From Still to Motion

I’ve been talking to a quite a few photographers lately about their feelings toward video. More often than not, the reaction is one of fascination and curiosity, with perhaps a little trepidation. In some respects, after all, producing great motion pictures is quite different from creating great still photographs. And yet there is so much overlap between the two in terms of composition and artistry.

In those conversations I often use “Bel Borba Aqui” as an example when discussing video. This is a documentary film created by Andre Costantini and Bert Sun. It tells the story of Bel Borba, a Brazilian artist I feel fortunate to have met not just because he is a talented artist, but also because he has an infectious zest for life.

Andre is a friend who I’ve always known to be a very talented and creative photographer. When I learned he was working on a feature length documentary film, I was intrigued. I have long enjoyed capturing video clips along with still images, and have contemplated various ways to incorporate video into my creative output. I was already familiar with Andre’s still photography, and some of his prior video work, so I was eager to see how he wove his talents together for such an ambitious project.

When I had the opportunity to see the premier of the film at the Boston International Film Festival I was impressed. There’s something to be said for great photographic composition used in video, and of course there is so much that video can add to storytelling.

In my mind, this project represents a great example of how a photographer can take everything they already know about photography and apply it to videography. And it also provides a clear example of a route to possible success.

In preparation for a theatrical release, Andre and his team are looking for funding. And this brings into the fold a new and interesting way to potentially find funding for a large creative project: Kickstarter.

Kickstarter bills itself as a “funding platform for creative projects”, and Andre is using this platform to (hopefully) obtain funding for the theatrical release of “Bel Borba Aqui”. The public is invited to participate in funding the project, and depending on the level of support contributors can get something in return. As I write this the project is about halfway toward its goal, with eight days left to the deadline for the campaign.

Bel Borba Aqui

I wonder how many photographers might contemplate using a tool such as Kickstarter to give life to a project they perceived as only being a big dream. And I wonder how many still photographers might consider video if a Kickstarter campaign provided the necessary funding. The combination of all the many tools we now have available creates an exciting environment that may very well increase the amount of great artistic content available in the world.

What do you think? Is a platform like Kickstarter likely to breathe new life into photography? Do you have a project in mind that might be worthy of a Kickstarter campaign? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

And if you’re interested in learning more about “Bel Borba Aqui”, or perhaps support the Kickstarter campaign, you can get more information here:

About Tim Grey

Tim Grey is in the business of making photographers smarter and happier. He is the author of more than a dozen books on digital imaging for photographers, has written hundreds of magazine articles, and publishes the Ask Tim Grey e-mail newsletter as well as the Pixology digital magazine. He also speaks at a variety of events and leads photography workshops around the world.
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One Response to From Still to Motion

  1. eljay says:


    I have plans for a Kickstarter project. I’m in the beginning of the planning phase and later this year I will start the work needed to present a project on Kickstarter. If all goes well I hope to have a funded project by springtime.

    On a related note, I am getting my D800 tomorrow morning which will help me to bring the quality to the project that I want to achieve.

    And on a personal note, I’m getting my D800 tomorrow morning and I’m all atwitter. :)

    Hope all is well.

    portfolios updated 8/17/2012

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