The Sandpit – New York in Miniature

by Iain Alexander

Sam O’Hare’s award winning ‘Sandpit’ is a classic artwork of film-making that captures New York city in stunning ‘miniature’ detail.

It kind of reminds me of that strategy game on the computer called ‘Sim City 3000’ where you can play as a city mayor and build up a metropolis from scratch with a ‘God’ like overview.

That fantasy feels translated into reality with Sam’s beautifully shot time-lapse of New York’s hustle and bustle from the air.

So how was the film made, and what kind of VFX was used to make this possible? Sean revealed that he had used a Nikon D3, and shot his footage (stills) using a variety of lenses including the Tamron 17-50mm. Stills were taken at 4ps and he did over 35000 takes during a 5-day shoot. The tilt-shift effects were applied in post and colour graded with Adobe light room.

All in all, this is a fantastic piece of artwork that puts the standard very high, particularly the framing of the shots, the editing structure and the variety of locations both during the day and at night: a Vimeo classic.

The Sandpit