How'd they do it? A creator of 'Finding Portland' explains

How'd they do it? A creator of 'Finding Portland' explains »Play Video
Ben Canales demonstrates how he and the team with "Uncage the Soul Productions" used this cart to take photographs of the Vista House in the Columbia River Gorge and use them in their new video "Finding Portland."

PORTLAND, Ore. – One of the hottest videos on the Internet was shot right here. It's called "Finding Portland" and it showcases the city of Portland through stunning time-lapse photography.

But how did the creators do it? Ben Canales, one of the filmmakers let KATU in on some of the behind-the-scenes secrets Thursday.

Tens of thousands of shots were put together to create the 3 minute, 54 second video.

Canales and the team with "Uncage the Soul Productions" spent 51 days shooting almost 309,000 individual photographs.

"We did all the math and figured, with all the time that was involved, there's probably just shy under four hours of work per finished second," Canales said.

The latest video is a follow-up to their hugely popular "Finding Oregon" that's been seen more than a million times.

Both videos are a mesmerizing juxtaposition of high-speed and slow motion.

The filmmakers used several pieces of cool equipment to make their video. One piece is called a motion rail. The camera takes one shot, is moved a little along the rail, and takes another shot. It’s done that way hundreds, perhaps thousands of times for a single scene.

"The camera geek talk is, 'move shoot move,'" Canales said. "That little bit of motion just gives us as filmmakers an ability to show the scene and tell it in a storytelling kind of way."

Another tool was a three-wheeled cart that was designed by a friend. The camera, attached to a tripod, stands on a platform. It was used to photograph the scene of the Vista House at Crown Point in the Columbia River Gorge.

A remote-controlled contraption Canales called a "hexicopter" let them capture the iconic "Portland, Oregon" sign in Old Town by flying the camera past the sign.

"We knew we wanted to use the sign, but that's probably one of the most photographed and filmed things in the city, so how do we show it in a new way? This (the hexicopter) just came in and filled that gap perfectly."

But Canales and crew still had to venture to some usually off-limit locations – like the top of the Fremont Bridge.

But the time-lapse photography shown in the video is spectacular.

But for why these time-lapse videos are suddenly so hot, Canales said it's "something to share that shows the experience of living here. I think people just latch onto that and love to see."

The team shot the "Finding Portland" video to show during a presentation this weekend. It was part of the Ted-X lecture series. The video got a two-minute standing ovation.

Watch "Finding Portland"