If you’ve ever seen the Netflix series “House of Cards,” you’ve seen the work of Drew Geraci. He and his company, District 7 Media, produced the epic opening title sequence, giving viewers a moody tour of Washington D.C. via timelapse. Rather than just a series of picturesque landmarks around the nation’s capital, the sequence sets a very distinct, dark, sinister tone for the show.
Geraci recently sat down with Sony Alpha Universe to discuss his work and his methods, and impart a bit of advice to those of us who are less experienced with the art of the lapse. Unsurprisingly, his work requires a lot of pre-planning. He scouts every location he intends to shoot, looking for the best compositions, taking into account lighting conditions, and the challenges of the surroundings. He then constructs a storyboard, and has a plan for every piece of necessary equipment and every camera move before he takes the first shot.
You may have guessed, based on the source of the interview, that Geraci uses Sony Cameras, specifically the A7Rii, A7Sii, and first generation A7R and A7S. He mentions the dynamic range and low light abilities as key considerations, but I can tell you from my limited experience that the time lapse app, which can be downloaded directly to the camera body, takes a lot of the guess work out of this type of work. The ability to power the camera continuously via the USB port may also prove helpful when you’re taking hundreds of photos over the course of several hours.
Naturally, Geraci and his team set their cameras to manual mode and leave them there for this type of work. He discusses his camera settings and methods used to create motion blur, and emphasizes the importance of finding the correct interval to best capture the motion within a shot, and you can get full details here.
Whether you have some experience with timelapse work, or you’re interested in trying it for the first time, the interview is worth a read, and is available here: Timelapse Tips from the Ace on Sony Alpha Universe