Husband and wife team Ryan and Sheri Killackey spent over one year collecting more than 10,000 photos to create this stunning time-lapse film of the Golden State.
We asked Ryan a few questions about how he created the film, and it turns out that the video is more than just an ode to California -- it's also a love letter to his wife.
Huffington Post: What inspired this film?
Ryan Killackey: I have to give full credit to my wife Sheri as being an inspiration to start this film. Photography was a hobby that I had been practicing for only around 2 years, and I was getting better at it each day. As I became more confident in my skills, it was apparent that we should make a film. I chose to make this film about California so that I could take her to places that she had never been to. It was truly a great adventure.
Sheri and I both grew up in Southern California. She lived in La Puente, and I lived in Covina. It's still funny to me just how little Sheri knew about California before I met her. She didn't get around much when she was smaller. I found it slightly charming that she had been living in a 5 mile radius bubble. It was great to get her out and show her around. Hopefully this will inspire others to do the same.
HP: Why make this film? Are you trying to get people to move here?
RK: The film was originally intended for personal use. I thought that it would be a great family movie to keep on my hard drive, so that Sheri and I would remember these places forever. I think it truly inspires people to visit or possibly move to California, though. I have received thousands of comments and emails from people around the world, telling me how much it made them want to vacation here, or how homesick they are just from watching it.
I even had a man and his wife email me to say “thank you” for reinforcing their decision to move here in two months. They knew that they were taking a big step by bringing their family across country, and they were unsure of their decision until they saw my film. Stuff like this is truly inspiring to me. Every comment that I have received goes straight to my heart and will not be forgotten.
HP: You worked on it for over a year. How hard was it to keep going with the project?
RK: At times it was difficult to keep moving forward with the film. The first 10,000 photos that I ever took for the film were completely scrapped, because I wasn't happy with the feel of them. Setbacks always take a toll, but my biggest hurdle for completing the film was being busy with school and being a good husband to my wife.
Sheri is a Senior at Best Buy, and an expecting mother. We will be welcoming our baby girl Leah Patricia into the world within the next month. I am a Pre-Med student at Biola University, and I just graduated from Orange Coast College with a degree in Respiratory Care.
HP: How did you choose the locations?
For most locations, I looked back at my childhood and tried to remember places my parents and grandparents would bring me. My father was the first person to bring me to Sturtevant Falls when I was young, and the beauty of the waterfall made it a natural choice for including it in the film. Interesting fact: My wife was nearly bit by a rattlesnake as I was actually photographing the first waterfall scene.
For the other locations, such as the Wild Animal Park in San Diego, we merely made a family day trip out of it and I wishfully brought my camera bag and tripod. I had NO idea that I would be getting such an amazing balloon shot that day. For the scene where I am scrambling up Mormon Rock, I thought it would just be an awesome shot to have.
HP: How does this film convey what you both feel about the Golden State?
RK: I think it is easy to focus on the politics of California, and the traffic, and the taxes. It's so easy to forget just how beautiful this state is. God has created something extraordinary, and I really think people should get out and enjoy what California has to offer. There's simply nothing like it.
Keep tabs on the Killackeys by following them on Twitter @RyanKillackey.