Jamie Scott is a visual effects artist, photographer and film maker whose first time-lapse film – Fall, a striking time-lapse shot over two years in New York City’s Central Park that displays the season’s changing colors through wide, static shots - went viral after being featured as a Vimeo Staff Pick. Widely encouraged to create a follow-up, he conceived of Spring:
“I wanted Spring to be as different from Fall as possible. Fall was shot mainly in wides so Spring was shot mainly in close-ups. Fall was very cutty so I wanted Spring to be a single shot. As a result, Spring ended up being even more meditative and contemplative than Fall."
- Jamie Scott
Shot in stunning 4K Ultra High Definition with a moving camera, Spring is a romantic, evocative time-lapse of the growth and blossoming of flowers found in the New York area. Amaryllis, tulips, daffodils, grape hyacinths, cherry blossoms, peonies, irises, calandivas, eremurus, bearded irises and hyacinths all come vividly to life. As the flowers grow and bloom, they conjure memories of years past, the ephemerality of time, and the transformative rebirth of the season, and evoke the way in which nature still makes its presence intensely felt even in the man-made world of New York City. Scott’s film simultaneously captures the beauty of the season and the accelerated rush of the city itself.
Scott filmed the flowers over the course of three years in a mini-studio he carved out in his own apartment, and at points superimposed the flowers onto shots of Central Park and a Manhattan rooftop. Using a moving camera was key to his vision for the work, but created intensive technical complications.
“When you shoot a flower blooming with a static camera the timing doesn't really matter. You might guess that it takes 4 days to bloom and work out your timings and how many shots you want from there. But if it takes 3 days or 6 days it doesn't really matter because you can cut frames off the start or speed the footage up. With my piece I had to get the timing precisely right because I needed the flowers to bloom in the center of the frame. I also couldn’t change the speed of the footage because all the flowers had to be composited together so they had to be the same speed. I found pretty quickly that one tulip, say, might bloom in 3 days while another will take 6. So getting the shots I needed was just sheer trial and error. I would say for every flower that’s in the piece I shot another 10 that didn’t work.”
- Jamie Scott
Other challenges involved the vibrancy of his subjects. Flowers move as they bloom, perk up when they’re watered, and grow towards available light sources, making the filming a balancing process between botanical practicalities – the water and light necessary to keep flowers alive and thriving – and artistic needs – how to keep the flowers well lit, in focus and consistently positioned, while also making sure to capture the subtle, magical movements of the flowers as they grow and unfurl.
“I think Spring really forces the viewer to slow down and pay attention, and for that reason I think Times Square is the perfect venue to screen it. These films aren't just about the seasons, they are about New York - the city I love. And where better to shout that than in Times Square? Times Square is also one giant advertisement and these films are meant to be an antidote to advertising. They are meant to be a time to pause and take a break from all the noise - and I think that's also what Midnight Moment is about.”
- Jamie Scott
“The moment the Vimeo Curation team saw Spring, we knew we had experienced something special. Nearly 5 years ago, our team had Staff Picked Jamie’s previous short film Fall. Spring, although similar in theme, feels quite different: it uses a moving camera to focus on the macro and captures the spirit of the season through New York’s blossoming flowers. We’re particularly excited to see this piece showcased in Time Square’s Midnight Moment and we’re sure that, as the vernal sun sets in April, Spring will bloom across the heart of the city, delighting any late-night passersby.
- Jeffrey Bowers, Vimeo Curator
Jamie Scott (b. 1977, lives and works in New York, NY) studied Media Production at Bournemouth University and Majored in 3D animation. He started his career in 1999 at the London post production facility The Mill where he became a lead Flame artist working on commercials, music videos and short films. In 2003 transferred to the New York office. He has since worked at Mass Market and Psyop in New York and Method Studios in LA. He now works as a freelance senior Flame artist and visual effects supervisor in New York. He has worked on several award-winning campaigns including Miller Domino (Clio), Nextel Build (Clio), Stereogram Walkie Talkie Man (MTV VMA), Nike Human Chain (Clio, Cannes Lion) and Audi Synchronised (Clio).
Vimeo Staff Picks - Vimeo’s flagship “Staff Picks” channel launched in 2008 to celebrate the best of the best films uploaded directly from its community of world class filmmakers. The channel currently features over 10,000 films hand-picked by Vimeo’s in-house curation team for global audiences to discover and enjoy. Our community of filmmakers are the next generation of storytellers and Staff Picks has become a source for agencies and production companies to hire new talent.
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