A Haunting Time-Lapse Study of an Abandoned Asylum

Two filmmakers used HDR (high dynamic range) photography to capture amazing contrast and detail inside a century-old mental institution. 

Two filmmakers used HDR (high dynamic range) photography to capture amazing contrast and detail inside a century-old mental institution. Drew Geraci and Drew Breese combine polished post production and a dramatic original score by lenn9o9n for a stylized take on a the defunct building. The filmmakers decided not to disclose the location of the place, but explain that it opened in the 1920s and was "abandoned decades ago." It's still full of surprising objects (who left all those roller skates all over the place?) and frightening equipment from another era of mental health practice. 

"Our seven month journey into the Asylum led us on many adventures; from dodging security vehicles, ghostly figures and even a meth head," the filmmakers explain on their Vimeo page:

This is no place for the faint of heart. Asbestos blanketed every room we entered like new winter snow, so shooting was sometimes difficult.

This project is a combination of traditional HDR, tone-mapping, and standard time-lapse techniques. With the use of the Dynamic Perception Stage Zero and a Merlin head, we were able to capture the grit and the grime of this wondrous place, like it had never been captured before. Every single frame in this production is a still photograph, no video was shot. It took nearly 35,000 individual frames over 7 months to complete this project.

They share more about the process of shooting in a quick making-of video:

For more work by Drew Geraci and Drew Breese, visit http://www.thevoder.com/.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

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