The Real Downtown Atlanta is a video posted to Youtube by an Atlanta based nonprofit organization called Central Atlanta Progress and a public-private partnership called The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. CAP, founded in 1941, and ADID, founded in 1995, work to provide services that help maintain and stimulate the Downtown Atlanta area- namely through economic means with the help of investment by businesses in the area. The Real Downtown Atlanta shows a bit of the area CAP oversees and the real people you may find in Atlanta.
The video begins with a shot of morning light slightly hidden behind a few of Atlanta’s buildings and quickly cuts away to a speedy Marta train against the backdrop of some of the taller buildings found in the city. The next shot brings us to a woman leaving the Marta station and making her way to a coffee shop. Once reaching the coffee shop, the camera begins to follow a man that had just paid for his coffee.
By now the viewer may notice that the camera cuts from mostly medium long, eye level shots that don’t pan. This creates an awareness of the space around the person being followed in each shot. Those surroundings being various distinguishable places around Downtown Atlanta. These shots not only draw awareness to the surroundings, but makes them stand out as they are extremely still shots juxtaposed by only the movements of mostly one person.
Most of the shots are sure to subtly show the names of major businesses around the area when passing by or through them. This would be in relation to the previously mentioned fact that the nonprofit is supported by the businesses of the area.
The viewer follows unique and small sections of 15 different Atlantan’s lives concluding with a shot of a man unwinding after his day with a glass of wine and the city at night in the background, seen through the windows of his apartment. This was a representation of the day in the life of Atlanta residents made cohesive by the continuity in the shots used.
The music throughout the video stays consistent as well. Only one track following one beat the entire time. It is very much in tune with the speed of the shots and movement of people and intertwined with the sounds of the city- people’s chatter, cars, footsteps against concrete, Marta. Perhaps the sounds were an attempt to denote Atlanta as an inviting and lively place, commuter and pedestrian friendly, with friendly people on the go.
The only clear speaking is heard at the end of the video giving a sort of mantra for
the city. “Real people. Real places. Real community. Only in downtown, where it all comes together.” It drives home the ideas presented by the images in the video, a group of individuals making up a productive and mobile entity.