Exclusive Interview With “My Life in Technicolor” Creator Sam Reid

If you have not watched Sam’s awesome video yet then go watch it now above! I was lucky enough to interview the creator of “My Life in Technicolor”, Sam Reid, who not only took a photo everyday from February 23, 2011-April 19, 2016 but moved his mouth in each photo to mimic Coldplay’s Life in Technicolor ii. Take a look at some of the questions below where I ask how he made the video, why he chose a Coldplay song and more. It is definitely a good read!

Q: Hey Sam, congrats on your graduation! How does it feel to finally release the “My Life in Technicolor” video after 5 years in the making?

A: It’s pretty surreal. Over the course of five years, taking a picture every night had become a routine, and while I always new I’d finish at some point, it actually felt like the finish line snuck up on me! I’m very proud of how the final product turned out.

Q: What made you want to create a five year timeline of your life?

A: A few years before I started, there were some popular videos on YouTube where people had done something similar (Noah Kalina being the most notable example). I had always been fascinated with those projects, but I wanted to put my own twist on it, and so I decided to add singing into the mix.

Q: Did you find it difficult to keep it up for five years?

A: Yes! While I never saw myself quitting, there were stretches of time where it was difficult to be consistent with the picture-taking. Traveling and going to bed later than my roommate also presented challenges!

Q: How old were you when you took the first photo on February 23, 2011?

A: I was 17 years old and was in the middle of my junior year of high school.

Q: How did you calculate exactly when to open your mouth for the singing?

A: I’ve seen several theories about this posted in comments online. It’s actually much simpler than people think: I started the iMovie project as soon as I started taking pictures, and would add a picture to the project as soon as I took it. By watching what I’d done so far, I was able to anticipate what shape I needed to make with my mouth for the next day’s picture.

Q: How long did it take to edit?

A: Because I added each picture immediately after I took it, the only editing I needed to do was exporting the video when I was finished!

Q: Why did you choose a Coldplay song and specifically Life in Technicolor to sing along to?

A: I actually started making the video with an instrumental song called “Everyday” by Carly Comando. A couple months in, however, I decided to pick a song I could sing along to, and luckily, I hadn’t reached the point where the lyrics started yet. I chose Life in Technicolor ii because I was listening to a lot of Coldplay at the time and it felt like an appropriate soundtrack to my life. I don’t know if this crossed my mind at the time, but looking back, I think the verse that starts “Time came a’creepin’…” fits the project surprisingly well.

Q: How many photos in total did you capture for this video and which one is your favourite?

A: There are close to 1,200 picture in the video (1,163 to be exact), each lasting .2 seconds. I really like the pictures when I grew my hair out, but I’d have to say that my favorite is one around the 3:48 mark where I tried out a really nasty-looking mustache and sideburns. I only had it for a couple hours before I decided to shave it off, but I made sure to get a picture before I did.

Q: How on earth did you manage to keep your head in exactly the same position for each photo?!

A: Since I used PhotoBooth on my MacBook, I would just try to position my head in the same position as the previous photo, and then flip back and forth between the two to make sure it looked good. As you might expect, I rarely got it exactly right on the first try and took several attempts each night.

Q: Finally, what would you say to Coldplay if they were to see this video and interview?

A: About 30 minutes before this interview, Coldplay’s twitter account posted the video, so I hope some of the band has gotten to see it! I would thank them for making such beautiful music!