Timelapsing is huge right now, and even though there are tons of amazing shooters who already are making stellar work, it shouldn’t deter you from joining in on the fun. If you are a filmmaker or vlogger, simple timelapses add a ton of production value to your work. I use timelapsing frequently as a San Francisco commercial filmmaker to set a tone, location or express the passage of time. Often however, traditional tripods don’t work in the situations and locations in which I find myself. What does work are the Joby Gorillapods, and they’re invaluable when you need to place your camera in weird places to get the shot.
Earlier this summer I worked on two significant productions: one was a promotional video for the grammy-award-winning band Train, the other was a production with Erik Almas for RGG Edu. In both videos, you’ll notice heavy use of timelapse to strategically place the subjects in space and time.
Specifically in the Train promo video, I set up multiple timelapses and opted to use only a few. Doing too many in succession can be distracting, so use proper discretion. Specifically for the crowd timelapse, I was set up in the Shoreline Aphitheatre in Mountain View. It’s an awesome venue, but there are no real places to set up good, wide shots of the crowd that I felt comfortable leaving a tripod. Instead of worrying about that, I instead put two cameras on Gorillapods and strapped them to safety bars on the edge of the venue facing the crowd (and right next to security guards who kept a close eye on them during the show for me).
Gorillapods are also super helpful when you’re out and about in the city. If you’re a fan of Casey Neistat, you’ll notice he usually starts his vlogs with a timelapse or set city shot. In a few of his episodes, you might notice he’s locked his camera down on a Gorillapod and strapped that to objects he finds in the city. This lets him keep his backpack kit relatively small and still give him the versatility to create content on the go. If you know Casey, he generally doesn’t carry more than a backpack when he’s out shooting. It’s his way of keeping himself light and quick. Hucking around a tripod for what he does would not work nearly as well, especially since New York offers so many places to strap the Gorillapod.
The Gorillapod doubles as an excellent “selfie-stick” for vloggers, as Casey shows below:
If you’re just starting out timelapsing, use whatever camera you have and pick up a Gorillapod and you’ll be set to go. I use them all the time to strap my cameras to trees, poles, bicycle handlebars, fences and anything else the legs can get a grip on. When you can effectively use the world as your tripod, you’ll find yourself getting shots you didn’t even consider possible before.