Customer Footage: Metropolis Visual Uses Time Lapse to Capture History

The Project

The Hendon Hall project consisted of demolishing a major portion of the structure, which was originally a hotel, and then building a 120-bed care home in its place. 

Metropolis Visual is using time lapse photography and a variety of video production techniques to produce five video updates on the key stages of the project.  

Hendon Hall - Demolition Film. The Beginning. from Metropolis Visual on Vimeo.

Capturing the Project Over Time

The building was an unusual shape, which meant using two time lapse cameras to capture the project. One camera was placed in the courtyard, and the other camera was moved frequently to capture the entire building process.

Metropolis Visual needed to mount the cameras as high as possible to capture all the activities, but placing the cameras was a challenge. Since a small part of the building wouldn’t be demolished, they were not able to drill holes in the building.

The answer for placement changed throughout the project. Before scaffolding was erected, the cameras were strapped to the pillars of the building. They were then moved to the scaffolding once it was in place. Metropolis was careful to ensure that the cameras were pointed correctly after the move. Using the same frame was important so no one would know the cameras had been moved.

The Equipment Set Up

Metropolis used a GoPro  HERO5 camera,  UpBlink, and  CloudX on the project. They scheduled a single image uploaded to the cloud and raw images directly from the SD card to check the quality of the images and to ensure that there was enough data to edit. 

The equipment was scheduled for one image every 20 minutes from 7 am to 6 pm throughout the project. But when scaffolding was being erected, the timing was switched to every 10 minutes for two weeks in order to  the rapid process in which the scaffolding is erected.  

Best Advice

Metropolis recommends shooting in raw format. Raw format files contain a minimally processed image that comes from the direct image data from the camera sensors with no loss of quality. It will also give you a lot more data in the same image so that you can do things such as tweak the colors or delete an image. 

Raw format also gives you an opportunity to experiment with the elements of the shoot. A lot of the construction footage has a fisheye effect since the cameras are mounted to look down on the site and use a wide image. You capture all the elements of the project, but the images are normally oval. If you shoot in the raw format, you can straighten the image for post-production to enhance the image quality.

The Importance of Time Lapse Videos in the Construction Industry

Tomas Jurjonas from Metropolis Visual shared his perspective about using time lapse videos in the construction industry.

“Time Lapse videos are used as update videos for construction companies. Any construction project will have shareholders that are located all over the world. Explaining what is happening and showing the progress of the project is very difficult to do on paper. Project updates in video give everyone a proper understanding of the project progress and generate peace of mind for the shareholders.

Time lapse videos also help construction companies win more projects. They take the videos for the tendering projects to show how the construction process works. 

The building process is so much faster today. What would take 6 years to complete in the past can now be completed in only 30 months. Documenting this journey using video is an incredibly efficient process as opposed to just using the written word. 

Construction companies are building our future. Construction projects will become history, and history needs to be documented.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Tomas! Thanks for sharing your project with us.

More about the project

Farrans is a construction firm with interests throughout the UK, Ireland, and Europe.  Metropolis Visual is a video project company based in London and worked with Farrans to document the Hendon Hall project in London. It was a key project for Farrans, and they wanted to capture the project on video.


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