Hyperlapse: Dos and Don'ts

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By Honey Comer With the Ice Bucket challenge finally winding down, you may have noticed a new video trend dominating your feeds.  Instagram’s recently released Hyperlapse app allows videographers of all skill levels to experiment with time-lapse techniques.  Several brands have already jumped on the bandwagon (as seen here) and you may be wondering if yours should too.

While it’s up to you to determine a potential fit, there are a few basic things to know before producing your own high-speed masterpiece.

DO: Experiment with speed and length.

To create a :15 Instagram video at 12x normal speed, you will need a full three minutes of footage.  Take the time to consider this math before jumping into filming.  Note that the speed at which your subjects are moving makes a difference too.  Try having a stationary focal point or a subject that moves more slowly than the surrounding crowd for a stand-out effect.

DO: Watch your lighting.

The app has a built-in feature that will let you know if your surroundings are too dim.  Anticipate light changes when setting up your scene to make sure you don’t waste a great take.

DO: Take care with the cover frame.

Hyperlapse offers users the chance to set a cover frame before saving.  As with any other video, think of this as a chance to tease your story and entice fans to view more.

DON’T: Count yourself out because you're on Android.

For the time being, Hyperlapse is exclusive to iPhone users, but Android fans shouldn’t feel left behind.  There are a number of alternative time lapse apps available to help everyone get in on the action.  One caveat: Be authentic here!  Own your creation for what it is and resist the temptation to piggyback on the #hyperlapse hashtag.

DON’T: Make any sudden movements.

One of the big technological wins of this application is stabilization, allowing users to achieve the hyperlapse effect without a fancy mount or tripod.  This doesn’t mean that jerky movements and rapid direction switches won’t sicken your audience when sped up.  Stick to slow, smooth pans to take full advantage of this feature.

DON’T: Agonize over it.

Social media is one space where it’s better to showcase authenticity instead of polish and perfection.  Enjoy playing with this fun new toy (as your audience is), and do it before the conversation cools.   You’ll showcase your innovative spirit and maybe even come across as a little more likeable!

What are your tips for Hyperlapse? Share them in the comments!