One year ago, I decided to rebrand Coyopa Productions into 215 Timelapse. Since then, I’ve worked on many exciting projects that have challenged me to bring a variety of creative visions to life, including some non-timelapse projects. The clip above highlights my recent macro work, both in-studio and on-location.

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You know 215 Timelapse for our timelapse videos, of course, but we also take on the occasional on-site shoot. We’re no stranger to the University of Pennsylvania campus and returned this past July to shoot a “topping off” ceremony for the new Amy Gutmann Hall. This traditional construction milestone celebrates the installation of a ceremonial “final piece”—even if the building isn’t quite ready for use yet.

An on-site shoot requires more advance preparation than usual. In timelapse, I can omit a frame among thousands without interrupting the footage. With live events, however, there are no retakes, and editing around mistakes is more difficult. 215 Timelapse scouted the location and met with Penn’s event crew to determine a schedule and setup before the big day.

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While some of my projects require regular in-person visits to shoot footage, others engage a more inconspicuous approach, where I anchor a camera in a fixed location and only visit it periodically for maintenance. This was the case for a recently-completed community resource hub.

Two years ago, the Enterprise Center began work on a new building in West Philadelphia aimed at expanding business and contracting opportunities for people of color. 4x3 LLC hired me to capture the construction process, and I finished the timelapse in time for the building’s completion this past May.

Construction took place in a narrow space on 52nd Street, so my setup couldn’t disrupt the process or neighboring shops. A business across the street from the site generously allowed me to install my camera on its external...

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I’ve taken on all sorts of projects over the years, pushing out of my comfort zone and trying my hand at new methods and in different industries. While I enjoy learning as I go, for aspects of a project beyond my expertise, collaborating with experts is vital to creating a well-balanced, high-quality end result.

I recently completed a stop-motion video project for the UnTours Foundation. The short film, titled “Dollars That Make Sense,” encourages nonprofit foundations to make investments that are aligned with their organizations’ values. I had done some stop-motion work before, but this was a larger-scale project that required me to call upon friends and collaborators, both new and old, to bring my client’s vision to life.

I first co-wrote the script with Elizabeth Killough from UnTours, to ensure that the foundation’s message was clearly and accurately represented. Monica Moran, a longtime collaborator of mine, provided the voiceover and fine-tuned the script to improve its flow.

In keeping with the financial...

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Magicians use misdirection to draw the audience’s attention away from changes happening elsewhere. Films like 1917 and Birdman employed similar visual tricks by disguising breaks in footage to simulate a single, uninterrupted take. Likewise, the hyperlapse I created for the installation of the Wind Creek sign in Bethlehem, PA, was carefully captured to simulate a continuous shot that “panned” around the old Bethlehem Steel ore crane as the sign was erected.

When creating regular timelapses, I capture each set of frames from one vantage point, at set intervals, to show changes in both subject and environment. In the original timelapse, variations in the surroundings make it clear that the installation was not completed in one day.

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Some of my timelapse projects, such as the one I discussed in last month’s blog post, depict an ongoing construction process, but most of them tend to coincide with the completion of the subject. This is one such project: a few years ago, I shot the installation of some 2,000 solar panels on the roof of a local brewery, with the intent to present a finished video at my client’s launch party.

Early in 2020, Solar States, a leading solar installer in Philadelphia, asked me to document the installation of 2,000 panels—their largest installation to date—on the roof of the Yards Brewery. Despite the lockdown that spring, Solar States was still able to complete the project safely within six months, and I recorded that process through a mix of long-term timelapse, short-term timelapse, live footage, and drone work.

I quickly found out why my video was needed. While a building may have a ribbon-cutting or...

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How do you attract investors when your product isn’t quite finished yet?

We often think of timelapse photography as something that captures a concluded process from start to finish, but in the case of the future Vagelos Laboratory, 215 Timelapse was tasked with documenting a work-in-progress to draw in more donors.

The Vagelos Laboratory for Energy Science and Technology is a planned addition to the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts and Sciences. The 111,000-square-foot facility sits at the corner of 32nd and Walnut Streets and will serve as a new gateway to the Penn campus. The energy-efficient building will feature a modular infrastructure that encourages collaboration and adapts to changing research needs.

Because this project is still being funded and completion is a couple of years away, it’s important to show prospective investors what they’re putting their money into—even if it doesn’t actually exist yet. In addition to capturing the construction in progress, we also shot footage of a scale...

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Hello friends,

Late last year, I realized that over 15 years had passed since I shot my first timelapse. I love setting a shot up—whether outside or in the studio—and watching the magic unfold. It’s something I enjoy so much that I’ve decided to narrow my focus and rebrand my company from Coyopa Productions to 215 Timelapse.

I’ve always been fascinated by timelapse’s ability to compress time and transport the viewer to a different realm. From building a house in a snap to peeking into the secret daily lives of plants, timelapse reveals changes to the world in a way that is very difficult to perceive in real time.

Back in my early days as a stock footage editor in New York City in the mid-1990s, I spent countless hours scanning through the masters of the art form that shot on 35 mm film. I later conducted my own low-budget experiments on sped-up video in the early 2000s, but it wasn’t until later in the decade that digital still cameras made film-quality timelapse affordable.

In 2006, I made my short film...