For quite a few years now I've been wanting to do something different with my time-lapse films. I love color. Storms are full of color. The blues, the greens, the warm oranges and reds at sunset. The colors are sometimes what make a simple storm into something extra special.
But black and white speaks to my soul. I love it. There is something when you remove the color that lets you truly see the textures, movement and emotion of a storm.
And then you hear a song. I had asked my buddy Jay Worsley (vimeo.com/jayworsley) if he had heard anything lately that might rock for a black and white storm film, and he linked me to Tony Anderson's "The Way Home." The moment I heard it, I knew that was the song. My recent films have a frantic pace to them and people occasionally tell me they'd love to see the footage in a much slower speed. I already knew that going with the monochrome style sorta demanded something more solemn and poetic...and the song was perfect for that.
I also went with a much wider aspect ratio than I've ever done before. I feel like it actually feels like it brings you in closer to the action, almost like you were standing right there with me.
I held myself back for a long time in doing this project because I wasn't very knowledgable about using tools like Premiere Pro to color grade footage, and all I thought was that I'd have to re-render all my clips as black and white before doing the film. And that's a lot of work. But the past few years have brought me tons of experience in Premiere Pro, plus help from my buddy Jay, and I figured out how to do it all there and without a ton of effort.
The film is made up of some of my favorite clips from the past few years. A mix of the monsoon and supercell plains chasing. I'm so inspired by the songs I choose for these videos. Kerry Muzzey, Tony Anderson. Their songs are so powerful and moving and the stories they tell themselves are amazing. I went with clips that felt right with each beat of the song and while I usually try to tell a story with these films, I mostly decided to let the music be that here.
Thanks to Tony Anderson for such an incredible piece of music, and to Jay for pointing it out to me. And also to my friend and fellow time-lapser, Brian Miner (see him on Vimeo: vimeo.com/bdmphoto), who did some B&W work this past fall and reminded me of what I've wanted to do for so long now.
I hope you enjoy this! The creative juices were flowing and I also have some serious withdrawals from chasing storms. I HAD to work on something to hold me over until spring gets here. Only around four months to go before I hit the road to chase supercells and tornadoes in April, May and June!
I have a couple of tornado chasing tours going this spring, if you are interested in checking those out, here you go: mikeolbinski.com/plains-chase/