After six years of filming with as many cameras, filmmaker Chaz Curry has released “Honey I Shrunk the Long Beach Grand Prix,” a “tiny film” that captures the essence of the famous race. Curry uses impressive timelapse and hyperlapse techniques alongside tilt-shift effects to give the massive three-day event a distinct, toy-like appearance.
Alongside his second shooter Brian Hawkins, Curry used a wide array of cameras to make “Honey I Shrunk the Long Beach Grand Prix,” including RD Dragon 6K, RED Weapon 8K, and RED Helium 8K cameras. They also shot using a Nikon Z6 II, Sony FX3, and DJI Mavic drone.
The project was a labor of love and included many challenges. Cameras must be angled down over the track and crowd to achieve the film’s distinct miniature appearance. However, “There were really only two locations for us to do that without a drone,” says Curry.
This meant all the other timelapse and hyperlapse footage needed to be shot from street level. After spending a couple of years trying to edit that footage into something satisfactory, Curry decided to take the plunge and incorporate street-level slow-motion footage of the crowd and landmarks of Long Beach.
“Once I realized people were the focus of the storyline, the rest was downhill. The drivers, workers, bands, and even the media covering the event. But most importantly, were the fans,” Curry says.
The video was challenging enough to capture and edit, but the audio added another difficult dimension. The soundtrack was recorded using a zoom recorder separate from the cameras. However, this labor-intensive process produced only about 15 percent of the video’s audio. The rest of the sound effects were created, and the music backing was inspired by the film Drive.
Curry edited all the footage in Adobe Premiere Pro, and the project is produced by Sandra Holden of Media360.
Curry’s “tiny film” does a fantastic job of capturing the excitement and anticipation surrounding a three-day grand prix event. The Long Beach Grand Prix is considered one of the marquee events on the IndyCar calendar, and for a good reason — it’s an incredible track that attracts electric spectators.
Image credits: All images courtesy of Chaz Curry