The Usual – A Video for the Gizmodo Rewind Challenge

The Usual from Charlie Dwyer on Vimeo.

Here I am, once again submitting a coffee-themed Gizmodo Challenge entry. I’m clearly obsessed. Reverse video is a great way to display an interesting process, starting with the finished product. This is true especially when combined with extensive time remapping to focus on the important parts and keep the video interesting. The process in this case was the creation of my morning cappuccino.

The staff at Comet Coffee here in Ann Arbor was nice enough to allow me behind the counter with my camera before they opened on Saturday morning. The entire process was captured in a single take, starting with a friend filming another friend walking into the shop. He passed the camera over to the counter to me (waiting at the cash register), and I filmed over the barista’s shoulder as he made a cappuccino from beginning to end.

Initially I planned to film this on a Canon 7d for its more forgiving depth of field and extra slow 60 fps, but it wasn’t able to handle the low light of the early morning. I ended up filming on a Canon 5dII, using the excellent 24-105 F4/L image stabilized, along with a Zacuto Z-Finder and Target Shooter. Settings were 1600 iso, f4, 30 frames per second, and 1/30 shutter speed. Editing was done in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, and color grading was done with Magic Bullet Looks. Just for the record, let me say that time remapping a single 2 minute clip like this is a nightmare in Premiere.