Sunday, June 29, 2008

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.


Blogger Uncle Walt said...

But did you ever toss someone off the Astoria Column?

My cousin took his parents 8mm camera, a few friends, some PVC piping, and a set of extra clothes ... and filmed his friends climbing to the top of the Column, then one of them being tossed off.

Probably couldn't do that today.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Columbiacontrolfreak said...

I'm surprised NIKE hasn't bought the rites to it for a commercial.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous CB said...

What CCF said, Tooo punny! Bought the RITES to it!

Headed off to Spruce Run! Yahoooo! Be good. Will check in occasionally from Seaside (maybe).

10:53 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Just imagine the hassle you'd get with that in your luggage these days:)

1:23 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I never did that Walt, but I do know some local bloggers that have done some strange things up there.

CCF, Jitlov is one of the least commercial I know even though he has produced some commercials and worked for Disney.

CB, I will defend your honor as best as I can while you are away.

Mike, What is "That?"

5:07 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Your gizmo with the 'star cam':)

11:27 AM  
Blogger Colonel Panic said...

Beavis and Butthead often critiqued bad music videos from their couch in the early 90's.

Butthead would have ended up kicking Beavis ass because Beavis likes this particular one and wont change the channel. Beavis insists that the Gorton Fisherman RULES!

Butthead would only like the part where he "kitnaps" that chick from the side of the road. From there the conversation would digress into why the Gorton Fisherman doesnt do "it" with all the chicks in the video. Beavis would insist that the Gorton Fisherman is moving so fast you just cant see him copulate with each one and that his immense powers of time and speed is a hit with the ladies and thats why they hold up the signs.

At the end though this music video would very definitely fall into the "suck" category. The Gorton Fisherman should not be in a band, if he just speeds around all day and makes extremely crappy music.

9:20 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Really, I don't remember that one at all. You messing with us CP?

5:36 AM  
Blogger Colonel Panic said...

The Beavis and Butthead show?

Cmon that was good television.

Lower case G knows what i'm talking about.

8:57 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

No, I just don't remember the Gorton's fisherman bit.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Colonel Panic said...

Oh. Well you wouldn't because I was juxtaposing. As I often do.

They dont make beavis and butthead episodes anymore.

I wonder what the boys are up to now.

They yielded their stupidity as a bludgeon, a steel cold weapon against all forms of intellectual dishonesty. We could use some of that now.

11:32 AM  

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