This is my timelapse video of the People’s March for the future held in London on 20 October 2018.
For some time I had been planning to produce a time-lapse video of an anti-Brexit march. One of the purposes would be to help to ascertain how many people took part in the march.
I figured that if it was possible to count the people as they passed, you could gain an accurate assessment of the number of participants.
At around 1:20pm, I took up my place on St James’s Street and waited for the march to begin. When the police cars passed by, I pressed ‘record’ on the iPhone set to timelapse. It was held in a clamp on top of a small tripod. I left the phone running for some time and realised that it was running out of power and I would need to change to a different camera. I set up my Canon 70D DSLR camera and set it to video at normal speed.
I was using a box on the street, a piece of street furniture with a flat surface on top, at chest height. I was able to lean on the box and check the camera. Later I took out my MacBook Air computer and downloaded some of the footage as I was recording.
Many people smiled and a few stopped to show me their placard. A small number of people seemed to think that I was the filmmaker Michael Moore. A guy told me that with my baseball cap and reading glasses, I looked very similar to the celebrated American filmmaker. I decided to take the cap off because I didn’t want people to think I was somebody who I am not!
I stood for approximately 2 1/2 hours recording the march continuously, except for small gaps when I needed to change the memory card and at one point, insert a new battery.
When finally the police cars drove by, I assumed the march was over and I left. In fact after I had gone, I was told many more marchers came by, so unfortunately I didn’t quite get the whole of the march into my video.
By the time I got to Westminster, the speeches had finished and there were large crowds. I later discovered that earlier in the afternoon, many of the marchers had not been able to get into the square at Westminster because there were simply too many people.
The final estimate of participants was 700,000 or thereabouts. Naturally some Leavers disputed this number and maintained that the number was ‘only’ 200,000. As we have seen since then the maximum mumber of people that any Leave groups have managed to bring together is around 3000.
I started to edit the video on the bus on the way home, using my MacBook Air computer. I wanted to upload it that night after I got back, but I needed to do more editing the next day. I posted the video on YouTube and immediately linked to it on Twitter. Soon I found that people were retweeting it and retweeting it and in the end it scored over 18,000 views.
I was also contacted by an organisation who wanted to use it to try to estimate how many people took part in the march.
All in all I was a very happy to have been able to help in documenting such an important demonstration, a milestone on the road to the People’s Vote.
When the final Remain march takes place, I intend to do another timelapse.