VIDEO: Basketball Timelapse

It’s about time I dropped something sick again, huh?!

For this basketball time-lapse video, I broke away from my previous tabletop time-lapses and decided to use an actual human being this time! I called up my buddy Branden, an awesome fitness model and trainer, to be the basketball player running across the court and dunking in front of a setting sun.

This remote basketball court is by far the sickest location I have ever shot. In fact, I’m heading out soon to another shoot for a client out there. I found this court by complete accident, and plan on using it a lot in future projects. The desolate landscape and dramatic light changes made it the perfect location for this basketball time-lapse shoot.

Once I’d set up and captured all the b-roll for the video, Branden I spent a very long day on location going through the process of capturing his dramatic dunk. He ended up running the length of the court 720 times in a single day. 720! I’m not sure how far that works out to, but it’s a good thing he’s in shape. Trying to stick all the steps, so they’d be identical each time, wore us both out. The end result was totally worth the exhaustion!

How It’s Done

So the moving person in the time-lapse crazy, right? It was definitely a challenge, but nothing worth doing is easy.


This was the most still images I have ever shot for a single time-lapse. My shoot folder has over 87,000 images! Hanging out at the court watching the shadows move was actually pretty relaxing — longer and less boring than watching paint dry.

The only big issue I had on this shoot was spiders. Yep, spiders. I hate spiders, but we were outdoors and there wasn’t much I could do about them. Every 20 minutes or so, I would have to check all six cameras and their lenses, because the spiders would keep crawling up the tripod, and start making webs over my lens hoods. Welcome to the glamorous world of location photography!

After the shoot, I headed home to start organizing all those still images and mapping them out in chronological order. If you think about, the sun moves every minute, so it’s really crucial to keep all the images in the correct order. To help pull the basketball time-lapse together, I called up motion editing pro Buddy Thomas to make sense of this chaos. He pumped out a really sick edit! Buddy’s a great guy and came up with some really cool concepts, like the screen splits, which really took it to another level.  I love when someone can add their personal style to a project, which ends up being perfectly inline with my original vision.

Stay tuned for more videos like this — trust me, you have not seen anything like it before!


Joe Morahan