Page 143 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine V

Basic HTML Version

How long did the filming process take?
It is a very laborious and time consuming process
which may explain the lack of time-lapse studies
around. To give you some idea of how long
it takes, a six-hour time lapse session usually
generates approximately ten seconds of real time
footage. I spent over eight weeks on the principal
photography, editing took around three weeks and
then there was another week’s work dedicated to
the composition of musical score. They are a joy
to watch but a real challenge to produce. For me it
has been a real labour of love, one that consumed
me throughout the process.
There are obviously many aspects to consider
during the production process. Did you
encounter any difficulties along the way?
I didn’t anticpate how difficult time-lapse
photography could be and had I realised
beforehand what monumental efforts it would
take, I may have backed away from the project.
As it turns out, it was a good call to kick off the
process with no pre-conceptions, as I ended
up spending endless days and nights filming
in dangerous conditions with lots of expensive
equipment. With no notion of what I was
undertaking, I simply got on with things. I’m so
glad I did because I discovered something I truly
What overriding impression did you want this
study of Abu Dhabi to leave on viewers?
People who have lived in the city have seen it
portrayed in a completely new, almost futuristic
light. Abu Dhabi is a success story, one which
is impossible to summarize in four minutes 16
seconds, but if I have given my viewers food for
thought, sparked their curiosity and even changed
their outlook, then I have achieved my goal.
Your film has caused a real commotion – all
seemingly positive. Are you surprised by the
I never dreamed it would be like this. The
response has been overwhelming. Most Abu
Dhabi residents seem to have watched the film
and many have been surprised at how the city is
portrayed, telling me they had no idea it looked
like this. Many have even asked; ‘is it really Abu
Dhabi?’ Some of the oldest residents almost didn’t
believe it was the same city they’d lived in for such
a long time. When time-lapse photography is
orchestrated properly it is absolutely mesmerising
and using the technique to simulate the rapid
growth of Abu Dhabi seems to have captured the
attention of the audience. This film challenges
common perceptions of the city, and I think
that’s been its biggest appeal. Since the film was
first uploaded on Vimeo, it’s had hundreds of
thousands of views and the majority of feedback
has been extremely positive. Abu Dhabi 2011
has proved popular because Abu Dhabi is such a
beautiful city. I hope I was able to bottle its magic
for the world to experience it, capturing that
innate beauty and charm.
How has making the film changed your life?
It’s quite remarkable how many things have
changed for me in such a short span of time. The
attention has been crazy. It says a lot about the
power of social networking. The film made it on
the Yahoo! and MSN’s home pages for a whole
week! Several TV stations interviewed me, over
a dozen newspapers and magazines featured my
story and I’ve received many work offers from
private and government institutions, then the
BBC and Discovery Channel called! To me, that
was the greatest reward of all.
This film concentrates completely on the city.
Do you have any plans for future projects to
showcase what else the Emirate has to offer?
Of course. This film was about the city, but I
have plans to create more time-lapse films in the
future. I have had many requests to make a film
featuring Dubai and maybe, further down the line,
I could look at the whole of the UAE. It would be
great to have a complete contrast to this project
by filming a time-lapse study of the sunrise and
sunset in the desert. I will definitely use time-lapse
photography again, but I’d like to combine it with
other techniques such as motion control and ultra-
slow motion. I don’t want to be known as a one-
trick pony – a film maker who can’t do anything
new so I never want to make the same film twice.
It all sounds very exciting. Any other plans for the
It has been a real whirlwind for me and I
am astonished at the success of my project,
particulary as I was indulging a passion. I am
currently working with BBC Natural History
and Discovery TLC as a featured guest and
time-lapse photographer on their very ambitious
TV productions, filmed around the GCC
countries as well as in the the UAE. It is truly
humbling to be approached by the best in the
business whom I always looked up to. I need to
challenge myself and look at new perspectives.
The most important thing for me is that a story
entertains, sparks interest and gets people talking.
If it’s controversial or meaningful or visually
overwhelmingly, I’ve achieved my aim. This has
been a dream for me and I’m looking forward to a
whole new chapter of my life.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to
Beno Saradzic for this fascinating insight into his
life and incredible work and wish him all the best
for his future projects.