If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this incredible travel video. It’s a 1-minute film called MOVE, and if you have any urge to get out of your house or cubicle, you’ll find it incredibly inspiring.

It’s based on an extremely simple concept. Basically, a guy travels the world and we see one second of him walking in each location. When edited together, MOVE is a fluid and mesmerizing experience that’s a seamless modern update on classic stop-motion photography.

Take one look at this film and you’ll either say “Meh, it’s all faked with green screen” or else you’ll look at your cubicle walls and vow to yourself, “This year, I’m going to save more money so I can travel in that guy’s footsteps.”

Walking field sun

The film’s silent ‘star’ is Sydney actor, Andrew Lees. But this isn’t some high-drama action film. There’s no plot, no love interest, no dialogue, fight scenes or conflict, and no stunts (except for a quick shot of Lees driving a scooter…oh, and he also successfully leaps over a tiny traffic sign).

Instead of drama and suffering, you just see him walking cheerfully towards you, away from you, and across your line of sight in some of the world’s most exotic locations.

Commissioned by STA Travel Australia, the film was carefully choreographed, directed and edited by independent filmmaker Rich Mereki from Melbourne. Along with his buddy Lees and his DOP buddy Tim White, they travelled to 11 countries in 44 days, and filmed three short films: MOVE, EAT, and LEARN. Mereki posted them all online last summer with this caption: “3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food… into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films… = a trip of a lifetime.”

By now, these films have been seen by tens of millions of people around the planet. And if you like the film’s score, you can download it from iTunes here.

Walking colorful
During interviews after the filming, Mereki says that working 18-hour days and catching flights every 48-72 hours was pretty draining. But don’t feel bad for him, not for a single second.

Places he visited included Hollywood, Venice Beach, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Rome, The Vatican, Barcelona, Paris, Venice, and Thailand.

Can you spot any more locales? I’d love to know which ones I’ve missed. Meanwhile, I’ll try to figure them all out by hitting the space bar during each clip.

Ultimately, this film had me thinking four things:

1)    on one short film site, viewers gave it 3,011 likes and 22 dislikes. Other than seething envy, why would anyone dislike this film? Did the filmmakers secretly do something evil in every second country? Or do North Americans get scared when we see someone walking instead of driving?

2)    this Lees guy is pretty short (5′ 8½”) so he’s destined for Hollywood stardom

3)    instead of moving from apartment to apartment, this year I want to move from country to country

4)    if you could film yourself doing one activity around the world, what would it be? Would you dance around the world? Sing? Play the ukulele? Cure cancer in a mobile lab?

Let me know, as I’d love to hear how this film inspires you.

— Ken Hegan

Bing: how to make a short travel film

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Images are low-res screen captures from the HD film MOVE