3038 Photos in 3 Days

A kid in Boston, Robbie, took just over 3000 digital photos in three days documenting his life in and around the city, and then compiled them into the animated film below. The life he documents is hardly extraordinary (lots and lots of public transport), and yet the film manages to evoke an emotional reaction by offering an intimate glimpse into one guy’s personal life. If not necessarily an original idea, it’s still a well done experimental film.


  • http://www.mattmos.com Matt Morris

    Given your recent post on the slippery slope of ‘animated’ features, I’m surprised that you felt this suitable for posting. Is all timelapse photography ‘animation’? I can’t help feeling the difference between this and a norman mclaren timelapse piece is the amount of direction/control over the subject matter – to me this is a document of what’s infront of the kid using timelapse photography, not frame by frame manipulation of the subject to create animation.

  • Chuck R.

    Matt, I agree that this is an off-topic post and not particularly noteworthy, and I’m beginning to wonder lately where the brewmasters are taking this “animation” blog and why.

    I don’t know if this is an experimental film with a particularly fetching soundtrack, or intended as a music video, but (with the exception of the poorly timed ending) it functions as a video better than any of the animated ones Amid has posted in the past several months, (which I’m sad to admit.)

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    The juxtaposition of music and timelapse footage creates the impression of commentary or meaning, but since there’s no credit for the music I’m going to guess he just lifted it (if not, I’ll stand corrected) to prop the whole thing up. The music is doing most of the work here.

    If you take out the music it seems much less an intimate glimpse and more like random timelapse footage.

    How did this get on an animation blog?

  • slowtiger

    Films like that were done a lot in the 80′s – on Super8. Since the medium is nearly forgotten, nobody remembers the films.

  • Dave

    Guess all live-action films must be animation too, since they’re all just a bunch of snapshots as well, just caught on 16mm/35mm film.

  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

    I do not think these are photographs.
    This is edited video footage, or retimed video footage.
    Nothing animated here…

  • http://www.mattmos.com Matt Morris

    As an aside I didn’t have sound when I viewed it earlier, hence the maybe harsh initial reaction. He obviously has gone to some lengths to synchronise the images with the music at points. Though I find myself agreeing with robcat2075 here, the music is the main driving force for the emotional response, I didn’t feel anything when viewing it silent.

  • http://asteriskpix.blogspot.com Richard O’Connor

    Not as dull as it could have been, not as good as I hoped.

    Such a piece illuminates a truism of life -isn’t that what we expect from art?

    Animation is for suckers anyway.

  • Garth

    If you want to talk about music propping up a film, watch “Happy Feet.”

  • http://meridiandream.com/testing/45seconds/Assets/Special5Seconds/ex-girlfriend.html jim m.

    “but since there’s no credit for the music I’m going to guess he just lifted it”

    From the vimeo page:

    Music:
    Lightspeed Champion – Dry Lips

  • http://www.frankrause.com Fran Krause

    These days, it’s hard to get students to avoid lifting music. They’ve seen so many music videos. It’s too easy to take a nice piece of music and drop it over their image – voila! Everything is done!

    Sort of like when experimental animation layers on a track of fast bee-bop jazz.

    Not a horrible piece visualy, but it feels like I’m watching the morning rushes. The question is, what is he going to do with this now? There’s more work to be done. It’s too easy to distribute something, what with these internets, and animation risks becoming the equivalent of snapshots.

    This guy needs to see Jonathan Hodgson’s “Feeling My Way” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5tIWZ17YqA

  • http://www.schlafman.com Dave Schlafman

    Welcome to Cartoon Brew the blog that constantly shits on people. This is not a life shattering video/animation/film, but it hit me on a personal level as I grew up and went to school in Boston. I was able to find some emotional nostalgia in it…isn’t that the point of art. I’m glad someone young is making this type of art even if it’s been done before. At least he’s making something. Stop being bitter just because a 17- year-old kid was featured on this blog. BAH!

  • http://www.coffeeandcookies.blogspot.com Jesse Jordan

    >Robcat2075 & Matt Morris

    Thanks for the note about the importance of sound in this piece. I typically have the sound off, so when I saw this short I couldn’t have been more disinterested. I’ll give it another go with the sound on. ;-)

  • Chris

    Liked it better with the sound off.

  • http://www.coffeeandcookies.blogspot.com Jesse Jordan

    Addendum: Ok, the music does help a bit. Though it kind of reminds me of those HP adverts.

    >Elliot Cowan

    I think that’s a reasonable observation, but the frame by frame does seem to indicate this was done with a camera. However, I will say the content makes it look like 1) he just got this new toy and is having at it with the multi-exposure feature and 2) he’s had a bit too much caffeine.

  • Tom Pope

    Yeah, someone kind of beat me to the punch. At times this blog feels free to slam pretty hard the results of the effort of hundreds of talented animation professionals, then turn around and prop up a(nicely done and sincere, if not overly original) student/independent short. Appreciation of independence is great; I hope I get a little of that for a project I’m currently working on. But noone with ties to this business can deny the work by and personal involvement of the people who make the big name films. So how about some even-handedness. Or at least the appearance of such.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/RandomFlavor/ Jaimonster

    Oh You guys are so stucked up.
    Students CANT Afford to license Music. Stock Music or CC are ok but not always the best.

    You guys are so butthurt this got featured FROM A STUDENT… I mean, for christ’s sake, a STUDENT. Its not Meant to be Professional or Complete or PERFECT FEATURE FILM QUALITY… Its a nice thing to share this…

    Now, You all arent CRITICS here… You are just plain ol’ BASHERS and TROLLS. If this isnt animated or DRAWN you will NOT TAKE IT. Pfft, bunch of art teachers we have here.

    Stop misinterpreting to YOUR OWN Taste, Take it and experience… be FREE from your own opinionated minds. And Remember… YOU ALL WHERE STUDENTS ONCE. Someones where better other where not so good, some had Money, other had what they could find… As a STUDENT you have DEADLINES… Think of what matters to the art student, a Great Piece Turned Late or an Ok, Good Piece Turned in on Time?

    A LITTLE RESPECT, PLEASE.

  • http://fluidtoons.blogspot.com Brett W. Thompson

    Nice! That’s a lot of pictures!

    I like Robbie’s video- it’s neat to see glimpses into other people’s lives like this. I didn’t watch it with sound, though.

    I did a similar experiment myself, but over a year- I took about 13,000 pictures in 2007 and compiled them into a 15 minute film, displaying 15 pictures per second. It was part of a show at Atlanta’s MINT gallery called “The Face Show” (http://thoughtmarker.blogspot.com/2008/03/face-show-flyers.html), since I particularly love to take pictures of myself with friends (hence, lots of faces!).

    For me, my little 2007 video was fascinating- it’s interesting to see the last year of your life compressed in this way! A few seconds would fly by and I’d think, “ah yes, that’s the time I visited NYC for a few days”, or, “there goes the Atlanta Underground Film Festival”, you know. You could see the weather change, as well…

    I was really happy with how other people reacted to it, too- most people said it was mesmerizing, and their brains seem to be attuned to their own faces, because they’d often be able to catch themselves. “There I was!” they’d say. Or “I was at that art event/concert/party too!”

    I didn’t take pictures nearly as often as Robbie (he beats me by like 30x), nor did I add music.

    I didn’t start off my picture-taking in 2007 with the intention of making the video- I got a cheap camera early in the year and developed the habit of taking a lot of pictures. People would notice and ask me, “What are you going to do with all these pictures?” and now I tell them about the video :)

    It was fun- I’m planning on making another when 2008 ends, and it will include pictures from when the 2007 video was shown, haha!

  • http://tigeroovy.blogspot.com Tigeroovy

    if that was in fact just a really snazzy camera and those were all individual photo’s his right index finger must be built by now.
    I’d hate to get poked in the eye with that finger.

  • dave

    Looks like my personal version of hell…

  • Carlos

    Those were pictures? It looks like he just dropped the framerate on some random videos he took.

  • Wes

    Matt, this is not character animation, but animation none the less. Motion graphics and photo animation is a hot industry at the moment. As a freelance animator my corporate cash cow is in motion graphics, not character animation. That’s because it’s more relevant to clients needs.

  • Brad

    Wow, I’m amazed by all the negative comments. From the first frame you can tell that this is a STUDENT experiment. It’s not a finished film just an experiment. If you didn’t connect with it I don’t understand taking the time to write up a review and a critique. I went to school in Boston so like Dave I got some nostalgia out of it.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    I realise licensing commercial music is expensive but that fact doesn’t make the video better. There’s something out of whack when the major merit of a student work is not work the student did.

    If we watched the video without the music and heard the music without the video which would we regard as the more substantial piece of art?

    As a student experiment in editing something to someone else’s music it’s a valid exercise, but there have got to be a hundred student animators out there who’s work would be more fitting to highlight on this venue.

  • http://www.youtube.com/kustomkool Kevin Dougherty

    Hate to sound like I’m hatin’ on the ‘Brew’ – but categorizing this video as anything but ordinary, sophomoric art school fodder is a stretch. Cute? Maybe. But not animation – and I’m making the presumption that it should be animation to garner any notice here. I think that last clip a few posts back of the cel-shaded live action piece had more to do with animation than this work.

  • William Ferry

    Those who can, do.
    Those who can’t, teach.
    Those who can’t teach, teach gym.
    And those who feel better beating on someone else who actually tried and DID something are called critics.

    In the words of WANTED, “What the @$#%* have you done lately?)

    I though it was marvelous. I hope the other positive commments he’s gotten here and elsewhere encourage him to do more.

  • Gerard de Souza

    ” it’s still a well done experimental film”
    Agree. Robbie may not have invented the approach but he’s discovered it for himself…..and who knows what else he can come with. Good first film I think.
    I think it says alot about the kid if it looks like an HP commercial. I wonder what HP’s budget was? Gee…one kid with a digital camera!

  • http://www.ryandartist.com/ Ryan Dunlavey

    Amid – Thanks for posting the film – I really enjoyed it and probably wouldn’t have discovered it otherwise.

  • Paul N

    “Those who can, do.
    Those who can’t, teach”

    Man, am I sick of this attitude. It’s the biggest load of cow flop ever. How the hell did any of us learn to animate well enough to get jobs if the people we learned from were in the “can’t” category.

    I know that wasn’t the point of the post, but still…

  • http://www.jamesbending.co.uk Jim

    “Those who can, do.
    Those who can’t, teach”

    Yeah what does Richard Williams know anyway?

  • William Ferry

    Some reactions to Paul N. and Jim’s reactions…

    “Those who can, do.
    Those who can’t, teach”

    Man, am I sick of this attitude. It’s the biggest load of cow flop ever. How the hell did any of us learn to animate well enough to get jobs if the people we learned from were in the “can’t” category.

    I know that wasn’t the point of the post, but still…”

    (Well, if it wasn’t the point of the post—and obviously it wasn’t—why did you bring it up?)

    “Those who can, do.
    Those who can’t, teach”

    Yeah what does Richard Williams know anyway?”

    (I bow to your clever retort. Again—obviously—my remarks did NOT apply the accomplished individuals who share their expertise for the next generation of animators.)
    ——–
    For the benefit of those of you who “didn’t get it”…this is called humor; please look into it. I don’t want to start a flame war, but I guess I need to explain my point. I was very irritated by the negative comments Robbie got for his hard work. A figure of speech is not intended as a blanket condemnation, and I’d appreciate it if you’d take that into consideration before jumping all over me. I’m a big animation fan, and I genuinely appreciate people who have talent and know what they’re doing.