Time Flies

Jaw Dropping Timelapse Video of Tokyo Airport

Amateur Tokyo-based photographer Masaya Kitaguchi is a huge fan of the timelapse technique because, in his own words: “It is possible to discover the movements you otherwise wouldn’t notice simply by compressing time”. What better place to put that to the test than at one of the busiest airways in the world, Haneda Tokyo Airport? His short video Haneda Airport Tilt Shift and Time Lapse is simply breathtaking.

The airport handles more than 70 million passengers a year, so condensing that amount of movement and activity into a short video really does make for some pretty spectacular scenes. At one point, timestamps of passengers are overlaid with that of planes, giving a haunting, ghostly effect in amongst all the modern hustle and bustle. Although it is just a hobby for Masaya, his work is anything but amateurish.

Masaya was inspired by the “near future cityscape” in the movie Bladerunner. He admits he was disappointed that the present of today isn’t as cool as the future he had imagined as a child watching that film. But his video does a good job of transforming a very contemporary scene into something that has a distinctly futuristic feel.

We asked Masaya some brief questions about the project:

The Plus: How did you get into film-making?
Masaya Kitaguchi:
In 2009 I purchased a digital camera to take images of a life-size Gundam statue
at Odaiba, Tokyo. That was the starting point for my video production. Then, I moved onto using the time-lapse technique as a hobby, developing from my use of tilt-shift.

TP: What was the motivation for the Haneda Airport video?
Once a year, I have visited Haneda Airport, so I thought why not make a film about it?

TP: Did you have to obtain any special permission to get the footage?
Luckily, no. Shooting for private use from the observatory in the airport and carpark is permitted.

TP: Are you a frequent flyer (do you like travelling by aeroplane?)
Funnily enough, no.

TP: What message do you think the video conveys?
I think it shows how well people are supported in terms of safety at airports.

TP: What will your next project be?
I don’t have any future projects planned yet in terms of video production. I only make things when I see something that I really want to capture.