Stories from the Heartland: Central grad creates timelapse tour through Louisville

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By Jeff D'Alessio

It starts with footage of the Louisville skyline at night and ends with a daytime shot with a mixture of clouds and a blue sky as the backdrop behind Cathedral of the Assumption Church and tall buildings.

In between, Eric Stemen, a 2001 Central Hardin High School graduate and former mechanic, takes you on a four-minute and 25-second timelapse trek through the state’s largest city.

Stemen, 30, who now lives in Louisville, said his motivation for the lengthy project, called Louisville In Motion: A timelapse tour of Louisville, Kentucky was it was something that interested him.

“I wanted to give it a try and see how it worked out,” he said.

The project started Feb. 28, 2012, and ended June 18.

In between, Stemen estimates he spent a minimum of 357 hours on the project.

“That’s a slightly conservative estimate,” he said.

After a brief stint as a mechanic where he suffered an injury to his face, Stemen decided to pursue a new career field and graduated in 2009 from Western Kentucky University with a degree in television production.

For close to two years, he has worked for Videobred, a video and multimedia production facility in Louisville.

He said on that February night in 2012, is when he ventured into the world of timelapse video as shot after shot shows clouds moving, cars driving and people walking throughout many of the sites the city is best known for such as Churchill Downs, Fourth Street Live, the KFC Yum Center, the University of Louisville and various other historic landmarks.

Stemen said he had 120 different shots from the city and 79 actually made it into the video.

He said one of the reasons he ventured into the project is that he was seeking a new hobby.

“It looks cool,” he said of the video.

Others think so as well. He was interviewed last week by USA Today and said he was surprised they had even heard about his work. He also was featured on a WDRB-TV segment.

He said he hopes the work on this project may lead to future project possibilities.

For now, he knows his first major effort into a project of this magnitude has been well received.

He started a week-long vacation Saturday to some southern states.

He hopes to get footage from the trip for another timelapse video.

Stories From the Heartland appears Mondays in The News-Enterprise. Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1757 or jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com.