We want to hate this Sony Action cam mounted on an RC multi-copter. It’s a drone. Those are the scary things that the government uses to spy on you as you go about your vital covert actions (picking your toenails, or watching Bravo channel). But this Sony creation — it’s kind of… cute. And also freaking awesome, mind you. This little bugger zooms around Battleship Island (you know it from Skyfall).
You’re following Tom Cruise through a hotel room, or better yet, Brad Pitt through a shoddy, packed bar. You are carrying a very large video camera, attached to a huge counterbalanced device (which happens to be attached to you), and you have to carefully move in a choreographed path around the actor as he delivers his lines. You have one, two, maybe three takes to nail the shot. Feeling the pressure yet? These are just the topical difficulties of the steadicam shot, a gem of the Hollywood industry that produces some of the most spectacular scenes in some of your favorite movies.
Detroit is trashed worse than Ke$ha on a Tuesday morning. Everybody knows it, and that’s why we love that the city’s in the hunt to host the X Games for the next three years. If you’re going to have a rundown slum of wasted buildings, why not use said buildings as dramatic backdrop for awesome 360s and Fakie kick flips?
Ships in a bottle have all the wonder of a parlor trick without the gimmickry. Modeling combines with magic to turn wood and glass into a beautifully crafted enigma. Somewhere around the 1:10 minute mark, when Ray Gascoigne discusses switching from American Yellow Pine to Western Red Cedar, you’ll realize that you want to take the time to meet this man, see him work his craft, listen to him tell his time-worn stories.
Enabling couch potatoes everywhere to say they’re still “world travelers”, Paul Wex’s mashup of Nokia 3D Maps footage provides oh-so-realistic shots of beautiful cities across the world. Originally stymied by a sub-par (a.k.a. not ridiculously good) graphics card, Wex upgraded, then shot helicopter-esque scenes of New York, Toronto, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Boston, London, Vienna, Berlin, Sydney and Melbourne skylines. Soaring electronica music (also crafted by Wex) adds to the already grand scale of things. After all that tough sightseeing, you may need to take a break to browse the internet.
Rather than creating maudlin product spots to peddle their premium jeans, Tellason decided to document the stories and lifestyles of their clientele. Their first film highlights the work of Todd Blubaugh, a Seattle-based artist who spends his time both behind a lens and fabricating one of our favorite forms of functional art: custom motorcycles.
This video sets the prestige of shipbuilding back at least a decade. “That’s not so bad!” says pretty much every single viewer as the Maersk Line’s Triple-E Vessel is lego-blocked into existence in just over a minute. You’re right. It’s really not that hard. What’s 1,304 feet, anyways? Just 150 feet shy of the Empire State Building, you say? Oh. And it actually took three months? Maybe you won’t be enrolling in that online shipyard mastery class after all.
If you don’t get choked up, maybe even a little misty, watching this video of a son reuniting his parents with their first car, you may just be beyond our help. Not only does it portray the lengths one son will go to permanently etch smiles on his parents faces — it also highlights the incredible bonds people form with their vehicles. A sacrificial sale when Joe Smith was drafted into the Korean War, his 1948 Plymouth Convertible always maintained a soft spot in Joe’s and his wife Beverly’s hearts. For their 60th wedding anniversary, their son Joel found, restored and delivered a working time machine, complete with three-on-the-tree.
We really wanted to hate these ink makers. Their product is outrageously priced, a vital part of enraging machines that jam, make annoying noises and refuse to connect wirelessly to our computers. But set to classical music, the Charlie-and-the-Chocolate-Factory setting (complete with huge drums of slowly drooling colors, giant rollers and careful craftsmen blending every shade under the rainbow) actually reveals an impressive show of passionate craftsmanship. That and lots of glooping. We’ll still curse your name when we have to buy toner, ink makers. But maybe with a few less F-bombs.
Renan Ozturk of Camp 4 Collective is (just like everyone involved in Camp 4 Collective) a beast. What’s he a beast at? Adventure, for one, but mainly in capturing the epic: The epic actions — rock climbing without ropes, skiing mountains that should definitely not be skied, flying over ice fields so large they seem to defy the horizon — that his team undertakes; The epic and often terrifying extreme landscapes they explore; The epic people they meet. All together, the highlights make for a pretty stunning three minutes of footage. Stop reading this and watch it.
The automotive video wunderkind Petrolicious have struck auto nostalgia gold once again with their latest short dubbed Never Enough Alfa. As a few of you sleuths might have inferred, the video centers on a brand that’s close to more than a few team members’ hearts: Alfa Romeo. But any soft spot we have for the brand pales in comparison to collector Manuel Leon Minassian, who eventually started buying rides like people “buy tacos”. Though he’s got more vintage whips than he cares to share, one car in particular holds a special place in his heart — a customized 1972 Alfa Romeo Berlina.
Often, the simplest things are the best. Not so often, though, do those simple, excellent things involve a journey of over 4,500 miles. Trans-mongolian: A long train journey is a singular short film; its only accompaniment is a Mongolian throat-singing soundtrack mixed with the rhythmic click-clack of the train; many of its rapid-fire scenes are shot in tilt-shift, adding to a mystic quality.
Watch closely now
If you need proof of coffee practiced as an obsession, art form and science, this quick video — a “how-to” on making a cup of espresso — is exhibit A. Intellegentsia Coffee in Venice, California can come off as a little pretentious at first; but what you’re really seeing is an unabashed expertise in truly great coffee. “We take every single step in the chain, from seed to cup, as seriously as possible”, Kyle Glanville extols. We believe him.
Heart of glass
A good lens will burn your bank account faster than a real housewife after a bottle of chardonnay — but there’s a reason this precious glass costs so much. Dust-free production is an exacting process that requires plenty of human interaction to do right. But don’t just take our word for it. Watch this brief Nikon film created in celebration of the 80th anniversary of NIKKOR lenses that highlights how their tubular bundles of photographic joy are brought into this world, and you’ll see what we mean. And while you’re at it — have the missus watch too before showing her your latest receipts.
Be Safe, Live Wild
On April 6th, 2011, veteran backcountry skier (and former crab boat captain of Deadliest Catch fame) Roger Strong was caught in an avalanche in Snoqualmie Pass, WA. Roger and his two friends managed to survive the disaster, but two others were killed. The freight train of snow swept the group through hundreds of feet of steep trees — and a collision with one tore both of Rogers tibias away from their femurs and destroyed most of his knee’s critical tendons and ligaments, leaving him in a wheel chair for three months. In “Strong”, produced by Arc’Teryx, Roger revisits the site of the tragedy exactly one year after it happened, reflecting on the choices that brought him there. Is it irresponsible to satiate an inner love for adventure as a family man? Should one dare to test fate again? These are the central questions of “Strong”.
Just when you think you’ve grown a decent pair of cojones — you know, conjured up enough bravado to hit the next level rapid — out comes Cascada, an adventure film that blends bold cinematography and gut-wrenching paddling. Cascada follows seven audacious paddlers as they make their way through the Mexican jungle in search of the perfect waterfall (from where we’re sitting, they achieve it) with ultra high definition cameras in tow. It’s unbelievable stuff; we’re not surprised, because the film is the latest from the mavens at Forge Motion Pictures.
MJ’s moonwalk was mesmerizing, as was Neil Armstrong’s; Dean Potter joins their ranks in this stunning video. Shot from over a mile away, “Moonwalk” captures the climber and tightrope walker racing against a rising moon that seems unnaturally propelled into the night sky. There’s a single moment, after finishing his first crossing and starting back…
The tragedy of shell shock in WWI
War is the ultimate human drama. Unfortunately, that drama is nearly always a terrible tragedy. So goes “Coward”, a short film by Stephen Murphy, Dave Komaroni and David Roddham. The 25-minute film, a staff pick on Vimeo, weaves the shocking front line realities of World War I with the mental debilitation caused by shell shock…
Gear Patrol makes the big game
Vizio has officially presented the Rose Bowl for several years now and often uses their accompanying commercial time to tease the gadget-loving public with new products. The commercial that kicked off halftime this year was no exception, showing glimpses of a few unreleased devices we’re certainly excited to learn more about at CES. These include what looks like a Windows 8 tablet, a next generation Android tablet and of course, sleek-looking, new TVs. If you haven’t seen the spot already, we’ve embedded it above to study at your leisure. Look out for it on the air over the coming weeks as well. Pay close enough attention (*cough* — 8 seconds in) and you might even catch a glimpse of your favorite site, a.k.a. us. Special thanks to the fine people at Vizio for choosing GP for such a cool cameo. We are truly honored and can’t wait to learn more about what’s in store from the great American electronics company in 2013. With a resume credential like this, our dreams of landing a part in Rudy 2 are now that much closer.
For the love of the grill
What separates the store bought grill in your backyard from the $10,000+ meatcraft carriers made by Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet? The fine folks at Gizmodo brought this video to our attention that addresses this exact question. Watch, drool and learn the key points well — because you’ll need some help convincing your better half to unlock the door after blowing junior’s first semester tuition on 500+ glorious square inches of meat-searing goodness.
Tuna fishing — and farming — is a bitterly divisive topic. Food documentary blog The Perennial Plate and Intrepid Travel tackle the issue in a way most on either side of the argument can’t: peacefully. “The Farmer and The Bluefin” features the only fish farm in the world to spawn Bluefin Tuna, a species that is being decimated by overfishing, especially in Japan.
If you owned a fully restored drop-top vintage Porsche 356, our guess is that it would see the light of Sundays only: to be washed, paraded around afterwards and stared at lustfully by onlookers. Southern Revival documents the simple story of Ken Sirlin and his 1962 Porsche 356 Cabriolet. Purchased in 1985, while living in…
Finding a muse, a real object on which to spend our time and thoughts, is an unparalleled joy. Harry Taylor, a man who stumbled upon his passion for tintype photography through a personal tragedy, shares his story in “American Tintype”. This Vimeo Staff Pick deserves a watch, whether it’s for Taylor’s obsessive insight or finding…
May the Best Bond Win
We’ve all argued it vehemently while playing License to Kill, Slappers Only mode: which Bond wins in a Battle Royal? It’s a complicated issue. Certainly, we have our favorite and least favorite Bonds (cough, Moore, cough), but beyond cheesy storylines and awful Tarzan vine-swinging moments, pure and utter deadliness is tough to rank. While we’re…
Raw. Primeval. Tartare.
We’re no tartare noobs: Under the guidance of chef Wes Whitsell, we concocted a spicy steak tartare that would send even the most elite of dinner party snobs into a beef tailspin. But in the beef pecking order, the butcher always pulls rank. Need further proof? See above, one of a series of videos produced…
Lock, Stock and Barrel
Building a barrel? Sounds lame, especially when there’s a million more K-Pop stars waiting to be discovered singing about their hood. Wrong. Hold off on “Gangham Style Dubstep remix” for a few minutes and watch something that really matters for once, you sap. You owe these barrels. After all, this special breed made at Jack…
(A) man takes his last great leap
As the first person to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong showed every child and this nation that big dreams and big goals can be as real as you make them. NASA gives tribute to the passing of a humble, reserved professional in a program that attracted type “A” personalities. Armstrong was well-liked and…
Few things in life pull at a man’s heartstrings like the open road and the promise of adventure. Long Live The Kings is a short documentary by Clement Beauvais shot solely on super 16mm film (which can still stand up to digital any day). The doc showcases some fine rides courtesy of Blitz Motorcycles along…
Thousands of years of philosophy be damned
“Try, try again” is easier said than done when you’re racing against a massive, imposing canyon. That’s why we love watching South African ultra-marathoner Ryan Sandes attempt to master Namibia’s harsh 84-kilometer Fish River Canyon trail. In The Beauty of the Irrational, Sandes poignantly reflects on his unsuccessful record attempts in 2009 and 2010 before…