by photographing the surrounding landscape using an iPhone 4S running the Adobe Kuler app – now known as Adobe Color CC. The software creates a color palette from the image which can be brought into Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, etc – these dynamic color palettes were used to re-correct the video image – resulting in a tritone image that shifts along with the shifting landscape over the length of the feature.

This is a technique I intend to use again for The Icelandic Land-Lapse Project. I am curious as to how the color palette of the Iceland environment will inform the color grading of this project.


Icelandic Land-Lapse Project: Day 3 of 8

Today is day 3 of my 8 day long Kickstarter campaign to fund The Icelandic Land-Lapse Project – thank you to all who have already contributed. You may not realize, that funding is not guaranteed – if I don’t reach 100%+ of my goal, I get zilch, and the project fails. It’s all or nothing.

I’m going to be filming The Icelandic Land-Lapse Project with an iPhone 5SFrom Sea To Shining Sea was shot with an iPhone 4S. Not only are the camera specs of the 5S better than the 4S, but running the TimeLapse app on the 5S allows for shooting in 4K video. This is accomplished by taking JPEG images at regular intervals and assembling them together into a QuickTime for import into Adobe After Effects CC and Adobe Premiere Pro CC – my current digital video workflow.

See above for some test footage I shot last weekend looping around Downtown Los Angeles – which, as an aside, is actually quite circuitous if not impossible to do by freeway alone. Enjoy and thank you for considering The Icelandic Land-Lapse Project.


Icelandic Land-Lapse Project: Day 2 of 8


Today is day 2 of my 8 day long Kickstarter campaign to fund The Icelandic Land-Lapse Project – thank you to all who have already contributed. This is a quick campaign – please wake the kids and phone the neighbors.

One of the things we learned while shooting From Sea To Shining Sea had to do with timing: while it can be visually interesting, it is very difficult to shoot into the sun. In retrospect, I realize this kinda goes without saying, but we were so pumped with adrenaline, that after driving 6 or 7 hours, we felt like driving a few more. Being that this was late-afternoon, and we were headed west, we had to deal with the sun. In Kansas in particular, we had trouble focusing the camera – which led to me reshooting that sequence a month later.

I am taking this into account in assembling the route for The Icelandic Land-Lapse Project. The ring highway around the island, Route 1, is about 800 miles in length – just a wee bit longer than our last day’s drive from Park City, UT to San Francisco, CA in From Sea To Shining Sea. We were averaging 70-80 mph on the Interstate, for Route 1 it will probably be closer to 45-60 mph; so 300 miles a day for 6 hours for 3 days seems pretty doable. In looking at the map, and gaining an understanding of places in Iceland to stop for the night, here is what I have come up with:

Day 1 – Reykjavík to Höfn – 285 miles – 6 hours – headed east, so we want to start in the early-afternoon. Highlights will include lava fields along the North Atlantic and views of Vatnajökull glacier.

Day 2 – Höfn to Akureyi – 280 miles – 6 hours – headed north by northwest, starting late-morning after a hot dog makes sense. Plenty of fjords and blind curves before ascending a bit into the gravel fields of Iceland’s interior.

Day 3 – Akureyi to Reykjavík – 240 miles – 5 hours – headed west by southwest, starting filming mid-morning takes us through lava fields and fjords along the Norwegian Sea and then back to Reykjavík before the sun is an issue. Bonus: we get to go through Hvalfjörður Tunnel.

Thanks again for your consideration of The Icelandic Land-Lapse Project.