Thursday, April 4, 2013

Little Big World

PORTLAND – Filmmaker Joerg Daiber calls himself a "traveling tilt-shifter and time-lapser," and his latest creation – a short two-minute film that uses special photography effects to present Portland as a miniaturized toy-like town – has gone viral.

"I kind of like to put things in the right perspective. Sometimes I think people take things too seriously," Daiber said Wednesday from the office of his documentary filmmaking company, Spoonfilm, in Berlin, Germany.

"You see a familiar place, but it looks a little surreal," said Daiber, who shot the footage in early March and posted the film on Tuesday. By Wednesday evening, it had almost 14,000 hits and was buzzing around local social media circles.

The film, called "Mini Maine," opens with a classic shot of Portland Head Light. Images of a normal day in Portland then cascade past – ferries and lobster boats cut through Casco Bay, workers scurry along a snow-covered rooftop, cars navigate the streets, and people walk along streetscapes and neighborhoods. As the film ends, night falls and stormy weather adds an ominous effect, while cars traveling I-295 create a bright ribbon of light.

"I try to catch daily moments and try to be a mirror of life. To catch – in three minutes – the spirit of the place," he said.

Daiber uses tilt-shift photography to get the toy-like perspective. With a special lens or editing software, portions of each frame are in sharp, color-saturated detail, while the edges are blurred. Speeding up the film and setting it to lively classical music creates a jewel box of a film that evokes a child's model village suddenly come to life.

Some of his other work

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