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Animation

A Brilliant Orange Orb Shape-Shifts Through Time in a Meditative Animated Short

May 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

A metaphor for the way fragments of time both accumulate and mutate as they slip from one moment to the next, a glowing sphere is the subject of a calming short film by Argentinian artist Ezequiel Pini, of Six N. Five. The CGI animation follows the bright orb as it expands, multiplies, and transfigures into alternate forms like a sun dropping beneath the horizon and windows evocative of the recently demolished Nakagin Capsule Tower. Although simple in shape, the round object “represents care, calm, and attention to achieve its ultimate perfection. We are a circle, without boundaries, beginning or end. Infinity,” Pini says. Watch more of his poetic works on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Documentary Science

A Conservationist Teaches Geese to Use Safer Migration Routes by Flying With Them Across Europe

May 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

Back in 1995, Christian Moullec embarked on his first migration alongside a flock of lesser white-fronted geese that he intended to introduce to Sweden. He flew an adapted delta plane alongside the birds, which were threatened after being overhunted, and protect them on their journey. This initial mission quickly morphed into a now decades-long project of training avian populations to utilize more secure paths as they travel across Europe, ensuring that the already dwindled species would survive the trek and be able to reproduce.

English YouTuber and educator Tom Scott (previously) joins Moullec on one of the flights above Southern France as they glide in a microlight aircraft just inches from the animals—Scott is so close that he’s able to touch goose’s tail feathers. Reaching this level of intimacy takes dedication and immersion in the flock, Moullec shares, saying that he raises the birds, sleeps with them, and even bathes in the pond on his property. This establishes trust and is essential as they define their routes, which sometimes traverse thousands of kilometers each day. “I’m not the one who teaches the birds to fly with me,” Moullec shares. “I’ve been flying with birds for 27 years, and they taught me how to fly with them.”

In addition to his conservation-oriented flights, Moullec offers passenger trips for those interested in joining the flock, and you can find more about his work on his site. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

 

 



Craft Design

Fold an Elaborate Origami Menagerie with DIY Instructions from Jo Nakashima

May 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Jo Nakashima

Since 2010, Brazilian origami artist Jo Nakashima has amassed a trove of original designs ranging from modular cubes and kinetic works to multicolor, angular wildlife. His creations require just a single sheet of double-sided paper and a deft hand and vary in complexity: Nakashima marks the eagle with pleated wings, quacking duck, and writhing snake shown here as intermediate or above. Head to YouTube for detailed instructions on folding your own versions of his intricate designs, but take note of his warning: “Although I call it ‘simplified,’ it doesn’t mean it is simple: it is just simpler than the original version, but actually it is still a bit complex.”

 

 

 



Science

Scientists Uncover a New Deep-Sea Crown Jellyfish Species with Dozens of Coiled Tentacles

May 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

Curled tentacles, soft spikes, and an unusually large, translucent bell distinguish a newly discovered species of jellyfish. The uncommon A. Reynoldsi became the subject of study for scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (previously) earlier this year when one of the deep-sea creatures was documented floating through the midnight zone. “Fifteen years ago, MBARI researchers spotted a large jelly that looked like Atolla but lacked the telltale trailing tentacle, and their curiosity was piqued,” MBARI says.

Bigger than most in the Atolla genus, this particular specimen measured 5.1 inches across with about 30 to 40 small, coiled tentacles that differ from other species’ singular, long appendages. The institute has only recorded about ten sightings of the A. Reynoldsi since 2006, a discovery researchers say “remind(s) us that we still know so little about the ocean, the largest living space on Earth.” (via PetaPixel)

 

 

 



History Photography

Colorized Footage Travels San Francisco’s Market Street Four Days Before the Devastating 1906 Earthquake and Fire

May 3, 2022

Grace Ebert

The Miles Brothers were cinematic trailblazers, who, in 1906, filmed the historic “A Trip Down Market Street.” Traveling from 8th Street to the Embarcadero, the 13-minute journey documents San Francisco’s environment from the perspective of a cable car, showing the busy strip full of horse-drawn carriages and vehicles alongside the buildings and fashions of the time.

What makes the black-and-white footage particularly notable is that it captures the city mere days before that same landscape underwent a massive transformation. A 7.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the California coast in the early morning hours of April 18, 1906, in a shock that was so intense it ignited fires around the city. The original devastation and subsequent blazes killed more than 3,000 people and destroyed 80 percent of San Franciso’s architecture and infrastructure.

A new colorized version of “A Trip Down Market Street” returns to the pre-disaster scene in an incredibly clear and bright view of the city. Restored by NASS, the reimagined footage increases the speed from 15 to 60 frames per second, upgrades the resolution, and adds a soundscape to mimic the noises that residents might have heard around the turn of the century. While adding a creative flourish to historical documentation, NASS’s update offers a glimpse of the city and its people before it was irrevocably altered.

Prelinger Archives, San Francisco has the original 35mm footage, which you can watch on Internet Archive, and visit on YouTube for more of NASS’s restorations. You also might enjoy this footage from 1902 of a “flying train” in Wuppertal, Germany. (via My Modern Met)

 

 

 

 



Animation

A Trailer for João Gonzalez’s Animated Short ‘Ice Merchants’ Follows a Cliff-Jumping Father and Son

April 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

Selected as one of ten projects for the International Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival, João Gonzalez’s “Ice Merchants” is a frigid and precarious tale about a father and son. As the title suggests, the pair sells the frozen material, although to reach the market in the village below, they have to grab their parachutes and leap from their cliff-side home each day.

Gonzalez, who also performed and composed the accompanying soundtrack, created “Ice Merchants” in a minimal style similar to his award-winning “Nestor” and “The Voyagers.” He shares about the new film in a statement: “Something that has always fascinated me about animation cinema is the freedom it offers us to create something from scratch. Surrealistic and bizarre scenarios and realities can be used as a metaphorical tool to talk about something that is common to us in our more ‘real’ reality.”

Watch the trailer above, and follow the Portuguese director on Instagram to stay up-to-date on future viewing opportunities.