This Video of NYC Without People Looks Eerily Like Actual Pre-Sandy Footage

More

The Empty America time-lapse video series uses special effects to remove all signs of life from major cities, wiping tourists and moving cars from the streets of San Francisco and Seattle. Produced by Ross Ching for Thrash Lab, the series is a spooky thought experiment -- a leap of the imagination that feels jarring because it's like nothing you've ever seen. The latest episode featuring New York City, however, came out the day Sandy made landfall and looks all too familiar after the disaster. The shot of an empty Times Square looks rather like this real photograph, taken just before the storm hit. The video's empty sidewalks and intersections look rather anticlimactic to anyone who's seen this surreal image of a completely empty Grand Central, and nothing tops this photograph of the New York City skyline gone dark

Still, Empty America is a fascinating perspective on urban life with an implicit critique of our dependence on cars (which began with Ching's Running on Empty, a similar  video about Los Angeles). The director demonstrates how he removes people and cars from his footage in a video here

For more work by Ross Ching, visit http://rossching.com/.

Jump to comments

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.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In