This Timelapse Video Of Boston Captures All the Iconic Spots

The director says he was inspired by the city, and wanted to pay tribute to the area.

This is Boston from Bodhi Films on Vimeo.

Filmmaker Sean Collins says he created this timelapse video that captures all the most iconic spots in Boston as a tribute to the “great city.”

Bostonians are proud of their city and I wanted to create a video they could be proud of, and which attempts to capture the greatness that is Boston. I’ve had the opportunity to explore Boston and be inspired by it countless times, and I tried to channel that inspiration into this video! I hope Bostonians enjoy seeing their city through my eyes.

To get that message across, Collins included shots from the tops of some of the taller buildings in Boston, showing the Zakim Bridge both at night, and during the day, and added panning ground shots from areas like the Seaport District, Fenway Park, and the Christian Science Plaza. Faneuil Hall was also captured from multiple angles, high above the city streets.

The four minute video, posted to Vimeo on Tuesday, was created with the help of Collins’ friend Kenan Alsarabi, who worked on the production side of the project, he said. It was also edited and pulled together with people from Dynamic Perception, who provided the motion control sliders so Collins could capture certain moments around the city.

According to his Vimeo information, Collins is a writer and director from Los Angeles, and he is the head of Bodhi Films production company. The company is described as “a feature film production company dedicated to creating enlightening works or art through motion picture.” The word “Bodhi” means “enlightenment” in Sanskrit.

Here is what Collins had to say about the video:

How long were you in Boston in order to make this?

The video took two weeks to shoot and about two more weeks to edit.

How did you get access to some of those really high spots, like above the Zakim Bridge and Faneuil Hall?

Thankfully, the wonderful people at the Custom House Tower were very kind and allowed me to film from the top of the iconic clock tower.  I think it’s the best view in Boston because it’s open-air, without a window separating you from the city.  I highly recommend anyone visiting or living in Boston, to check it out.

What sort of cameras and technology did you use to capture these moments?

I used Canon DSLR cameras and lenses, a few GoPro cameras, and a motion control dolly created by Dynamic Perception.  The dolly is computer controlled and allows for movement during time lapse.  I actually used a helicopter with a camera on it for one of the shots of the George Washington statue.

What was it about Boston that inspired you so much?

I think Boston is one of America’s most beautiful cities and sadly has been overlooked by many of the time lapse filmmakers in my field.  Cities like Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco have been graced with some great videos by some amazingly talented filmmakers and I knew that Boston deserved it’s day in the sun.

Are you from the area?

I’m a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, but I’ve been coming to Boston over the years to visit my longtime friend from film school, Kenan Alsarabi.  Kenan helped me shoot all of this and it was his idea to go up to the Custom House Tower to get those shots, so none of this would have been possible without his help.

Did a lot of people approach you while you were making this and ask what it was all about? 

Yes, at times I had a six-foot-long motion control camera dolly on sidewalks looking up at buildings, and people stopped and asked me what I was doing.  Anyone with the authority to tell me to leave actually let me stay and continue to film.  I was amazed at how accommodating Bostonians are to filmmakers, something I’m not used to in [Los Angeles].

OK, so what was your favorite spot out of all of these to film?

That’s a tough answer, but I’d have to say it’s standing on the top of the Custom House Tower looking down at the city without a window separating you, like at the Prudential Building where you’re forced to stare through glass windows.