At 45 minutes long, Chronos has no actors or dialog. The soundtrack consists of a single continuous piece by composer Michael Stearns. Filmed in dozens of locations on five continents, the film relates to the concept of time passing on different scales -- the bulk of the film covers the history of civilization, from pre-history to Egypt to Rome to Late Antiquity to the rise of Western Europe in the Middle Ages to the Renaissance to the modern era. It centers on European themes but not exclusively. Other time scales include the passing of seasons, and the passing of night and day, and the passing shadows of the sun in an afternoon to the passing of people on the street. These themes intermingle with many symbolisms.
Special camera mechanics and rigging were built to handle the unusually long and smooth time-lapse shots planned by the director, such as a 24-hour shot of a desert while perfectly-evenly panning 180 degrees. The director also used the system in his later films.
Michael Stearns, while composing the soundtrack for the film, used a custom-made instrument called "The Beam" to generate many of the sounds he required. The Beam was long, made of extruded aluminum with 24 piano strings of gauge 19-22.
International OMNI-MAX Film Festival Grand Prize Winner