TimeScapes: A Stunning Film by Tom Lowe

I admit – I am a techno optimist: I believe that overall technology makes our lives better.

But I also have the utmost appreciation for and am often mesmerized by the beauty of nature. Our so called “dumb” universe is a marvelous, mesmerizing and stupefyingly beautiful place.

It is also pretty clear that to get where we are today we have destroyed many a paradise to put up parking lots. Thus, it is nice to occasionally get off our pedestal as the smartest things in the known universe and recognize that we may be smart but we have done many ridiculously stupid things. We may have powerful technology but we can still get wiped out in a cosmic instant, without ever leaving a trace of our “advanced” civilization.

So, we must be humble. We must be self-critical. We must put things in perspective. We must be inspired to do better. And we must preserve what we have.

Progress does not need to be at the expense of nature. Technology does not need to oppose itGoing green does not need to be less profitable

But where do we start?!

We start with beauty for beauty will save both us and the world.

How?!

By inspiration.

If we appreciate fully the stunning inner and outer beauty of our unique world then we are less likely to destroy it. So we should go out, enjoy nature, re-discover its beauty and be a harmonious part of it.

Alternatively, for those who (like my beloved wife Julie) simply don’t camp, there is TimeScapes - a film of epic visual ecstasy that you can enjoy in ultra high-definition straight from the comfort of your couch.

TimeScapes is the debut film from award-winning cinematographer and director Tom Lowe. The film features stunning slow-motion and timelapse cinematography of the landscapes, people, and wildlife of the American South West.

Lowe spent 2 years roaming the Southwest in his Toyota pickup truck shooting the film and, in the spirit of Baraka and Samsara, has managed to capture not only the visual but also the spiritual beauty of our world.

A visual singularity of a sort that would have made Carl Sagan proud, TimeScapes takes the viewer beyond the limits of time and space and into a state of spiritual rapture that leaves us not simply touched but totally transformed…

TimeScapes was shot, edited and color-graded at 4K resolution (4096 x 2304 pixels). It is the world’s first movie to be sold to the public as a 4K file. It is also available as a 2560 x 1440 30-inch monitor ready download, on DVD and Blu-Ray, and 480p, 720p, and 1080p downloads.

Film music by Nigel “John” Stanford

YouTube Preview Image
YouTube Preview Image

This is production footage from Tom Lowe’s debut film, TimeScapes - a portrait of the American Southwest. It was filmed and edited at 4K (4096×2304) resolution, four times greater than regular 1080p HD. A 4K DCP file is available upon request. Shot on Red Epic and Canon RAW still cameras.

To view this video in 4K select “Original” in the resolution menu. If you’re having trouble with 4K playback, try using different browsers, like Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome.

If you are interested you can buy the full movie here: http://timescapes.org/products/default.aspx (I get nothing but personal satisfaction for endorsing this film.)

The Making of TimeScapes

For Tom, timelapse started out as a hobby. Braving the conditions, he would camp out in places such as Yosemite, or Joshua Tree National Park, shooting the night sky, then editing the footage and uploading short films to Vimeo.com. People started to take notice, with some of his Vimeo videos racking up hundreds of thousands of views. Simultaneously, Lowe launched the Timescapes.org forum, the largest community of timelapse shooters on the internet, which has grown to over 5,000 members.This led to a chance encounter on the internet with New Zealand composer and entrepreneur Nigel “John” Stanford. After a brief email conversation, “TimeScapes” the movie was born, with Stanford agreeing to fund the movie and provide Tom with a 4K Red MX digital cinema camera, while Canon USA sponsored the film by providing Lowe with 5.6K 5D Mark II DSLRs and lenses.

‘Blazing Bristlecone’ is Tom Lowe’s award-winning image

Production involved many hardships. Tom slept outdoors for 250 nights, sleeping on cots (without tents) under the stars next to his camera, while timelapse was being captured. During the middle of principle photography on “TimeScapes”, Lowe won the Astronomy Photographer of the year award in 2011, with the above image, ‘Blazing Bristlecone’ – featuring a 4,000-year-old bristlecone pine tree against the Milky Way. Unbeknownst to the judges, the photo was actually just one frame of a time-lapse movie, which is featured in “TimeScapes”, the movie.

During production, two trailers were released, which went on to gather over 3 million views.

TimeScapes was shot in 5K resolution on Red Epic and Canon DLSR cameras, edited in 4K in Adobe Premiere and After Effects, and graded at 16-bit 4K at Light Iron Hollywood on a Quantel Pablo system, by colorist Ian Vertovec (“Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”,“Social Network”).

Who is Tom Lowe?

Tom Lowe is the director, cinematographer, editor and producer of TimeScapes. Originally from Orange County, California, Tom spent several years in the US military before embarking on his career as a photographer and cinematographer. Tom was instrumental in the resurgance of time-lapse, pioneering several new techniques, creating the TimeScapes.org forum, and helping design motorized time-lapse dollies and motion-control systems.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Lowe/100000720626699 Tom Lowe

    Thank you for this write-up, Nik. You forgot to mention that I am a long-time, die-hard Singularitarian! How exactly my Singularitarianism informs my documentary filmmaking, I have not thought about much, but certainly the same fascination that led me to Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking and Richard Feyman, and to my love affair with nature and the night sky, is the same impulse that led me to Messrs. Vinge and Kurzweil.

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  • http://www.singularityweblog.com/ Socrates

    You are most welcome Tom,
    Carl Sagan himself would have been proud to hear that he has influenced the TimeScapes magically captured in your stunning film! Keep up the good work for I can’t wait to see what you do next!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stan-Ubeki/100003262217354 Stan Ubeki

    Nowhere can I find the run time of this film

  • http://www.singularityweblog.com/ Socrates

    If you are referring to the duration of the film itself friend – it is 48 minutes long.

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