My life as a filmmaker has blessed me with the privilege of seeing some of the most surreal and timeless places on the planet. These images of our Sacred Earth set to music are my way of sharing some of the magic I've experienced along the way...
"Terra Sacra" ~ Latin for Sacred Earth.
Terra Sacra Time Lapses is a short film featuring remote landscapes and ancient monuments from around the globe. These images were photographed during my assignments and personal travels between 2006-2012.
I've combined my favourite shots from these trips into non-narrative film that touches on a theme close to my heart: Sacred Earth.
The visuals are driven by an original score by composer Roy Milner (roymilner.com). The six-minute film is a journey through three distinct Acts: (I) Primordial Earth (II) Past meets Present and (III) Eternal Universe.
This film is a personal project to share the beauty and awe I witnessed at these locations. I hope viewers will be moved by the intangible power of our Terra Sacra.
Endless thanks to Art Wolfe for hiring me to as the cinematographer for the public television series Art Wolfe's Travels to the Edge and taking me to the ends of the Earth where most of the shots from Terra Sacra were made. Art, you are an inspiration and the most driven photographer I have ever known! I learned so much working on this show with our amazing crew and have stories to tell for a lifetime! artwolfe.com travelstotheedge.com
Never-ending thanks to friends and colleagues Ian Herring and Maija Leivo of Parallax Film Productions for permission to us shots I took for the television series Ancient Megastructures (National Geographic Channel / History Television) and Battle Castle (Discovery/History Television/ BBC). These assignments provided unprecedented access to some of the world's most iconic ancient landmarks parallaxfilm.com
Infinite thanks to my amazing wife Deddeda for her love and constant encouragement to pursue this project.
Most of the time lapses were shot with a Canon 5D at the maximum resolution using a TC-80N3 intervalometer. A few shots were taken with a Canon 7D and Canon 5D mk II.
All images are single manual exposures, no HDR composites.
Original full resolution images were colour corrected and processed in 16-bit in Adobe Bridge using Camera Raw and exported as JPEG sequences at maximum quality. The rendered JPEG sets were then opened in Quicktime Pro as image sequences and exported at their native full resolution (up to 5K) as Quicktime movies at 23.98 fps with the Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) codec. The ProRes 422 (HQ) files were then edited in Final Cut Pro 7.0.3 on a ProRes 422 (HQ) timeline at 23.98. The master file is ProRes 422 (HQ) 1920 x 1080.
Selected time lapse sequences were also processed using Adobe Bridge and LRTimelapse to smoothen aperture flicker apparent in some shots with large depth-of-field.
If you are interested in licensing any of the shots from the film, please contact me so I can direct you to the appropriate agency.
I would love to revisit many of the locations in this film and other powerful sacred sites around the world to create a feature-length "Terra Sacra". The film would combine real-time, slow-motion, and motion control time lapse imagery - all in stereoscopic 3D. If you are an angel investor, potential sponsor, broadcaster, distributor or someone deeply passionate who would would like to get involved, please don't hesitate to contact me.
This film is intended to capture the spirit and endless energy of London. We decided to shoot it in a mixture of Timelapse and slow motion. We started filming in October 2010 in Richmond upon Thames just on the western edge of the city, and then the ensuing journey took us all the way through the city and back again, ending up just a year later with a final sun rise shot in the Richmond area.
The brilliant but temporary music score is by Rael Jones. He’s currently working on music for the new BBC Sherlock Holmes series and he will be delivering a final score for my film in a month or so. I can’t wait to hear it, and I would like to thank him for all his hard work.
I’d like to thank everyone else involved too; particularly my camera assistants; David Mead, Dave Calub, Laurence Beck and Johana Castro. They helped me lug around equipment and of course they kept me company during the long hours of time lapse work. They braved not only windswept bridges, endless travelling, and brushes with local law enforcement, but also marauding gangs and drunken loons in the west end.
I can’t thank my wife Johana enough. I made her stand around for hours while she was two months pregnant, and I nearly ruined our anniversary by insisting on filming some time lapse footage at the Oxo tower restaurant half way through dinner, sorry.
Camera: Canon 7D
Lenses: 17 – 55mm f.28, 70 – 200mm f2.8
Edited in FCP
Graded in Magic bullet looks
I used various shutter angles and intervals to achieve the best effect for any particular shot. At night I mostly wanted that streaky look, so most of it is either 1 or 2 second exposures with the lens stopped down to around f5.6. During the day I would shoot people shots at 1 second intervals which seemed to give that impression of frantic energy, particularly on a long lens.
Hope you enjoy the film.
Ed Beck, MB Films
photography - Ed Beck
camera assistants - David Mead, Dave Calub, Laurence Beck and Johana Castro
editing – Ed Beck & David Mead
music – Rael Jones