One-time Barcelona resident Ben Holbrook spent lockdown trawling through old video footage and honing his video editing skills. Read his story and watch the resulting short film below.
One of the worst things about lockdown life has been not being able to visit my beloved Barcelona. It was my home for so many years, and although I no longer live there, it’s still where my heart and soul belongs.
It’s hard to say exactly what it is I miss so much… Obviously I miss the wine and the tapas and the lazy afternoons spent strolling (and sometimes stumbling) from bodega to bodega. I miss cycling along the dusty pine-scented tracks of Collserola, peering down on the city glistening below. I miss my friends – the chasers of dreams, the forever young.
And I miss wandering around aimlessly with my camera, following the crowds in search of scenes of life being well-lived. I almost always had my camera with me, not only because of my blog, but also because I knew there was always a high probability I’d stumble upon something fascinating, something worth sharing with the world.
One of the best things about my travel-less lockdown life is that I’ve had time to go through my archives and dig out all the content I never had time to publish. I’ve found thousands of photos from my years in Barcelona that never saw the light of day, and plenty of video footage too.
I recently published a few of my favourite Barcelona photos on my blog. They’re not necessarily of the “must see” landmarks, but they reveal something of my inner world in Barcelona: everyday scenes of the street I lived on, my local fruteria, people sitting on benches in the evening sun. I miss this simple existence, but it makes me happy to think of all the locals there now who are able to start living this way once again.
More to the point, I have also had time to hone video editing skills, which I have used to produce a short film with the footage I shot circa 2017-19. The film begins on the rooftops of Eixample and moves through the city (and Mediterranean sea) as day becomes night, climaxing with the thunderous rhythms and explosions of La Merce burning up on Via Laietana. It makes my heart race to relive that night!
The film plays like a single day, “a day in the life” if you will, but it’s more than that. It encapsulates an entire life lived in this glorious metropolis – my life, and maybe your life too.
So here it is, chicos, for your viewing pleasure only, a Ben Holbrook film: Barcelona. A Day. A Life. I hope you love it, and I hope to see you there soon!