Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Filming Device Revisited

This post follows on from the previous experiments I was carrying out involving the design of a filming device to capture spiralling looping footage derived from the architecture of the space it is positioned in. Previous designs involved an overcomplicated design which was not capturing the intended footage. Subsequently I have reanalysed the design and scrapped the spiral track which was too complex and would be unrealised for vast height spaces. However these past experiments should not be forgotten.

This next design is much simpler, involving apparatus which can easily be transported and set up in numerous locations.

1 x Rigid 1.5 m timber
1 x Rigid 0.5 m timber
30 m nylon rope
1 x clamp
2 x Screw Eye
1 x M6 Screw & bolts
1 x Camera
1 x plastic tube Ø 1cm (cut into 1cm pieces)


Testing location
Chelsea College of Art & Design Fire Escape stairwell
Storey height 3.6 m (4 levels) > Total Height 14.4 m
Central Void space 2.3 m x 1.15 m

Fire Escape Stairwell

Apparatus Set up
The 1.5 m timber is cantilevered off the highest landing platform in the fire exit, so that the end of the timber is positioned in the centre of the void in plan. The opposite end of the timber is clamped to the landing platform, holding it in place. The plastic tube cuttings were glued to the topside of the timber, to guide the doubled rope which runs through them along the top of the timber and through a hole at the end and thus into the void.

Timber clamped to landing platform with rope running along the topside of the timber and through the hole at the end

Doubled up rope running through the tube pieces along the topside of the clamped cantilevered timber

Each end of the rope is tied to the screw eyes which are attached to each end of the 0.5 m timber. A camera is then attached midway along the 0.5 m timber with a M6 bolt via the tripod attachment and thus the camera hangs upside-down.

Camera is attached midway along the suspended timber

The rope is then fed out fully so that the 0.5 m timber with the camera attached is at the lowest level of the fire exit space.

Camera released to the lowest level of the space

I then went down to the lowest level of the stairwell and rotated the 0.5 m timber in circles to twist the rope above. I then turned the camera on to start the film, ran up to the top level of the stairwell and gradually pulled the rope up, feeding it up through the stairway. As the 0.5 m timber ascends it rotates in circles as the rope untwists and hence the camera films in a continuous spiral up through the space. The footage is upside down, due the way the device holds the camera.

Films captured by the device

Camera Spin 1 from Charlotte Greenleaf on Vimeo.

Screen Shot: Camera Spin 4

I am currently working on some drawings as a way of analysing the footage and the device...

I intend to experiment more with this design, setting it up in a number of different spaces (ideas include lighthouse & woodland)...

I am researching further into the physics of the spinning device involving conservation velocity and absolute and relative motion, in order to try to redesign the device with more and more precision so that the resulting film is more controlled...

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