There are some styles of photography which have been beaten into the ground. Take, for example, the trip to an old asylum; it seems like we've all seen a thousand HDR images of the local loony bin. Graffiti-covered walls, derelict operating rooms and spooky wheelchairs ad-nauseum. But every once in awhile, something comes along which makes my jaw drop and revisits what is possible in an ages-old subject. Drew Geraci's Asylum is exactly what I'm talking about.
Filmed over the course of seven (!) months, this beautifully composed and directed time-lapse video is an evocative look into an abandoned asylum. Made from over 35,000 individual frames, many of which we processed in an HDR style, the movie is epic in scale. Perfectly composed shots with narrow beams of sunlight reflecting off of dust which hasn't been disturbed in decades, a haunting carcass lying abandoned in the hallways at sunset, and beat-up and decayed operating equipment are all visible. The cinematography itself is mind-bending: take a look and you'll see what I mean. I'm trying to wrap my head around how he created some of the sequences here, as I don't believe I've seen anything like it before.
On creating the film, Drew says:
"Our 7 month journey into the Asylum led us on many adventures; from dodging security vehicles, ghostly figures and even a meth head. This is no place for the faint of heart. Asbestos blanketed every room we entered like new winter snow, so shooting was sometimes difficult."
Drew, you're a braver man than I. I don't think I would have lasted a day, and he brushes it off like it's a walk in the park. Asbestos? No problem. Living a scene from Breaking Bad? I'll pass on that, too. I tip my hat to you not only because you're an incredibly talented editor, but you've also got balls of steel, my friend.
Drew's website, which can be found at thevoder.com, has a few other amazing timelapse videos, and I highly recommend taking a few minutes to poke around.