I’ve written before on this blog about time-lapse that reveals a hidden process, and I think it’s an important enough principle to reiterate. I was chatting with a photographer the other day who commented that of all the video content they create for their website, the behind-the-scenes videos are the most viewed. Likewise, time-lapse that reveals a behind-the-scenes that is normally a mystery (namely because no-one would sit and watch the process for hours/days/weeks/years on end in real time) is far more engaging than time-lapse that simply speeds up a well-understood process.
I stumbled today across this time-lapse, by Tasmanian photographer Paul Redding, of the installation of a walkway between two buildings. As a sometimes desensitised veteran of time-lapse viewing, I was surprised to find myself engaged. I had been snared again by getting to watch the behind-the-scenes of a process that is normally hidden from me. As a non-engineer, I look at bridges with a sense of wonder at their construction process; but, I’m certainly not fascinated enough to go and watch one being built in real time. Here, through construction time-lapse, I was able to get some insight into the engineering process, and I walked away having learned something. In making engaging time-lapse movies, it’s worth thinking about revealing the hidden mystery of a long-term process.