Dubai: It’s the timelapse video to rule all timelapse videos, and it’s shot right here in the UAE.
Beno Saradzic’s expertly made film takes you on a tour of every wonder of the emirates and leaves you begging for more when the credits roll in. Scroll down to watch the full production.
From mangroves to the Burj Khalifa, from the ports of Dubai to the Aldar coin, if you’ve seen it in the UAE, you’re likely to see it in this video.
The clip, which runs for seven minutes and 40 seconds, is set to music composed by Vladimir Persan. It took more than two-and-a-half years to make and has drawn plaudits from pretty high places – His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted it to his 2.75 million followers on Thursday.
تصوير مميز .. لإنجازات تتحدث عن نفسها .. http://t.co/RZTxbgtPfX— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) April 17, 2014
The tweet translates as: “Outstanding photography for achievements that speak for themselves.”
But had it not been for the global economic crash, the video would never have been made.
Slovenian Saradzic, who hails from capital Ljubljana, came to live in Abu Dhabi back in 1991 to work for his uncle’s interior design company. Back then his expertise was in architectural visualisation, and he enjoyed some success until the global crash struck in 2008. At the age of 39 he needed a new career – that was where making timelapse videos came in.
“I wanted to use my understanding of light and composition, plus computer animations and graphics, and this seemed the best way to do that,” he told Gulf News.
"So I put myself on a six month crash course, where I read everything I could and googled everything I could google.
“I’m completely self-taught in that way.”
So how did this video in particular come about, and what commitment does it take to put it together?
“For the wider vistas and the public areas, all you have to do is turn up and point the camera, although that obviously takes a lot of time,” he said.
“But when you want to film at the airport or the sea port, you obviously need government permission.
“There’s a four second shot of the mangroves at the start [see below] for which it took seven to ten days of organisation just to get permission. Then it took a whole day behind the camera to film.
“It’s not the most productive thing you can spend your time doing, but the result is like a magic spell.
“You can’t just turn up, place the camera and leave it.
“You have to be on hand to react to changes in light, and then there’s the fact that many of the clips were shot in busy areas, so you don’t want to be leaving thousands of dollars worth of equipment lying around.”
Saradzic in action
Saradzic is now lucky enough to do his hobby as a profession, working as an executive producer for Abu Dhabi-based Timesand studios.
He has done work for the BBC, most notably on the Wild Arabia documentary, and for a Discovery Channel film called Passage to Abu Dhabi.
With so many films in the pipeline, his next project is sure to be one to look out for.
Watch the incredible full film below: