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The Story Behind "(270) Seconds of Summer"

Summer goes by quickly in Washington. You're so busy enjoying it with friends & family, then all of a sudden the rain comes & you're left with memories... Screw that. This year I wanted to breathe some life onto those memories & make 'em last, so over the course of Summer 2011 I took my camera around & gathered nearly 100 GB worth of footage (Somewhere in the ballpark of 20 hours). I wanted the final video to be fast pace yet nostalgic, so I chose a song that reflected that: Stay Close by Delorean (RAC remix). After I-don't-know-how-many hours of editing in my spare time, this was the outcome...

(Watch in HD on Vimeo!)

Many of those editing hours were spent experimenting. For example, the tracking text on the animals took a day to learn & another day to implement. Creating the split-screen intro was like assembling a mind bending puzzle! All that's nothing compared to the amount of time spent organizing & cutting clips. Taking 20 hours of footage & squeezing it into 4 minutes & 30 seconds is an achievement in itself.

The film's supposed to make people feel something. The goal was goosebumps. Excitement. Dopamine in the bloodstream. The intro's meant to keep the viewer mildly interested while the music builds to the beat kicking at :58. That's the point at which I wanted them to be drawn in, and if they weren't, the introduction of real audio at 1:57 was meant to hook them. The tracking text on the animals was a set-up for a joke, the punchline for which is at 3:48. I wanted the cuts to be quick so viewer's left with a feeling that they missed so much they have to go back & watch it again, thus making the piece a little more interactive... and making the viewer feel a little more involved.

Inspiration: The title alone was inspired by Marc Webb's mind-bogglingly creative (500) Days of Summer (Written by Neustadter/Weber). Though the title was a bite, the content in (270) was unrelated. The use of real audio was inspired, in part, by Romain Gavras's Adidas, All In video, which gets me amped every time I watch it!

(270) blew up & went viral three days after I posted it on Vimeo. It's gotten a bit of press, being featured as a Curator's Choice on and being featured on a nationally syndicated television show called Right This Minute (which I never even got to see). It's all very flattering, really, googling the title & seeing write-ups on hundreds of websites, in so many languages. It's nice to know that my work can transcend borders & cultures, and inspire & touch all of humanity... and for that I'm grateful.

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Reader Comments (8)

Goosebumps: CHECK. I saw your video a while ago, but I thought of it again just now (yes, at 1:30 am). I'm new to videography, and am confused about how music copyright issues work. How did you get the rights to use that song in your video?

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel Marie

Thanks! I sent a message going into a little detail about this, so check your inbox.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamuel Ebat

So good, What program did you use?

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

Final Cut Pro 7. Motion 4. Compressor.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamuel Ebat

hello samuel, I came across your video and really I'm a fan.
This really great video and much more emotion
I would like to make a montage of my trip to Thailand in exactly your style.
That's why I wanted to know if you ca bother if I use the same music and videos effect ?

Nice day ;-)

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAurélien Groussin

I'm flattered. But I would encourage you to be original, use a song that hasn't been used before, create your own style & try to be better than me instead of mimicking. Ultimately, it's your decision, so do whatever you want... Good luck & enjoy Thailand (and get a LOT of footage!)

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamuel Ebat

I am already back from my trip. But you're right I'll try to do better;-) (it'll be hard).

I'll let you know for your advice.

Good day @ +

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAurélien Groussin

Yes,, yes, yes I was wondering as well! Can you tell me. how you went about getting the rights to use the song?

January 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

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