The World Before Me

Client

— Personal

Year

— 2015 to 2016

Technology

  • Sony a7S II 
  • FCPX
  • After Effects
  • Ableton

Project overview

This short film is the largest and most involved project I've ever worked on. I began pre-production in the summer of 2015 and finished the edit November of 2016, one year to the day after I left on the trip.  

Description:

The World Before Me is a modern-day round the world trip, set to the words of a 19th century poet.

"Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” 160 years have passed since Walt Whitman penned this text, but feelings about travel remain the same. We’re still inspired by the open road and still excited by discovering the unknown.

In addition to the travel planning and logistics required to orchestrate a round the world trip, planning this project added another fun layer of complexity to the trip. I had written a script before I left, and had a pretty thorough list of shots, subjects and styles I wanted to shoot. I also invested in a new camera system specifically for this project. 

I carried my camera for five months through 15 countries. The endless metropolis of Tokyo, tiny islands of The Philippines, busy streets of India, the Swiss Alps and the Scottish Highlands. The process of shaping 1.5 terabytes of footage down to a 6 minute film was an enormous undertaking. 

 


IMG_0194.jpg

I began the editing process while I was still traveling. In my downtime I'd get my laptop out and sort through footage –marking selects, reviewing shots and learning from my mistakes. 

When I returned from the trip, the real work began. In addition to the terabytes of footage, I'd also brought home hundreds of audio recordings: A dozen people reading the script, music inspiration, ambience and sound design elements. Listen above to the sounds of the Cambodian jungle to hear just one of those clips. 

Of course I'd taken a lot of photos as well, check out the hashtag: #roundtheworldin138days on Instagram to see some of my favorites. 

This was my first experience using Final Cut Pro X, which, love it or hate it, is really an interesting application. Once I got over my gut reaction of hating it because it was different, the app's database-like library management timeline organization features give me the ability to work much faster than if I would have edited in Adobe Premiere.  If you're interested in learning more about FCPX, this presentation "Editing High-End Commercials using Final Cut Pro X" by Thomas Grove Carter is a great place to start. 

The Final Cut Pro X timeline for the video. My first time working with this application proved to be quite the learning experience.


In addition to the short film, I also published a series of articles about travel filmmaking titled "Mirrorless, Around the World". Here I covered almost all steps of the process, from selecting gear, camera setup, shooting tips and file management. Check out the links below if you're interested.

Part 1. Intro

Part 2. Lens and Filter Selection

Part 3. Camera Setup

Part 4. Shooting Tips for the Real World

Part 5. File Handling

Part 6. The Edit (coming soon)

 

Selected photos from #roundtheworldin138days