Kaid Benfield Archive


Amazing, animated film clip showing a city's evolution

Kaid Benfield

Posted March 3, 2010 at 1:36PM

, , , , , ,

Via a post by Patrick James on the GOOD blog, I came across this amazing video (actually the 3-minute finish to a 9-minute film).  The technique is "stop-motion paper animation," and the creator is Rob Carter.

We don't see the beginning, when the film shows Charlotte's very first house, but we do see it from about late 20th century to the present and into the future, and eventually to a rather startling reclamation by nature.  Here's part of the description from the Vimeo site:

Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, primarily due to the continuing influx of the banking community, resulting in an unusually fast architectural and population expansion that shows no sign of faltering despite the current economic climate. However, this new downtown Metropolis is therefore subject to the whim of the market and the interest of the giant corporations that choose to do business there. Made entirely from images printed on paper, the animation literally represents this sped up urban planners dream, but suggests the frailty of that dream, however concrete it may feel on the ground today. Ultimately the video continues the city development into an imagined hubristic future, of more and more skyscrapers and sports arenas and into a bleak environmental future. It is an extreme representation of the already serious water shortages that face many expanding American cities today; but this is less a warning, as much as a statement of our paper thin significance no matter how many monuments of steel, glass and concrete we build.

I highly recommend watching in full-screen mode with the sound on:


Metropolis by Rob Carter - Last 3 minutes from Rob Carter on Vimeo.

I also higly recommend the entire film, which you can view on Rob Carter's own site.