That distinction belongs to the festival’s trailer, which was conceived by San Rafael resident and Pixar visual effects editor David Tanaka as the idea that “one can find calm amidst all of the noise that surrounds us,” according to Mill Valley filmmaker Gary Yost, who shot every frame of the trailer and applied his much-heralded time-lapse photography talents to create the trailer, which shows the main character finds peace as a sea of people whizz by him in his jaunt from the Depot Bookstore & Café to the Cinearts @ Sequoia Theatre for the opening night of MVFF37.
“Movies and the collective enjoyment of movies is more than just mere entertainment,” Tanaka says. “It is instead a shared experience that enriches all of us, for we choose to laugh, cry, experience it together.”
The trailer shows the main character, played by Mill Valley composer and producer Ron Alan Cohen, finishing his coffee at the Depot and heading to the theater at “a normal, leisurely pace, but everyone around him is moving a mile a minute," Tanaka says.
To do so, Cohen and the sea of people whizzing about him were filmed entirely separately, Tanaka says, and visual effects supervisors Jamie Clay and Mike Macklin used a process called rotoscoping to combine, frame by frame, the two camera passes.
“The camera movement (on Cohen) was purposely slowed down greatly so that when you later speed it up to match the first recorded camera movement, the extras are moving at an unnaturally high and jittery rate of activity,” Tanaka says. “You then have your desired effect – mild mannered patron in a sea of frenetic coffee drinkers!”
The technique of blending time-lapse and real-time footage is still a rarity in video production, and Yost used eMotimo Robotic Cameras and custom software to allow him to move the camera exactly the same way in the real-time and high-speed time-lapse passes.
The trailer ends with a shooting star amidst a star-laden sky above Mount Tam, the mountain that has been the hallmark of much of Yost’s work, from his widely lauded film "The Invisible Peak" to his viral video time lapse from the Mount Tamalpais fire lookout, with a bevy of films throughout the 94941 in between.
"The Invisible Peak" screens at MVFF37 on Oct. 4 at 3:30 p.m. at the Smith Rafael Film Center. Click here for more info.