Here’s how to shoot a four hour video in under a minute

Sep 28, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Here’s how to shoot a four hour video in under a minute

Sep 28, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Normally, this wouldn’t really make it past my first internal filter. It’s a silly idea and a silly video, but given who’s actually made it, I found it pretty funny. You see, David F. Sandberg, otherwise known as Ponysmasher, is the director of the rather hilarious Shazam. Yes, that Shazam. A few videos ago, David mentioned that as he’s not a “professional YouTuber” he doesn’t need to care about analytics and subscribers and that he’ll post what he wants when he wants.

He joked about a video flipping off the viewer for four hours. The problem with making threats like that on YouTube, though is that you often have to follow through. So, he did. And he made a behind the scenes showing how he shot the whole thing in just 53 seconds. Because who’s really going to stand there in front of a camera flipping it off for four hours?

The technique used to create this cinematic masterpiece is quite simple. David stood there in front of the camera for less than a minute. In the edit, he found a good start and end point and then just played that clip forwards, then backwards, over and over again to achieve the four total hours in between walking on-screen at the beginning and off-screen at the end.

While the video might seem silly and asinine – After all, it’s a technique we see done all day long on the likes of Instagram Stories, Snapchat and TikTok, albeit a little less subtly than David uses it here – in certain conditions, it can be a very valuable filmmaking technique to extend the length of your footage depending on how it’s shot.

David describes how this technique was actually used and combined with a digital set extension while editing Shazam to lengthen the beginning of a sequence to provide a character with a better introduction.

If you’re not following David on YouTube yet, not that he really cares about subscribers, he has a lot of fantastic filmmaking content on there based on real movie-making experience that’s well worth checking out.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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