Time lapse is an inherently visual medium - one that we are truly passionate about as you can imagine! However, when we initially set up our company, we made a very conscious decision not to have 'time lapse' in our name. Lobster Time Lapse wasn't right, as we are much more than 'just' time lapse creators. This name didn't cover site monitoring for a start - a vital aspect to what we do - or our BIM integration which came later. It also neglected a huge part of our business that we feel sets us apart: we make films, and we have an extremely talented Production team who are dedicated and highly experienced in doing just that.
Hence the name Lobster Pictures was born.
Like most companies who provide a service, we have continually improved our offering over time, based on client feedback and our own thinking about the marketplace. We built a production department that strives to constantly add value, depth and new dimensions to our the films we create. When we started, our clients - specifically marketing departments - were looking to enhance their content offerings and researching ways to enhance their flow of this valuable digital commodity. In that respect, we knew that time lapse - which tells long stories in minutes - was ripe for further development. With the advent of newer, more compact technology and the ability to make broadcast-quality films now placed in the hands of anyone (as long as they have a modicum of skill themselves), we set about to add more to our clients’ films - and our service as a whole - in the effort to solve the ever-pressing content conundrum.
With Lobster Vision, our online viewing and monitoring platform, we wanted to provide tools that enabled clients use the images as content during a project, as well as afterwards for show-piece marketing like trade shows, tender admissions and videos for website homepages.
HD image downloads
We use 4K cameras in our Lobster Pots as a minimum. This means we capture great footage in all weather and whilst these are used in finished time lapse films, they also make great stand-alone shots. The functionality to download these high resolution images is available through Lobster Vision. This immediately became a popular source of content for marketers; as their site changed or milestone activities took place over the weeks and months, they could download images for presentations and stakeholder engagement, or to post on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn to reach a wider audience.
Automated video edits
We have some clever programs helping us edit the time lapse captured after a project has finished (we quickly found out that manual review of footage from a four-year project simply wasn’t feasible). With a little tinkering, we then used this technology to offer clients weekly automated video edits of their time lapse footage to-date. Through Lobster Vision, users can now download two-minute films each week of their developments. Again, a new twist on content and a way to show progress and engage.
Project visualisation and overlays
As time went by, we developed more functionality to help clients visualise their projects. The ability to compare and overlay footage from a month or a year ago not only helped with monitoring a project's progress against schedule; it further allowed for clients to pick out specific key ‘moments’ in a project. This again provides marketers something different; breaking big projects into usable chunks of content for continually engaging internal and external stakeholders.
The advent and increasing prevalence of Building Information Modelling (BIM) naturally aligned itself to the visualisation services we provide. We took the next logical step and integrated the 4D model with the as-built records we were capturing on Lobster Vision. Now, if there is a BIM model for a project, both marketers and project teams can view the progress of a build against and overlaid onto the model. It enables pre-visualisation of projects, Level 3 BIM schedule management down to the last 15 minutes, and a great reporting and engagement tool to use with project teams, sub-contractors and senior stakeholders.
PRODUCTION AND EDITING FACILITIES
We didn’t stop there. We set to use our expertise to enable our clients to get the best from their time lapse service, and enhance their own content offering. Whilst some marketing departments have the internal resources to cut and shape footage, others looked to us and our Production services to help.
The use of social media in construction is still an art to be mastered by some companies, but there are a number of companies who know how to leverage social very well. Working with them, we quickly developed shorter edits of their projects to be used on across their social channels. This resulted in 15 second edits for use on Twitter and slightly longer 30 second edits for Instagram and LinkedIn. These different sized content chunks are part of wider array of armoury to be used by content-savvy marketers.
During the course of a development we often receive requests for early edits of the footage captured to-date; providing a broadcast-quality edit with accompanying soundtrack and graphics for a range of internal or external communication purposes.
Taking full advantage of being a Lobster Pictures client is to use our acclaimed Production facilities. We can provide experienced camera operators to come onsite during development and capture any milestone activity that might be occurring. Whether it’s a spectacular crane delivery, a mammoth concrete pour or dignitaries attending the opening of the building, we can be there to film it at broadcast quality.
Both internal and external capture of a development's scale, scope and ambition is often best served with aerial footage. Whilst a lot of drone services are being deployed for project tracking (and it works very well for that), we use drones to add the visual interest of new vantage points to our clients’ films.
2D and 3D animation and motion graphics
Adding graphics to films is another facet we use to convey the complexity of work undertaken. Whether it's showing the inner workings of a filtration system, or the complex routing for trains, animation adds extra dimension to time lapse films.
Would you like to know more?
Simply head on over to our Media Production page for more information, drop us a note here if you'd like to chat more about our Production services, or visit our Vimeo channel for more examples of finished films we've created.