Humans seem to have an innate fascination with slo-mo, as evidenced by the eight million or so clips on YouTube. And, judging by the photo booth tomfoolery at various awards evenings, they're also quite narcissistic, so Dunedin-based design and production shop Motion Sickness Studio has combined those two things and set its slo-mo station loose on the nation.
The debut video was filmed at the Moodie Tuesday & IDIOT! SAVANT gig last Thursday in Dunedin and, perhaps indicative of that narcissistic streak, Motion Sickness Studio's creative director Sam Stuchbury says there were more people hanging around the slo-mo station than there were listening to the band.
Photobooths have become a regular feature of the events landscape in recent years, but Stuchbury says this is the next step in that evolution (it also takes photos) and, judging by the positive response he's had to the idea so far, he's confident it will become a popular addition to weddings, gigs, festivals and corporate events around the country.
He says he hasn't seen anything like it in New Zealand, but he has seen something similar from a wedding in the US, although with its expensive Sony FS700 able to record 480 frames per second, this is a step up in quality.
Each ten-second video is shot against a white studio drop and then played back on a big plasma screen soon after. And while there is no social sharing functionality at this early stage, he says it's close to launching a system where users can enter their details on an iPad after they come out of the booth so the video can be shared automatically on their Facebook page, something a lot of the potential clients he's spoken with are interested in (he says the backdrops can be branded and it works well in or outdoors).
Currently it has only one booth, but he believes it is scalable. That would require extra cameras and a few promo people to wrangle the crowds, but he says it's been set up so operators can be trained easily. And, in the future, he envisages having stations in a number of different cities, or even multiple stations at some of the larger events.
The studio was established in September last year, and while Stuchbury says there is a perception it's restricted because of its Dunedin base, it's overcome that and grown rapidly. It's worked with the Universities of Otago and Auckland, Dunedin Tourism, the Dunedin City Council (see videos below) and Cadbury World; it's producing content all around the country; and it also works with a couple of agencies in Auckland, including Contagion.
The business began as a collaboration between Stuchbury and Jon Thom, stemming from a video for fashion label Moodie Tuesday. Alex McManus joined the pair to fill the role of business director and later Joshua Jeffery completed the team bringing a background strategic design and interactive design. Now it employs six full-time staff and one of its major focuses is on online video.
"They're almost like short-films and they have more of an indie look to our videos so people don't really see them as an ad," he says.