A group of local youths have produced several video clips on the country’s landscape and cultural identity, and one of these featuring the charms of a central Vietnamese province has bewitched locals and foreigners alike.
>> An audio version of the story is available here A four-minute video clip called “Da Nang is Awesome,” which emerged online on Tuesday last week, has become quite a sensation.
The footage, which accentuates the gorgeousness and modernity of Da Nang in the central region, has drawn almost 70,000 views and hundreds of shares.
Many have left comments that the clip has opened their eyes to the city’s stunning beauty, which is normally not readily recognizable.
A number of foreigners wrote that they will choose Vietnam as their next destination to see for themselves the picturesque landscapes.
The video is the result of an independent, non-profit project which is conducted by a group of young filmmaking buffs to celebrate their special affection for Da Nang, which several members call home.
Trieu Dinh Nam, 28, the project’s founder, captured the incredible images of the city during his working trips there over two years ago.
One day, he met Phuoc Led, a Da Nang native, who shares his passion for filmmaking and traveling.
The twosome decided to combine what they had recorded separately into the clip.
Nam, Phuoc, and several like-minded friends formed a group called “Zoomations” in 2013.
“My group and I took a trip to the Mekong Delta province of An Giang in November 2013 and recorded footage of the pastoral highlights there, which I later made into a clip and posted it on YouTube. To my surprise, many An Giang natives then thanked me for such an astonishing video,” Nam recalled.
From left: Trieu Dinh Nam, Phuoc Led, and other Zoomations members pose during their latest filmmaking trip to Da Lat resort town, located in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. Photo: Zoomations
Following the success of their clip on An Giang, they made several more trips to other cities and provinces including Hanoi, Phan Thiet, Da Lat, Quang Nam and northwestern provinces such as Lao Cai, home to the famed Sa Pa resort town.
The idea of a project called “Vietnam is Awesome,” which showcases clips on scenic spots across the country, was conceived during such trips, Nam added.
Phuoc Led, who operates a drone during the trips, revealed he was spurred on to co-create the project during a six-month exchange program in Australia in February 2014.
“During the program, friends from other countries shared clips on their countries. A number of them were under the misconception that Vietnam remains an outdated, poor country which holds almost no tourist appeal. I felt hurt then and was set on doing something to prove them wrong,” he divulged.
The young man is keen to showcase the nooks and crannies in Da Nang, his hometown, and its hidden charms which not all tourists notice.
Phuoc also shared his anxiety, as there were times when his costly drone nearly crashed into canvasses and smashed into pieces.
However, the astonishing videos are just as rewarding for all of the group’s efforts and risks.
Their quality clips generally require several visits to the same locality to fully observe the changes it has undergone, and dozens of hours working on the separate recordings.
They cover all the expenses out of their own pocket.
An image capturing peddlers in Da Nang City, taken from Zoomations' video clip titled "Da Nang is Awesome"
The group members are working to improve their project so that they can produce and launch two or three quality video clips each year.
They also plan to contact American music producer Tony Anderson to purchase the copyright to some of his songs which they have used in their clips so far.
Nam expressed his wish that a professional arena be formed in the future so that tourism and filmmaking buffs can make and share video clips on their country’s landscape and culture.
“We will likely make the project our lifelong pursuit, as Vietnam is constantly changing each year, and a few calls to each locality would certainly not suffice,” he explained.
Nam added his group plans to produce video clips which delve further into locals’ lifestyle, culinary delights, and cultural values.