Image for This Time-Lapse Video Will Make You Weep For Sydney’s Lost Nightlife

This Time-Lapse Video Will Make You Weep For Sydney’s Lost Nightlife

Written by Tom Williams on June 29, 2016

With Sydney still feeling the effects of its controversial lockout laws, a sombre new time-lapse video is acting as a sad reminder of some of the top-notch venues the city has lost over the past few years.

Sydney-based production company Shifted Pictures has spent months creating a short film titled Closed Sydney (below), which highlights the deserted scenes at closed venues like The Flinders Hotel, Hugos, Soho and Darlinghurst’s Exchange Hotel, paired with a solemn original song called Say Goodbye created by Art vs Science’s Jim Finn.

Closed Sydney‘s creators say they made the video to “document the stillness that has settled over the once bustling heart of Sydney”.

Shifted Pictures co-founders Dave May and Tim Pass have close ties to the local music scene, having filmed live performances and music videos, and they say that while the idea for the project came easily, it was a sobering process (no pun intended).

“Deciding to create this project was easy. It was something we were passionate about. But when it came to actually going out and spending hours on those empty streets, that’s when it really sank in. Every other window has a ‘For Lease’ sign in it and it was just so eerily quiet,” the pair say.

“When we did run into locals they would just tell us that the place was ‘dead’ now. That it had lost its soul. It wasn’t the Kings Cross they knew.”

jimmy liks exterior 2016 source supplied by shifted pictures
The exterior of Jimmy Liks in Potts Point / Photo: Supplied

Speaking about Sydney’s lockout laws, Jim Finn says:

“A city’s nightlife is the heart of its creative culture. Grand plans and grander ideas are born from bars, clubs and dance floors. Where friends and lovers are forged in the later hours.

“To kill this is to stop the beating heart of a city’s creative soul, to snuff out relationships before they can take a breath. Goodbye art. Goodbye love.”

Closed Sydney was created using motion-control time-lapse technology which moves the camera on three different axis while it takes photos. Each shot in the video took up to an hour to shoot, with the final product consisting of over 3,800 individual stills which have been combined into a video.

Sydney’s lockout laws were implemented in February 2014, and restrict patrons from entering CBD venues after 1:30am, restrict drinks from being served after 3am, and restrict takeaway alcohol from being purchased after 10pm.

The findings from a review into Sydney’s lockout laws are expected to be released in August this year.

Watch Closed Sydney below, alongside the lyrics to its accompanying soundtrack by Jim Finn.

Watch: Closed Sydney – Lockouts Timelapse

Jim Finn – ‘Say Goodbye’ Lyrics

Don’t you believe it
It’s too late to change this now
I guess I’m leaving
Somehow I let you down

Say goodbye to better times
Say goodbye to you and I

I get the feeling
We’re part of a bigger game
And I’m not the reason
But somehow I get the blame

Say goodbye to better times
Say goodbye to you and I
It’s been so quiet every night
Say goodbye to you and I

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