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Time Lapse and CU’s_Summer Hatfield

November 15, 2013 by   

Mark Wagner – Money is Material from The Avant/Garde Diaries on Vimeo.

My inspiration this week is a profile video about an artist named Mark Wagner who makes amazing collages out of dollar bills. The work this guy is doing is incredibly detailed and takes an immense amount of patience. The way the video is made, it really captures that detail and patience. It does this through the amount of extreme close-ups which show us even the tiniest elements very clearly and really takes us in there so we see what he sees. It also does it through the pacing of the video, which is a little slow but I think works to portray the tenacity of this guy. Also, the time-lapse videos help to break up some of the slower pacing and show a complete cycle of what would otherwise take a long time.

The interview is done really well and uses proper lighting and framing, and I like that we hear the artist’s voice for a long time before we ever actually see him talking. The lighting throughout the video is consistently nice, it all looks very well thought out and deliberate, and the camera movements all flow well. The editors also used a trick I always find effective for transitions, and that is at 2:20 when it cuts from the end of the time-lapse of the art piece to a view of it hanging on a wall and it is in the exact same place in the frame from one shot to the next. Its kind of like the classic scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey where the bone is thrown up into the air and then we see a satellite in the same spot in the next scene.


  1. says:

    At one point when the video cut to one of the collages I thought to myself that it looked very digital, like a screen that was frozen between frames so that you see the interlacing. Then I realized that it was doubly digital because he had cut up the dollars bill into its discrete parts. Basically he digitizes the dollar bill, which then gives him the possibility to do anything with it. It almost feels like the space that John Cage produced with his art projects. Everything is possible once you separate it into discrete elements.

  2. says:

    Wow. Those are some CLOSE UP shots! I love how little they show you in the beginning, by focusing on the minute details and letting the music build…When I heard the word collage I thought, okay, we’ll see where this goes…and then BAM. Amazing art. There is something even more interesting in that he is using actual currency too, deconstructing this idea we ourselves have constructed about wealth. It’s amazing how creative they get with their shots and angles considering they are mostly shooting still works of art, so there are some interesting cinematography tricks to be learned here.

  3. Omar Aldakeel says:

    My favorite part is the music toward the end and how it builds in accordance with the speed of the images, and that’s really hard to do and match. It’s fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

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