Corpse flower time lapse

More video! I have to admit, after years out of working in broadcast TV, I’ve been having a lot of fun with my client video projects. The Covid film I’m co-producing with Dr Paul Trotman is now in the final phase of shooting and we’re about to start editing. More on that later. This is my Corpse flower time lapse project.

Corpse flower, Winter garden, Dunedin Botanic Garden

This year’s flowering of the Titan arum at Dunedin Botanic Garden was a year or two earlier than expected. I’m so glad for the opportunity to create another time lapse movie of the event. It really is something special.

For the time lapse movie of this event, I decided to add a camera directly above the flower as well as setting up a camera on a Syrp Genie motion control unit and Syrp Magic Carpet slider (thanks to my friend and colleague Derek Morrison whose site you should definitely check out here).

This year the flower was more um, fragrant than last time it flowered in 2018. I’ve included a little of the attempt to pollinate the plant. It’s important work. Thanks to habitat destruction, the Titan arum is endangered in its native land of Sumatra. While vegetative propagation works, good old fashioned plant sex is key to keeping the gene pool fresh.

In step with the relentless march of technology, I’ve produced a version in 4k as well as regular Hi def. If you’re wondering what it took to shoot this, the answer is over 100,000 still photos and 481 GB of data, although not all of it appears in the final film. You can be glad of that, and that you didn’t have to visit the steamy winter garden daily to change data cards and set up cameras. It was okay early in the morning, but when the sun hit the glass house, I started to melt. Full time film-making in the tropics? No thanks.

Enjoy this little slice of life and death.

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