It’s incredible to think about what people in the 1920s went through to put food on the table. The title of this video describes how the men in the film risked their lives to build iconic skyscrapers in New York. The likely truth is that they risked their lives for their families and futures and not for New York itself.
When you watch the video and notice the complete lack of safety precautions, it’s easy to feel some sense of pride for those men. Just over a minute into the video, you’ll see a guy throwing red hot rivets up some floors to another person, who catches them in a bucket. Scenes like these are relatively alien to us when you consider current safety practices, OSHA rules, and well… self-preservation instincts.
What I relate to, however, are the people filming this construction process. To be at such ridiculous heights and assumingly, without any kind safety harnesses or what we would consider reasonable practices, is insane. I’m also guessing that they’re probably not filming with something as small as a GoPro.
For many architectural photographers, video is the next step forward. As an industry, this area seems to be growing especially due to how it can be more interactive and telling of what a space feels like. This is something I’ve been working on for my clients and I have an understanding of what’s required to film a location. Based on this I find this video a little unbelievable. Even the moving clips in the video are extremely well stabilized, and that is incredibly impressive to me.
Check out the full video linked above to see how people worked on and filmed architecture in the 1920s.