Posts tagged Jonathan’s Work
I recently had the pleasure to direct this Big Think interview with documentary filmmaker Barry Ptolemy. His latest project, Transcendent Man, chronicles the efforts of techno-prophet and futurist Ray Kurzweil. Kurzweil visited the studio the same day, but we interviewed the two separately. Watch Kurzweil share equally entertaining thoughts, here.
Barry shared some pearls of wisdom applicable to storytellers of all flavor – from writer or filmmaker, to businessperson or teacher. Watch above as Ptolemy explains The Hero’s Journey.
During my stay in Thailand I produced this short piece, Uncaged, which tells the story of two young children, Nong Mai and Nong Wichai. The boys have cerebral palsy, which can be devastating if left untreated. Three organizations (Cultural Canvas Thailand, Art Relief International, and Baan Piranan) have teamed up to give these children a new life and a new voice through the powerful medium of art.
If you would like to contribute to the outstanding work of these NGOs, you can learn more here.
View above or in HD on Vimeo.
In this tutorial I show you how to create the so-called “The Kid Stays in the Picture” effect (sometimes referred to as the 2.5D effect). The idea is to separate a still image into distinct layers, move those layers in respect to the Z-axis, then animate movement on those layers to give the impression of 3 dimensions. The effect is a refreshing (though admittedly similar) alternative to the omnipresent Ken Burns effect. Like the Ken Burns effect, it lends itself nicely to documentary films which tend to rely heavily on using stills or photos as illustrative B-Roll.
The effect is named after the documentary, The Kid Stays in the Picture, which uses the technique extensively and in many creative ways. If you have not seen this film, I highly recommend checking it out.
Following up on my previous post… here is Part 2 (of 2) of Cascading Effects.
I co-shot this piece – a project produced by fellow friend, filmmaker, shooter, and producer, Jim Tharp. A synopsis from Jim:
[Cascading Effects examines] the sublime landscapes of North Cascades, Mount Rainier, and Olympic National Parks, researchers shed light on emerging indications that climate change is real and predict how warming temperatures will affect the natural resources and timeless beauty of the region.
We began shooting in the North Cascades in June of ’08 – and, ironically, it was snowing relentlessly… not necessarily ideal for outdoor summer interviews intended to illuminate global warming. However, that ultimately addressed the notion that the climate is indeed changing despite the occasional cold snap (or cold year or decade)… and that things aren’t as simple as “it’s going to be a few degrees hotter in the future.”
Watch Part 1 of the documentary above. Part 2 will be my next entry, but if you would like to see it immediately you can watch it on Jim’s YouTube channel. There are also a range of viewing options on TERRA, a video podcast project from Montana State University’s Master of Fine Arts program in Science and Natural History Filmmaking (where Jim, Scott, and I learned to be responsible film-makers). Enjoy!
I co-shot this piece last fall for National Geographic (with fellow filmmaker, Stephani Gordon, and NGTV producer and friend, Laura Boyd). The featured Explorer, Joe Riis, does amazing work and his stills (used throughout the cut) are incredible.
Pronghorn are extremely timid and they have extraordinary vision – they can detect the flick of a finger from hundreds of yards away. So I spent quite a bit of time waist-deep in snow, pushing my telephoto to the maximum, and minimizing my movement as I operated the camera. It was a tough task… but persistence eventually paid off.
The original post from National Geographic is here.
From Boing Boing:
(Flash video above. Alternate viewing options: Download MP4 or watch on YouTube) Boing Boing Video presents a remix of “Synesthesia,” a documentary directed by Jonathan Fowler, about people whose senses blend, or mix. For instance: a synesthete might see colors when listening to music, or taste flavors when hearing a spoken word. Synesthesia was once thought of as a disease or disorder, but many who experience this alternate form of perception think of their anomaly as an advantage — or, for them, simply what is normal. In this piece, Dr. David Eagleman of the Baylor College of Medicine explains this condition, and four synesthetes explain how they perceive the world. The full-length version of this film was produced with support from The Research Channel, and is available for viewing on their website. CREDITS: Directed & Produced by Jonathan Fowler. Cinematography by Rex Jones & Jonathan Fowler. Music by Moby & Olis.
Yet another way to watch my original, full-length cut (Red Mondays and Gemstone Jalapeños: The Synesthetic World), is via The Research Channel’s HQ YouTube post. This piece was actually a student project I produced in 2007, as part of my curriculum for a Master of Fine Arts degree in Science & Natural History Filmmaking from Montana State University.
Thanks again to all of the participants, The Research Channel for the production grant, Dennis Aig and Simon Dixon as advisers, Xeni Jardin and friends at Boing Boing Video for the remix, and of course, fellow filmmaker and friend, Rex Jones, who operated that crucial second camera with his always eclectically keen eye.