Tanvi Misra is a staff writer for CityLab covering immigrant communities, housing, economic inequality, and culture. She also authors Navigator, a weekly newsletter for urban explorers (subscribe here). Her work also appears in The Atlantic, NPR, and BBC.
"Gotham City SF" is a brooding, dramatically scored montage of Bay life.
A while back, we were all so over time-lapse videos of cities. Then House of Cards happened, and it brought back the style with its iconic opening credits that show time sweeping through the U.S. capital with authority—carried by a score as powerful as Frank Underwood himself. A new time-lapse film attempts to create the same effect, but this time in San Francisco.
"Gotham City SF" is the creation of photographer Toby Harriman. The idea for the film came to him in 2012 after he became enthralled with a brooding, black-and-white, glossy style of cityscape photography he calls "Gotham." Since then he has collected the footage, edited it, and set it to a dramatic original cinematic score composed by James Everingham, a young U.K. composer (he was only 14 at the time!).
"This is my vision come to life after hours of setting up, shooting, and editing," Harriman writes in the film's introduction. "It is my art and my love for San Francisco, photography, and time-lapse."
The video seriously seems like the opening to a Ridley Scott movie in which a ruggedly handsome-but-tormented male protagonist defeats the villain and his inner demons by being a general badass. Watch it here: