Archive for View From a Tall Dude
I’ve been a sometimes professional, sometimes hobby video editor and producer since I was in college, and one of the best and worst things about doing this is how much footage I have to throw away to get a good video.
It’s supremely frustrating to throw away the footage I like best just because doesn’t fit into the flow of the final piece. Such was the case with this Morocco video. I has to sacrifice some of the funniest moments of our trip for the fact that a web video needs to be snappy and have a rhythm to it.
So kick back and watch 10 minutes of what things were really like in when I tried to film a vlog for three weeks in Morocco — this time without a backing music track driving the pace forward.
Amsterdam is a city off efficiency — too much efficiency. Bicycles outnumber people in The Venice of the North, so bikes zip around in their own lanes of traffic. Great for bikes, but a bit dangerous for pedestrians as they need to navigate their way across street crossing and bike crossings, both with their own traffic signals.
I captured this time lapse video whilst driving into Amsterdam on a cloudy day, which makes for a nifty effect as the clouds whipping across the sky. I end walking along the Vondelpark toward my hostel for the evening. Apologies for any motion sickness that will occur while watching that part.
Paris, the most vibrant city in Europe. Too often people think of Paris and they think of the Eiffel Tower, Versailles and the Louvre. But to me, the tourist sights take second fiddle to the omnipresent energy of the city. Paris is the New York of Europe: Dirty, smelly, loud, full of colourful characters and never dull. I think this video I took of a Parisian traffic jam really captures that feeling.
Special thanks to Tyler Tholl for writing some original music to accompany the video.
Yes I went to Oktoberfest in Munich, and yes I could have taken a video of everyone singing “Ein Prosit” and clinking glasses together, but I went for the more juvenile route: I got drunk on five maßes and I went on a carnival ride, where I was granted a beautiful view of the massive Oktoberfest grounds.
The Swiss Alps, in addition to their natural beauty have become a sort of tourist haven for extreme sports over the last decade or so. While I didn’t have it in me to try skydiving, canyoning or rafting this time around, a leisurely parachute ride with Lucas seemed like a great way to experience a bit of extreme sport. Little did I know that paragliding wasn’t all slow-paced — Lucas threw in a few tricks in the middle to get my heart racing.
(Special thanks to Outdoor Interlaken for giving me a great deal on paragliding.)
Here’s a video I captured at my home for the a month, Italy’s island of Capri. Okay, it wasn’t really my home, but twice a week I led groups on a private boat tour around the island, pointing out the exquisite rock formations and dramatic cliffs that fell right into the sea. After we arrived, I sent my group out on their own and, “for their benefit,” I told them I’d be at the beach all day if they needed anything. I then spent the rest of the day chilling out at this beautiful beach; reading, listening to my iPod and napping. After about five hours, my group would come back to join me and we’d chill out and drink beers while we waited for the ferry to take us back to the mainland.
Walking the streets of Florence, Italy already feels like going through a time machine. To get to the old town you cross the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge so beautiful Hitler expressly ordered it’s survival while Nazis where destroying all the other bridges in town. The city’s walls still stand, and signs of the Renaissance bleed through every building in the old town.
Imagine my surprise then, when I happened upon this full Renaissance parade marching through the streets on the morning of Easter Sunday. It was as if I’d been transported back in time several centuries.
I’d stumbled upon a 1000-year-old tradition, the Scoppio del Carro. Literally translated “explosion of the cart,” it’s an elaborate Easter ritual that start with two simultaneous parades processing through town, one led by two bulls carrying a wagon. The wagon is delivered to the square in front of Brunelleschi’s famous Duomo, where Easter mass is in session. Some pomp and circumstance ensues, then the church doors are swung open and a firework shaped like a dove rockets out from the nave, striking the fireworks cart and sending it into a blaze of glory. The daytime fireworks last about 15 minutes and are quite dramatic, encompassing red, purple and white smoke and reaching a crescendo as three Easter flags drop out form the top of the cart.
The Arc de Triumphe is surrounded by the Place Charles de Gaulle roundabout, the busiest and most dangerous roundabout in the world. So dangerous is it that most insurance companies won’t insure you if you crash in the middle of the roundabout. Why is it so busy? Not only is it one of Paris’ main interchanges, it also leads to one of the most famous shopping districts in the world, the Champs Élysées. It’s a busy street that until a few years ago didn’t allow chain stores — but of course, now that chain stores have been allowed the beating heart of Paris is filled with Tommy Hilfigers, Hugo Bosses and the ubiquitous H&Ms. I figured there wasn’t better place to try biking on Paris’ excellent Velib bike program. Here I am, navigating the most dangerous roundabout in the world on a public bicycle in the city of lights.
I wanted to give you a tour of the city I’ve called my home for the last year, but in this internet age, I knew I needed to be as concise as possible. So in the video below, you’ll find a full tour of Cardiff’s city centre in under two minutes. Watch for its famed arcades, the national stadium of Wales, the hustle-and-bustle of St. Mary’s Street and the sleek new St. David’s Shopping Center.
The capital of Wales has been good to me. I’ll be sad to leave it in just twenty-one short days.