A Solstice Moment

On June 21, 1998 a loosely organized global QTVR shoot took place as an eventual sequel to Wrinkle in Time 1 (Dec. 21, 1997) and the more widely advertised Wrinkle in Time 2 (March 21, 1998). Although the final incarnation of Wrinkle 3 has not been designed, the global synchronous shoot occurred at 9:00 a.m. CDT and found me in Minneapolis, MN. The following recaps the story of my Object movie shown below.

This is a QTVR 2.0 Object movie that requires QT 3.0 to view.
It was compressed using the Sorenson compressor at 50% and is 460K

Click Here to view a 1.2 Mb version at 480x320 in a new window.

Tell me a story ....

Had an interesting Wrinkle 3 day ­ making the best of where I happened/had to be. Went to a college reunion on Friday and Saturday (June 19-20) in Minnesota and was staying in Minneapolis. I asked my host on Saturday if he could think of somewhere more interesting than his driveway that I could be on Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. given that I wanted to do an object movie and that I was likely to be out until 2 or 3 in the morning 30 miles down the road the night before. John suggested the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden downtown and we went scouting. Saturday was a dismal dreary rainy day with squall after squall moving through the area. In the center of the largest green space in the garden sits a giant spoon with a bright red cherry balanced on the end. The spoon sits in the middle of a cattail pond/swamp and a pinwheel of water sprays out of the end of the cherry stem. A perfect place to try an object movie as long as I can overcome a couple of technical difficulties ­ how am I going to get a smooth distribution of angular points and how am I going to stay a constant distance away from something sitting in a pond that I can't get to?

I knew the angle problem should be easily solved by using a compass (if I only had brought one). Luckily John had a hand held sailing, sighting compass and we set it aside. Now the distance. After talking about finding a range finder made for golfers, I decided to solve the problem more directly using string. The plan crystallized in my mind and I went off to the reunion.

Sure enough 7:30 Sunday morning came MIGHTY soon after 3:00 Sunday morning and I dragged my sorry tail and two co-conspirators down to the sculpture garden, arriving at 8:30. Spectacular weather ­ bright sun and not a cloud in the sky. (Too nice actually ­ real exposure problems.) The plan was to unroll 200 feet of kite string across the park, walk it over to the spoon and cherry, get it up to the base of the cherry stem, then bring the two ends of the string together and tie it off. This would be the range finder. Great idea but despite the fact that I am nearly 2 meters tall the cherry is substantially higher in the air. John climbed one of the other sculptures, still no go. Then I took the string up onto one end of a pedestrian bridge across the adjacent highway, John took the other end and walked to the other side of the park. Perfect. I threw my end down, we wrapped it around the stem and had this problem licked. Whip out the compass and rapidly realized that it was not accurate enough with all the huge steel sculptures around. So I ended up tethered 100 feet from the cherry stem, pacing 5 yards taking a picture and repeating.

Then the bus load of Japanese tourists arrived. After John explained to them that we were Druids worshiping the summer solstice, they took their pictures and soon left. Back to work, wondering when some official would show up and want to know why we were trying to pull over this sculpture. No one did and I completed my 41 pictures a few minutes after 9, cut the string and removed the evidence and headed down the road back toward Madison wondering where I would be when the noon shoot came up. That and the 3rd shoot are another story.