SHADOW OF A DYNAST is the first and main movie of my Bagan timelapse pentalogy, using (motion controlled) timelapse, hyperlapse and dronelapse. The movie shows you one of worlds’ most incredible man-built locations as it still remains after a thousand years. It aims to capture that element of time that this location has withstood, while capturing the temples as they have survived until today, on this planet, in this galaxy. At the height of the Pagan Dynasty, this city was the centre of the universe with well over two million people trading between the ten thousand temples, by har the largest city on earth. Now all that remains is the ‘Shadow of a Dynasty’.
Capturing the footage for this movie turned out to become the craziest thing I’ve ever done. Apparently no one is allowed at the temples at night. One of the reasons are snakes. Myanmar turns out to be the deadliest country in the world for it. Long story short: I got way too close for comfort and the whole experience was more uncomfortable/dangerous than any other project ever before. I risked a lot for this project and spent a lot. It took me over 20 months, 3 visits of 11 weeks in total to get all the shots for this big project of 5 timelapse movies (a pentalogy) and a stunning drone movie. That lightning footage at the end was the ‘cherry on the icing of the cake’, you will never anything like it ever again, except in my Rogue Storm movie which is about that special night it occurred.
Bagan is an ancient city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, the first kingdom that unified the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar.
Simply Taiwan is a cinematic short travel film that was captured during my 7 day trip to Taiwan. From the various bustling streets of Ximending, peaceful landscapes and temples at Kaohsiung, traditions and atmosphere at Jiufen and Shifen Old Street and the various night markets scattered throughout Taipei, Simply Taiwan attempts to capture all of those emotions and experiences and delivers it in its rawest form.
Produced by Marcello Ercole / Matteo Di Maria
Music by Philip Logan, Mohamed Mostafafar, Max H
A long journey to Northern Vietnam. From Hanoi to Halong, from Cat Ba to Nam Dinh, from Ha Giang to Sa pa. Thanks to all the people we met on our way who helped us with sincere humility in this life experience.
From longtail canal boats to intimate dinner cruises along the river, professional local guides ensure you will see the unique sights and sounds that make up Asia’s most vibrant city.
Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is a large city known for ornate shrines and vibrant street life. The boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds its network of canals, flowing past the Rattanakosin royal district, home to opulent Grand Palace and its sacred Wat Phra Kaew Temple. Nearby is Wat Pho Temple with an enormous reclining Buddha and, on the opposite shore, Wat Arun Temple with its steep steps and Khmer-style spire.
The aromas here are rich and pungent — smoked, cured, dried and fresh seafood, along with many forms of meat, both raw and cooked. The awnings over the stalls create a shadowy atmosphere that’s punctuated by thin streaks of dancing light.
Early this year, in search of inspiration beyond the food scene in New York (and not yet locked down by the spread of Covid-19), I spent two weeks visiting and documenting life among the fresh markets and street vendors in and around Bangkok.
It made for an unlikely itinerary since tourists in Thailand often spend only a day or two in the capital before heading south toward the country’s many islands.
Totally in love with all what I discovered. I had a wonderful four week trip to Bali and I took this footage home. Take your break and visit Indonesia to discover this lovely part of our beautiful world!
Bali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. The island is home to religious sites such as cliffside Uluwatu Temple. To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars, while Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns. The island is also known for its yoga and meditation retreats.
Lara Lee, the author of the new cookery book ‘Coconut & Sambal’, shares one of her favourite recipes.
About Coconut & Sambal
Be transported to the bountiful islands of Indonesia by this collection of fragrant, colourful and mouth-watering recipes.
‘An exciting and panoramic selection of dishes and snacks’
– Fuchsia Dunlop, author of The Food of Sichuan
‘Start with Lara’s fragrant chicken soup, do lots of exploring on the way whilst dousing everything with spoonfuls of sambal, and end with her coconut and pandan sponge cake’
– Yotam Ottolenghi, author of SIMPLE
Coconut & Sambal reveals the secrets behind authentic Indonesian cookery. With more than 80 traditional and vibrant recipes that have been passed down through the generations, you will discover dishes such as Nasi goreng, Beef rendang, Chilli prawn satay and Pandan cake, alongside a variety of recipes for sambals: fragrant, spicy relishes that are undoubtedly the heart and soul of every meal.Lara uses simple techniques and easily accessible ingredients throughout Coconut and Sambal, interweaving the recipes with beguiling tales of island life and gorgeous travel photography that shines a light on the magnificent, little-known cuisine of Indonesia.
What are you waiting for? Travel the beautiful islands of Indonesia and taste the different regions through these recipes.
From an Architectural Digest article (April 3, 2020):
Whimsical, wild, and wacky are but a few words that most aptly describe Bill Bensley’s unique design aesthetic and the exceptional hotels born from it. Credited with upping the ante on Southeast Asia’s hospitality design, he is one of the most intriguing artists in the field today.
Originally from California, Bill has called Asia home since 1984 when he lived in Singapore and Hong Kong before moving to Bangkok and setting up Bensley, a full-service hospitality design atelier made up of architects, landscape architects, interior designers, and artists.
“I can take you around the house and say, ‘The base of this column exists at Capella Ubud, and the top of this bathroom door is Four Seasons Chiang Mai, and this lantern is the prototype for all the lamps that we used at Four Seasons Koh Samui.’ There are still remnants of pieces here from probably 100 different projects,” says Bensley.