‘Elysium’ features the skylines of Dubai and Abu Dhabi which are among the most imposing and photogenic ones in the world. The quiet giants, soaring high into the Emirati skies are a source of awe and inspiration for any dreamer or photographer. What gives this film a dreamlike quality however is the elusive winter fog and its mysterious interaction with the tallest structures. Viewed from a high angle, the fog turns the cities into a grand canvas of visual poetry which could only be expressed with a language of time lapse cinematography.
The fog’s formation is very hard to predict and therefore, it’s not easy to film. I was forced to spend many sleepless nights chasing the foggy conditions from various rooftops across the UAE. When the fog finally formed, and all elements came together, it was like witnessing magic. Watching the fog as it rolled between and over the buildings was such a haunting and utterly fascinating sight. It was a quite a logistical and technical challenge to capture all scenes I needed for a film, but it was all worth it.
Various scenes of ‘Elysium’ were captured in Dubai and Abu Dhabi between 2013 and 2017.
Here's my latest little film, shot entirely on the Fujifilm GFX50s.
No motion control systems, sliders or external intervalometers were used during the shoot. Just one camera on the sticks. This was a test of a medium format camera as a time lapsing machine and it did the job they way I had hoped it would.
Its internal intervalometer was intuitive and reliable. Even 1 second intervals didn't fail or skip despite a whopping 8.6k, 133 MB RAW file. I guess UHS-II cards are more than just luxury. They are a must for such large files.
My usual post-processing workflow also remained unchanged, which was wonderful. This was a positive experience.
24 hours in 24 seconds
Abu Dhabi Through Your Eyes is the largest creative media contest in the UAE. The contest's brief was deceivingly simple: create a film featuring Abu Dhabi during a 24-hour cycle. "The film must be exactly 24 seconds long. There shouldn't be any script or actors. Go."
Here's my take on the challenge. Also; it won a 1st Place!
'THE VOYAGE' started out as a collage of disjointed time lapse sequences, shot over several months in early 2015. I was teaching myself new ways to move the camera, using existing and newly developed motion control systems. Once I had enough material on my drives, I decided to create a short film. I’m always aiming to create a more immersive, intimate way of experiencing the scene as it unfolds in front of the camera’s lens. Instead of entertaining the viewer with high-impact, dynamic and highly stylized scene transitions, I prefer a calmer, linear approach to visual storytelling. I’m a great fan of David Lean’s and Stanley Kubrick’s films. The works of these two filmmakers have had a profound influence on my appreciation of film. I was particularly fascinated with the precision of composition and framing of each scene in all the movies they ever made. I admired the way they crafted and shaped the light, like classic painters on canvas. Both filmmakers were known for their patience and waited for the moment to happen spontaneously, and then they would let it linger and play out on the screen. Their philosophy, where nothing is rushed, translates so well into time lapse filmmaking.
‘THE VOYAGE’ is infused with a re-discovered appreciation for my filmmaking idols, my love for architecture and time lapse cinematography. ‘THE VOYAGE’ represents my coming of age as a filmmaker with a profound passion for the craft.
‘THE VOYAGE’ is a first place winner in the Time Lapse Category at the 5th Season of the ‘Spaces of Light’ Photography Award in Abu Dhabi.
Filmed entirely at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Beyond: Memoirs In A Time Lapse
Beyond’ presents poetry in colorful motion and music. In 3 distinct movements, its enchanting tour of Beno's audiovisual craftsmanship lifts you from the electrifying buzz of the present to vistas of near-future tomorrows: Sparks of Inception; The pulse of the Organism; From Here to Beyond.
‘Beyond’ relates the seemingly limitless power of human imagination to create and transform on a scale far beyond our own. It is a tall tale of inspiration, courage, determination, tenacity and perseverance through adversity. Shot at locations throughout Abu Dhabi and Dubai, ‘Beyond’s implicit story is about much more than the success of the UAE. What is unfolding in the UAE is a shining, symbolic example of the towering achievements of mankind as a whole.
Showing off the best of 2 years worth of shooting, 'Beyond' doubles as Beno's ‘out-of-the-box’ showreel of client-commissioned time-lapse photography work between 2011 and 2012.
DRAGON HORSE: TIME LAPSE MONTAGE VOL.2
Dragon Horse is a fascinating robot who took over Ottawa in July 2017 for 5 full days. This commissioned task was to capture time lapse sequences of the largest mass gathering Ottawa had ever seen. The footage is a part of a feature documentary
The famous ‘rolling fog’ in Dubai is one of those rare events every photographer and time lapser hopes to shoot on day!
ABU DHABI THE CAPITAL (TIME LAPSE)
DRAGON HORSE - TIME LAPSE MONTAGE VOL.1
ABU DHABI 2011 - time lapse film (shorter version)
Planet Dubai Marina
Abu Dhabi, Corniche Skyline
Government communication film produced for Office of the Government Communication Abu Dhabi
DESTINATION: ABU DHABI
Government communication film produced for the Office of the Government Communication Abu Dhabi
Corporate time lapse film shot for the Office of the Government Communications Abu Dhabi
QALB AL ADALA - TIME LAPSES - TEASER V1
This is a reel of time lapses I shot for the TV Series ‘Qalb Al Adala’ (The Heart of Justice)
UNDER THE CHERRY MOON
Time lapse sequence of the total eclipse of the moon over Dubai skyline, shot with a Fujifilm GFX50s medium format camera.
Beno Saradzic's Portfolio of Time Lapse Cinematography
Here’s a collection of my client commissioned and personal time lapse films. They are all works of equal passion and dedication.
I use variety of cameras, lenses and motion control equipment to create these works. I mostly use cameras and lenses from Canon, Fujifilm and Sigma. I rely on a big variety of supporting equipment and accessories to create cinematic time lapse sequences from CamBlock, Syrp (Genie), CamTrac, Lil-Mule and others. I use Nisi filters, Gitzo and Manfrotto tripods, Really Right Stuff heads and clamps, Promote Remote Control and lots of other gadgets.
The post-production aspect is an extremely important phase of a time lapse production. I spend a lot of time in Adobe Premiere, Lightroom, After Effects, Red Giant Suite and LR Timelapse to process, edit, grade and render my films. I work on a PC and Wacom pressure sensitive tablet with a pen and a Wacom mouse. I’ve worked in this configuration for nearly 20 years. Don’t trust anyone who tells you that you need a Mac to be creative. It’s just a tool.
About the soundtracks: Some of the soundtracks featured in my films have been carefully chosen library tracks and they work very well in some cases, although my absolutely preferred way is to hire a music composer who can read my mind and be able to write and produce a soundtrack specifically for my film. That’s not an easy feat.
My most favourite music composer is Vladimir Persan, a multi-talented genius from Azerbaijan who is based in Dubai. He’s been with me from the very beginning and I owe him a lot for the success I’ve had in my time lapse filmmaking career.