When filmmaker Cy Kuckenbacker injured his shoulder last summer, he traded in swimming and surfing for the decidedly less exciting hobby of kite flying. Now he’s taken 20 minutes of kite footage and turned it into a mesmerizing time-collapsed video that shows a flock of red kites swarming and circling the beach like seagulls.
Using Adobe After Effects to time collapse the kite and boil the whole thing down to just under 88 seconds, Kuckenbacker managed to inject a bit of action into the most leisurely of summer activities. He shot the video on a gray beach day in San Diego county near where the U.S. borders Baja Mexico–an area that Kuckenbacker describes as rich but politically fraught due to drug conflict and immigration debate. “We shot at the border because it has predictable wind and the area doesn’t attract crowds,” he writes in the video description. “It’s serendipity that I made a video about hidden complexity in a place with an enormous amount of hidden complexity.” Kite flying has never been more exciting.
For those curious about the technical process of putting the film together, Kuckenbacker also created a very detailed tutorial video.