14 July 2023

Videographer takes whole year to create 'hyperlapse' of Canberra's Centenary Trail

| James Coleman
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dave fanner on One Tree Hill

Dave Fanner on his journey. Photo: Screenshot.

A local videographer spent a whole year circumnavigating the ACT on foot and on wheels to create a seven-minute ‘hyperlapse’ showing off our seasons and events.

Using a 360-degree camera and drone, Dave Fanner captured all 145 kilometres of the Centenary Trail walking track over the course of last year, stopping past Floriade in the spring, a cricket game at Manuka Oval in summer and Balloon Spectacular in autumn.

The born-and-bred local has previous multimedia experience with The Guardian Australia, where he did a similarly fast-paced video between Bondi and Manly in NSW, followed by another in the Grampians, Victoria.

Dave has also filmed famous Australian mountaineer Andrew Lock on expeditions around Mount Everest, but he describes this latest effort as the “biggest, baddest and most ambitious hyperlapse I’ve done”.

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“I realised what works with this style of video – a good mix of architectural human-created elements and then beautiful landscapes, and Canberra has both,” he says.

“It’s not just the soulless workplace of our political elite.”

He pitched this plan to showcase the “stunning beauty Canberra has to offer” to the ACT Government’s tourism agency, Visit Canberra, and says once it got its heads around the concept, it gave him the go-ahead.

“It starts on the literal doorstep of Parliament House – where there were some strange looks – has a pitch invasion during a ​⁠Big Bash League match and ends in the basket of a hot air balloon,” Dave says.

He wears the same yellow cap the whole way “for continuity” and, depending on the weather, similarly coloured jackets. But different sections of the video see him on a mountain bike and purple Beam e-scooter, and it all climaxes with a hot-air balloon ride that almost didn’t happen.

“I always had a Plan B for each shot, but Plan B for this one was a bit shit,” he says.

“It was getting down to the last day for a usable trip up in a balloon, and I didn’t even have a spot. I just had to rely on the good graces of a pilot who might have a little space in their basket for me. It all worked out the very last day and I got to go up and finish the video exactly how I wanted to.”

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Filming was done using a 360-degree camera, to get a result similar to Google Maps street view. This was either held by hand or mounted to his cap or a drone. Other parts were done with the help of clever editing software and artificial intelligence (AI).

“I like keeping my finger on the pulse of new technologies even though I’m not super-techy,” Dave says.

“The filming was the fun part – that was hiking in the environment. I do enjoy editing but that is the hard yards – hours and hours and hours of work. For every hour of hiking, I would say it’s five to six hours of editing.”

He says people who have seen the finished product are left “brimming with pride” for Canberra, even if he is ready for some criticism.

“Everyone is pretty blown away with it,” he says.

“But I thought there might be some pushback because I have done a couple of these before and people are like, ‘This is the antithesis of what being in nature is supposed to be’. And I get that one of the huge pulls of the outdoors is the stillness and solitude and detachment from the hecticness of modern-day life. But I just think two things can be true at the same time.”

Filming and editing technology has only improved in the last six months, so Dave has high hopes for his next project.

“I’d love to go to Tasmania, for instance, another great outdoor location, or mix indoor and outdoor by sending tiny little cameras into places. I want to work on my techniques more.”

The ‘Journey Through Seasons: A Hypnotic Hyperlapse of the Canberra Centenary Trail’ video is available to watch on YouTube, but can also be enjoyed on the big screen at the Canberra Museum and Gallery until 16 July as part of the Uncharted Territory festival.

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OverheardProductions5:47 pm 16 Jul 23

I didn’t notice exactly how long this video goes for, but I feel like I’ve held my breath for that long. Absolutely stunning. Amazing. Goose bumps stuff. And yes, as one of the many Canberra diaspora, this is a beautiful reminder of the pride I have in my hometown. Thanks for sharing.

Peter Layton4:56 pm 16 Jul 23

Brilliant! Love your work

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