A look into the past via timelapse… “Asylum” – a Canon EOS 5D Mark II short

by planetmitch1 Comment

There are a variety of ways to do documentaries and you don’t often see one that is purely visual and done in timelapse with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II – but “Asylum” is one that really sets a mood. We enjoyed it so we thought we’d share it with you – maybe you’ll see a different way to shoot something next time you go out.

And a nice little Q&A to go with it.


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Take a dark journey into the forgotten, where time stands still. The paint has peeled off the walls and the only occupants are the souls of those left behind. This is the Asylum.

Opened in the early 1920s, the Asylum closed down and was abandoned decades ago. Rooms remain untouched – left as they were when the last of the employees departed. These buildings stand as a testament to the horrors and miss treatment that patients had to endure during the time of its operation.

Our 7 month journey into the Asylum led us on many adventures; from dodging security vehicles, ghostly figures and even a meth head. 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.

In return, it took tremendous help from many individuals to complete this project.

Many thanks to, Russ Scalf, Chris Griffin, Nick Kurtz, Brett Cote, Walter Wayman and Laura Buchta.Without you, this project wouldn’t be possible.

Original Score by: lenn9o9n featuring Eyeway

***Please do not ask where this is, as we cannot disclose this information***

Our Equipment:

x2 Canon 5D Mark 2

Canon 16-35mm F/2.8 II

Canon 24-105mm F/4

Canon 50mm F1.4

Dynamic Perception Stage Zero + Merlin Head

Produced in:

Adobe After Effects CS5.5

Adobe Light Room 3

Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5

Follow us on Twitter: @TheVoder



via Asylum on Vimeo.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


Seems like an absolutely immense amount of work - It would be interesting if you would show us a behind the scenes look at the post - process to make this film. All that HDR! How did you get it so well matched up? Fantastic work! PS Please wear a respirator!