When things get too much to handle, the most important thing you can do is take a deep breath and reevaluate the situation. Slow TV embodies this sentiment, showing us that sometimes all we need to do is sit back and admire our surroundings.
With us all being cooped up inside, we might be yearning to be out in the wilderness and explore. Slow TV lets you do this, giving you hours of background eye candy.
So, what actually is Slow TV?
We have Norway to thank for the huge popularisation of slow television, or Sakte-TV, which broadcasts scenic journeys or, in general, the natural slow pace over an extended period of time, usually from a point-of-view (POV) perspective.
This process of documentary filmmaking began its journey in 2009 when the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) televised a seven hour train journey from Bergen to the capital of Oslo. It’s said that a quarter of the Norwegian population tuned into the broadcast for at least one point during the televised event. It’s popularity soared and it’s hardly surprising. As soon as you start watching, it’s so easy to become engulfed by the simplest of processes or scenic journeys.
If you’re intrigued by the documentary process, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite slow tv processes for you to enjoy.
Norwegian Train Journey
We’re taking it back to the beginning with this entry, showing you the Norwegian journey that made slow tv famous.
You’ll begin your scenic sensory journey at Bergen train station and you’ll soon find yourself virtually journeying through the Norwegian countryside, littered with snow capped mountains and evergreen trees. As the train pulls into each station you might even spot a friendly face or two popping by to wave at the camera. With the white-coated hills and snow covered train tracks, it feels like something out of a Christmas fairytale and is definitely one of my favourite watches all year round.
Mountain View Train Journey
Did your lifelong dream of heading out on an American road trip this summer get cut short before it even begun? This brisk train journey will hopefully ease the disappointment as you’ll virtually journey along the Royal Gorge Route in Colorado.
Relatively short for slow tv but this journey will take you through some of Colorado’s most natural features, including the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River. This POV video is honestly breathtakingly beautiful and will have you entirely engulfed for the hour and a half journey.
Sigur Rós – 24 Hour Journey
Icelandic post-rock band, Sigur Rós are nothing but ambitious and their ‘route one’ proves this theory. Back in 2016, on the longest day of the year, the band decided to journey along the whole of Iceland’s ring road, filming the entire 1332km journey live on YouTube. Alongside the 24 hour journey, the band created a soundtrack to coincide with the feelings, emotions and beauty that the journey encompassed. If you love listening to music while you work, here’s your soundtrack album for the next week.
Plane Journey From Pilot’s POV
If you love to fly, this seven and a half hour journey from Dublin to Philadelphia will satisfy your long haul needs. From the moment the plane lifts off through to the moment the airplane lands, you’ll fall in love with the world we live on in a whole new way. Journey through the clouds, peek at the earth below and become mesmerised by the consistent ambient synths.
Drive Through Downtown Tokyo
While some slow tv videos allow you to get lost in the beauty and mesmerising elements, this driving slow tv quite literally transports you to downtown Tokyo in all of its glory. Pop this one on the television when you’ve got guests round next for some light entertainment and background noise or to just entirely transport you to the city until you can explore the real deal post-lockdown.
Tropical Scuba Diving
Ever wondered what it would be like to scuba dive alongside the turquoise waters? Now’s your chance to explore the ocean, sea creatures and reefs in all of their glory in this ten hour ensemble of videos. You’ll soon fall in love with the crystal clear waters and will be itching to try it out for yourself post-lockdown.
Walk Around A Swedish Forest
This video will see you set out on a voyage through Kronskogen-Stenby äng in Eskilstuna, Sweden, a nature reserve abrim with harrowing trees and shaded spots. There’s no music overlaid on this short video, so you’ll be able to just listen to the birds calling and leaves blowing in the wind as you journey from trail to trail. Using 60FPS here helps to mimic the human eye, creating soft movements and transports you to the scene internally.
Experience The World Through An Eagles Eye
Now we know why they call it a birds eye view…
Experience the world in a completely different way with this ten hour video from an eagles perspective as he glides his way across the Alps. Listen to the wind blow through the eagles feathers as he ducks and drifts across the mountain tops. The angle of the camera is also quite amusing to follow.
Nick Offerman’s Yule Log
American actor, comedian and writer, Nick Offerman’s YouTube channel has become rather iconic.
Famous for playing Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation and also his real life passion for woodland, Offerman has become a cult icon. Now you can feel like he’s in the room with you, drinking scotch, in front of a burning fire. Pop it on and feel like you’re having a drink with an old friend.