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15 July, 2009

iMovie Obsession 2.0

I am nothing short of honored, after over 20.000 people watched my YouTube "Skyscrapers" video. Making it, almost exactly one year ago, was as fun as playing a computer game for me, and I never planned for anyone, except for a few friends, to see it. I enjoy the comments, and I thank anyone who watched it. It got me motivated to produce more content, and in past few days I indeed half finished the new video. Like the original one, it's going to be a collection of enhanced YouTube clips, but with a cool twist. All of them will be either amateur or pro footage from airplanes, helicopters & other vertical moving vehicles/objects, and will be covering the official ten greatest skylines in the World. It is planned to be released within the next few weeks.

Cities will be listed as follows (and here is the official ranking on
10. Dubai
9. Bangkok
8. Tokyo
7. Shanghai
6. Seoul
5. Sao Paulo
4. Chicago
3. Singapore
2. New York City
1. Hong Kong

This listing ranks cities by the visual impact of their skylines. Each building with 12 or more floors in the city proper is assigned points based on its floor count (see the table on The point total for each city is calculated automatically. Calculation does not include TV towers, masts, bridges, or other structures. The listing actually puts Guangzhou on the tenth position, and Dubai on eleventh, but this will change shortly, after Burj Dubai's official completion.

I set much higher standards for this project, because I want it to look professional. Here are a few highlights:
  • It is going to be in HD, but obviously not all required footage was available in such extremely high resolution. Sections about Dubai, Tokyo, Chicago, and New York City will be mostly, if not all in HD.
  • Video will be exported in a widescreen format 16:9.
  • No titles or watermarks whatsoever are allowed to be visible in the final version of the video.
  • Not a single frame should be shoot from a static viewpoint.
  • Not a single frame should be shoot from the ground level. It is all about looking down on the skyscrapers.
  • All footage must have been recorded during daylight.
  • A vast majority of clips will be enhanced with the iMovie technology called "video stabilization", which smoothens the camera motion, and stills the picture shaking. When needed, functions like "playback speed control", "reverse video" and picture enhancement will be used.
  • There will be an animated world maps, as a smooth introductions to the individual city sections.
  • There is a small chance that two versions of video will be released. The compact one, fitting within YouTube's 10 minute time cap, and an uncut one, divided in the half on two episodes.
Here is a brief preview of what it's going to be, focusing on using new technologies in iMovie 09:

If anyone knows where to get more footage of Bangkok, Shanghai, Seoul, and mostly Singapore (!), please share. It's almost as all flights around those cities were banned.

This will be a dynamite for every skyscraper lover.

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