The Wizard of Speed and Time
I came across my intervalometer the other day. Back in the 80s I was an aspiring film maker. This was back in the days where computer animation was barely a blip on the screen. I had a super 8mm camera with the proper equipment to do stop motion animation.
I was intrigued by time lapse photography and I wanted to get involved with it. My camera allowed one frame at a time snaps and even had a hook-up for a switch, but a real intervalometer costs at that time hundreds of dollars. I took a trip to a local junk shop and collected enough stuff to make my own.
I got an electric clock, which was great because the motor had some power and it turned at 1 revolution per minute. On the motor I mounted a set of automobile points and a Chinese throwing star. As the star turned the points of the star would open and close the auto points. Each time the spur of the star passed it would open the points and when it was in between spurs the points were closed, snapping a picture. This was six frames per minute. I made variations of 1, 6 12, 18 and 24 frames per minute.
I was able to photograph a snow bank melting and an out-going tide in Hawaii. It was pretty cool.
It was then when I was introduced to the master of stop motion animation, Mike Jitlov. Mike did a lot of work fro Disney and was unceremoniously dumped when he had taught them all his techniques.
I have a collection of many of his Animoto short films and even his full-length feature film, The Wizard of Speed and Time. I am so thankful for the internet because you can now see many of Mike’s short films on YouTube. If you have a moment and check out this clip from the Wizard of Speed and Time. And, yes that is Mike playing the Wizard.