Boombox: Call Of Duty WWII Timelapse
Usually when we get a call from our friends at Boombox, it’s to cover some fast-paced sports event in a far-flung land – usually Canada or New Zealand – but our latest project to ‘make some awesome’ for them, was a little closer to home. Precisely 4.2 miles from home to be exact, in the spectacular environs of Waterloo on London’s south-bank, to be exact.
The project was on a need-to-know basis, and until just minutes before our cameras were rolling, we had no idea what it was we were about to shoot. Intriguing as it sounds, our job was to shoot a long-duration urban timelapse to a building being wrapped in an advertising hoarding. However, that building was none other than the stunning BFI IMAX building – the largest and most unique advertising space in Europe – and we’d have one opportunity, and one opportunity only, to nail it.
Upon meeting up with our old friend and Boombox producer Marilou Fauteux on the top floor of a nearby tower block that overlooks the BFI IMAX, Marilou spilled the beans on the production; our job was to film the building being wrapped with the advertising for the much-anticipated Call of Duty®: WWII video game. With the wrapping schedule being a pretty prolonged affair – there’s 1,734m² of canvas to cover right around the circular building – our timelapse window was anywhere from a 36 down to 6 hour window, so we had to be ready and rolling at whatever time the installation started. With this also being the global release and first public sighting of the new game, the project was also very time-critical, so our best guess was that the wrapping would take place at night, ready for maximum impact the next morning.
To ensure we had proper coverage and technical assurance, we performed a couple of long duration dry-run tests and eventually developed a system that allowed us to shoot simultaneously and remotely on two tethered DSLRs. Due to the quick production turn-around Boombox required (the global YouTube reveal live stream was scheduled for just hours after the building wrap was completed), we also had to develop a rapid post production pipeline to crunch through the 5,000+ raw images generated by the cameras, to be compressed into a ~10 second sequence for inclusion in the opening of their live broadcast.
Thanks to the pre-production planning, our end of the production went perfectly, and we were able to deliver a variety of shots to Boombox. Now to give our DSLRs a wee rest and some TLC.