24 Hours in Lawrence was a collaborative multimedia project between the www.ljworld.com and the Lawrence community. The assignment was simple: Document life in Lawrence on May 10, 2007, from midnight to midnight, in photos, video, blogs, you name it. Using online submission forms, which collected all types of media from the community and fellow journalists and displayed them according to capture time on our website as a multimedia time-capsule of sorts. The result was eye-opening and it put a new twist on user-submitted content/community journalism. The project won the Most Innovative Multimedia Storytelling Award from the Newspaper Association of America Digital Edge.
Personally, I wanted to capture the entire 24 hours of May 10, 2007. I mounted a remote camera to a downtown building and used time-lapse imagery to show the entire 24 hours along Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. The result was a short 60 second time-lapse video, comprised of over 2500 photos. Since I didn’t have a key to the rooftop, I tripped the camera from street level at midnight using Pocket Wizards and had the camera programmed to shoot just the right number of frames to complete the 24 hour cycle. Check out the result here.
I also shot two additional time-lapses, one of myself mowing my lawn and another of shoppers at Target. In addition, I shot and edited a video of our newspaper’s press run during the early morning hours of May 10 and attempted a series of photos of the night sky rotating on its axis around the North Star.
One of the biggest hurdles for this project was automating the media upload process and synchronizing the content with our Web site software, Ellington and its database. Through working with our online department, we wrote a metadata importer that to this day makes uploading photos to our Web site so easy that even my cat can do it (okay, it was accidental, but it did happen.)