Mosques and skyscrapers carve a jagged silhouette into the horizon above the dense greenery of banyan trees. Passersby follow their noses into hawker centers full of street food vendors. This is Kuala Lumpur—a hub of Southeast Asia that’s both energetic and enchanting. Here, the well of inspiration for filmmakers never runs dry.

That’s why Hafiz Ismail, a VideoBlocks Marketplace contributor, still lives in his native city rather than an industry epicenter like Hollywood. You can’t quite recreate the magic of Kuala Lumpur, not even with the best CGI in the world. What’s everyday life for Ismail is filmmaking gold for the producers and editors that purchase his footage.

Ismail has known the city since birth and is able to capture viewpoints that a foreign crew may have no idea how to find. As a stock videographer, he has saved filmmakers megabucks on second units by providing the b-roll they need via instant download.

Ismail is often on the road to shoot a far-flung new destination, but when he is in town, it’s never boring. Life moves in fast forward in Kuala Lumpur—just like Ismail’s timelapse videos.

The world in shutterspeed

Ismail started his career through a passion for travel photography. “I accidentally became a videographer because I love to make timelapse clips,” he explains.

Fortunately for him, timelapse footage is one of the most popular categories on VideoBlocks. Filmmakers love using these sweeping views as establishing shots and also to indicate the passage of time, like from day to night.

Recently, Ismail took a 12-day solo trip to New Zealand’s South Island, where he gathered breathtaking timelapse footage of an array of landscapes. He cut together his favorite clips of the isle into a video tour—a piece that he feels particularly proud of.


“New Zealand really struck a chord with me,” says Ismail.

Traveling is his greatest source of inspiration and he relishes a new frontier. In addition to shooting landscapes, Ismail likes to explore the human interest aspects of different cultures.

He’s currently planning a solo trip to Iceland to observe another island country through his lenses—this time on the near opposite side of the globe.

Life as a video voyager

The community of stock videographers is growing, and that’s a good thing. Ismail loves connecting with fellow timelapse enthusiasts and sharing tips and adventures. He doesn’t mind the extra competition in the marketplace. Instead, he encourages new and aspiring filmmakers to come into the fold.

“I am always interested in hooking up with other like-minded videographers from all over the world,” Ismail continues.

Hafiz ismail New ZealandHafiz Ismail on location for a timelapse shoot

It takes a global village to capture the endless list of places, people, and things that are in demand in stock video. Whether to quench wanderlust or complete a feature-length film, the clips sold by Ismail and his contemporaries are put to use in innumerable creative ways.

After Iceland, Ismail doesn’t know where his next video voyage will take him. But even at home in Kuala Lumpur, he never has to worry about running out of material.

A Few Timelapse Clips by Hafiz Ismail

Download Hafiz Ismail’s Timelapse Videos►

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