Tran Scan DVD Widescreen, 8 Mins., 2004

16:9 (1.78:1) Anamorphic Enhanced

An intense meditation on the landscape of North America. NO NARRATION.

"A swift, elegant and mysterious time-lapse drive across Canada during which the point of view magically remains constant to the horizon." Northwest Film/Video Festival

"You'd be hard-pressed to learn more about  the lay of this country's land in 480 seconds."The National Post

"Stephen Arthur's new film is a good example of films that help us re-see the world." —Holly Willis, Res Magazine, 2000

Order for museums and institutions

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Tran Scan uses a new technique of telescopic*, traveling time-lapse, from the point of view of the traveler, fixed on the landscape ahead. A new form of "virtual cinematography" allows us to be zoomed-in while racing ahead at 5,700 km/h (3,500 mph) yet remain smoothly viewable throughout. This achievement was made possible only by hand-made, frame-by-frame stabilization, which took a full year to complete. (*What you're seeing in the foreground is actually 10-20 kilometers ahead of you.)  

Reframing and re-timing—changing the scales of things in space and time—these can help reveal something deeper. Here an unprecedented experience has been created by a well-conceived "reframing" of the old, ineffective cross-country time-lapse technique, a technique that until now remained undeveloped. Perhaps the most important thing to appreciate is how radically the bulk of each frame changes in a regular, wide-angle, cross-country time-lapse road film. There is no trackable reference point for viewing, and most of the frame surrounding the zigzagging vanishing point becomes visual garbage. The crucial work of Tran Scan was the animated stabilization of radically squashed perspective, which turns the frenetic imagery into a smoothly viewable experience.

This simple yet novel technique creates an expression, and an abstraction, of the differing land regions, conveyed entirely through the unique relative motion produced from each region's interplay between camera and land.

"Arthur has developed a unique method of investigating his surroundings and exploring movement. I have never seen anything like it. It is an exceptional piece of avant-garde film making."
-- Robert Creighton

[The Making of Tran Scan]

FESTIVALS 2004-2005

'Silver Remi' Award for Cinematography:
37th WorldFest-Huston Int'l Independent Film Festival, USA
Jury Award (Experimental):
Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival (Canada's Golden Sheaf Awards)

world premier: Tampere 34th International Short Film Festival, Finland 

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto

Worldwide Short Film Festival, Toronto

Cinema Tout Ecran, International Film & Television Festival, Geneva:
XIII International Short Film Selection

Rencontres internationales Paris/Berlin

The 42nd Ann Arbor Film Festival, Michigan, USA

49th Cork Film Festival, Ireland

24th Atlantic Film Festival, Halifax, Canada

Vancouver International Digital Festival, Canada

Moving Pictures '04: Canadian Films on Tour (noncompetitive)
Edmonton International Film Festival, Alberta, Canada

31th Northwest Film & Video Festival, Portland, OR, USA

7th Annual Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth, Vancouver ('05)

 Festival de cinéma des 3 Amériques, Quebec City ('05)

Detroit Docs International Film Festival, USA ('05)


'Sense of Place' - Nickle Arts Museum, U. Calgary


(screen shot of DVD chapters menu)

Interactive map allows playing by Province or by topographic region. This short film provides intimate knowledge of the distinct physical regions across the continent, in a tangible form, as if you have driven it yourself. The trip is in true sequence; each region is proportional to its true length.

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Copyright © 2003 Stephen X. Arthur.  All rights reserved.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts which last year invested $12.5 million in media arts throughout Canada. Nous remercions de son soutien le Conseil des Arts du Canada, qui a investi 12,5 millions de dollars l'an dernier dans les arts médiatiques à travers le Canada.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 
-mail: 604-926-9787


For broadcast license, classroom license, or group rental, contact the Canadian Filmmakers' Distribution Centre, 401 Richmond St. W., Suite 119, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 3A8. TEL (416) 588-0725.  For broadcast and museum sales and information:  For educational sales and services: For film rental, bookings, rental prices, and preview DVDs:


European distributor: 
- 51 rue Montorgueil - 75002 Paris 
tel: 33 1 40 18 00 20

CRTC Certification No. C22990 
(logging category 07G, points 5/5, time credit 100%)

common misspellings of this title: trans scan, trans can, transcan