Video: Watch Norwich photographer/filmmaker’s two minutes of Barcelona magic

Screen grab from Rob Whitworth's time-lapse video of Barcelona. Photo: Rob Whitworth Screen grab from Rob Whitworth's time-lapse video of Barcelona. Photo: Rob Whitworth

Tuesday, July 15, 2014
9:55 AM

A two-minute video of Barcelona created by a Norwich photographer and filmmaker has gone viral, and is being watched by about 400 people around the world simultaneously.

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Globe-trotting Norwich time-lapse photographer Rob Whitworth at his 'local' - the Alexandra Tavern in Stafford Street. Photo: Bill SmithGlobe-trotting Norwich time-lapse photographer Rob Whitworth at his 'local' - the Alexandra Tavern in Stafford Street. Photo: Bill Smith

Rob Whitworth, 32, used a state-of-the-art hyperlapse technique he calls ‘flow-motion’ to show the Spanish city in all its glory.

He used 26,014 still photographs in the video, which took 363 hours to complete including 78 hours shooting and 179 hours of post production.

‘Barcelona in Flow-Motion - A fast moving short film’, which was shot in May, is one of a number of city portraits he has created.

He gained his first-class honours degree in photography from the Norwich School of Art & Design, now NUA.

Currently based in Shanghai, China, his mother still lives in Norwich, and his wife’s family live in Diss. He’s currently on holiday staying with his family in Norwich.

Speaking from his favourite city pub, the Alexandra Tavern in Stafford Street, he said: “The Barcelona video, which was a month’s work, has had 1m views on vimeo in five days, and 500,000 in just two days. I’ve worked out that 400 people are watching it at any moment. It’s nuts to think it’s gone viral.

“The Catalan Tourism board asked five filmmakers to document different areas of Catalunya. I chose the locations in Barcelona. The great thing about working with the support of the board was it effectively gave me the keys to the city, the government owned bits at least.

“The storyboarding phase is about identifying a city’s key attributes, what defines it, and then finding the locations and shooting methods to make it cool.”

He was given access to many remarkable landmarks in the city, and once found himself alone filming at the main opera house.

He added: “I had a fantastic time adventuring around Barcelona’s winding streets making this film.

“I like videos that are quite short and require a short attention span. I used four cameras on the film.”

Already this year he has worked on shoots for the upcoming ‘One Planet’ series for the BBC Natural History Unit, a short promotional film documenting McDonalds entry into the Vietnamese market, a city video of Pyongyang, North Korea, and a 30-second introduction for a Chinese language blockbuster film.

Born in Ipswich, he grew up in Framlingham and moved to Norwich to study.

He said: “I always wanted to travel and wanted specifically to do time-lapse. In 2011 I flew out to central Vietnam. My first video was seen by 700,000 people in just three days.

“Then we moved to Kuala Lumpar. I’ve still got lots of Malaysian fans on Facebook. I was keen on getting a portfolio together, so we then moved to Shanghai.

“I’m lucky that I have amassed a body of work that means I’m getting a lot of offers. I’ve got a big project in Dubai at the end of the year.”

He believes the current craze for time-lapse videos is a result of the ‘Ken Burns Effect’ from about 10 years ago. He said: “It has evolved from that and digital SLR cameras made it possible, and it’s grown from that.

“Time-lapse is the best way of telling a story of a city. I like the creative possibilities of time lapse, as you can travel through buildings, and it’s as complicated as you want it to be.”

He said he would love to do a Norwich time-lapse video, but he has not received any interest from any potential British clients.

Are you a videomaker/ filmmaker based in the Norwich area? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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