Time Lapse: The Making of Darkness Visible Afghanistan

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In 2011, along with Leandro Badalotti and Brian Storm, I produced Seamus Murphy’s A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan. It remains the largest, most complex project I’ve ever tackled.

Seamus began work in Afghanistan in 1994. By 2010, he had made 14 trips to the country, producing more than 35,000 images and recording 25-plus hours of video interviews. Leandro and I spent the better part of 4 months organizing the vast amount of material.

To document our editing progress, I wrote a Python script that generated a jpeg screen grab every five minutes.

The result is a time lapse that begins on June 6 and ends November 8, 111 weekdays later. There are approximately 4,300 images in total: one frame for every five minutes of work.

You’ll see the entire project take shape, from radio cuts to final output.

And if you’d like to learn more about our editing methodology, please join Tim McLaughlin and I for the next MediaStorm Editing Workflow Workshop.