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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 18/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The selfie just got wider, bigger and longer.

Not to mention, with an all-round view...all thanks to 26 year old camera-wielding globe trotter Alex Chac?n. Chac?n documented his three year long motorcycle trip, covering 125,946 miles and spanning over 36 countries from Alaska to Asia, in a three-minute panoramic video, which is being described as the world's most ''epic selfie'' ever.



The selfie, which was uploaded seven days ago, has already hit 3mn views on YouTube, making Texas-based Chac?n an overnight sensation on the World Wide Web.

The film shows the adventure enthusiast swing his pole-attached GoPro camera to give us a 360 view of every locale he visited over the last few years.

What makes this marathon ''selfie film'' all the more exclusive is that it also features a sizeable number of clips from Chac?n's trip to the sultanate.

Landmarks like the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and the Al Alam Palace, as well as a local market and petrol station from the country are among the 70-odd video snippets that have been featured in the film.

''Oman was a last-minute addition to the video,'' Chac?n said, while speaking exclusively to Muscat Daily from his hometown Texas in the US. ''I visited the country over a month-and-a-half ago, and managed to record a few shots for the clip, during my road trip in the region.''

During his brief stay in the sultanate, Chac?n rode across the length and breadth of Muscat, before exploring the eastern coast of the country. He also made brief stops at Fanja, Jebel Shams and Sur.



''What I most remember from my trip here were the interactions that I had with people in the villages. They were extremely friendly and warm. In fact, I'd say that I met some of the friendliest people in the world here?K they were always willing to help out. I really wish I met such people everywhere,'' he said.



Chac?n, however, confessed that creating a ''selfie film'' was never part of his plan. He was in fact amused, when his viewers proclaimed it to be one.

''When I started working on the film over three years ago, selfie as a concept did not even exist. Then, I was only trying to find a way to quickly grab the attention othe people and share the world that I was witnessing, in a positive way. It was just a quick, concise and innovative film about my adventures. There was no real thought process,'' he said.

The film was originally titled Around the World in 360 Degrees. ''But with people calling it the most epic selfie of all time, I decided to rename it as the Epic Selfie instead,'' he said.



Coming out with a video though, was no cakewalk for this Biomedical Science graduate, who apart from having to shelve his plans to complete his doctoral studies, had to practically sell everything he owned, including his car and TV, to set off on the road expedition.

''I left my home with nothing except a few boxes of clothes. I did not even know if I would ever comeback,'' he said. On the way, he picked up a GoPro camera, attached it to a black pole that he fabricated on his own, and started filming the world as he saw it. The result is remarkably stunning with Chac?n seen pulling off death-defying stunts, like bungee jumping, hanging from a train, sailing in rough weather and posing for a selfie with a lion, all with his camera in tow.



''Shooting the video involved a lot of practise and a lot of broken poles,'' he said, adding, ''The pole would either break, or get stolen. So I had to keep making new ones. To keep the camera steady on the stick takes a lot of strength. Often you have to worry more about the camera being stable, rather than concentrating on what you're doing. So it took me lot of trials and attempts to really get the shots right. Sometimes a single shot would need 15-20 takes, and would go on for a good 20 hours until I could film it right.''



The popularity of his latest video notwithstanding, Chac?n feels that the string of adventures that the trip brought along are what he will most remember the Epic Selfie for. ''I was lost in a desert for about a week in Bolivia, Peru; I was stranded without food for four days in Patagonia, Argentina; I also had this amazing experience of riding across the world's largest salt flat.

''Finally, I managed to get a glimpse of the northern lights in Alaska after camping for about two weeks there... that too on my birthday. It was the most incredible light show of my life,'' he said, ''Cou


Muscat Daily

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