If you love Cape Town and frequent social media, you have more than likely seen one of the beautiful time-lapse creations shot by Rory Allen. As Rory and I chatted about the process, his love for what he produces and the technical side of it shone, even through his reserved nature.
Rory was first introduced to Pop-Up CineMA through mutual friends, as with most, and brought along his equipment one evening to a pop-up Drive-In in Camps bay. With a love for the idea of drive-in’s, Rory took the opportunity to attend as there have been none in Cape Town since ‘back in the day’. After a few edits, Rory had created one of the few Pop-Up CineMA idents to come out of South Africa.
After two years of studying at Ruth Prowse, Rory’s interest in photography grew as he was taught the basics of film photography, including concepts, darkroom techniques and even Photoshop. Disliking the fine art side of things and preferring the digital world, Rory then attended Concept Interactive. Starting out in the creative industry as a graphic designer, Rory then delved into the world of web design. This led him to London where he would freelance in web design every summer for five years.
During those five years, Rory was able to buy a camera and travel Europe, increasing his photography skills by shooting ‘typical tourist’ pictures. A mere hobby, he never thought one of those casual photographs would change the course of his life. On a short visit to Stuttgart, with its inner city forests, wine farms and cobbled roads, he stumbled upon a wedding in a courtyard. The dapper guests paired with the courtyard’s old school style was attractive and he snapped a casual still of an original white Fiat 500 with a bouquet of flowers on its bonnet.
Adding the photograph to his Flickr account, Rory tagged it with related words, hoping to attract attention. And, over seven months later, including a period of deliberation, the photograph was bought by the USA advertising representatives of Fiat and Chrysler.
With this unexpected turn, Rory was able to start something new, moving back to Cape Town permanently to start shooting and leaving design and investing some of the earnings in becoming a local distributor for an international brand of filming accessories which he distributes locally. He has now decided to expand this venture along with a good mate of his Derek Holt and has started a company called CineGear.
While still in London, Rory bought a cheap intervalometer (a device that counts intervals of time and triggers a camera to take an exposure) and created his first, and then the longest timelapse of the London Eye. While still freelancing, he bought a dolly, or rail system, and gradually figured out the technical requirements. For a very long time, the trial and error of shooting, processing and story-telling were challenges that Rory worked through in his spare time, eventually coming to a point where he is able to use his technical knowledge and experience to charge for the work he created.
The past two years have seen Rory’s time-lapse skills grow from strength to strength, and is currently working on his stock library. Some of his ‘passion projects’ are portalled through a small production company he has with his brother called Strandwolf and they have just begun to work on a series of Take Away Shows, filming, in one shot, a complete live music performance.
Follow Rory on Facebook for regular time-lapses that will fill your soul with inspiration.