I am fascinated by nature that procures an unsolicited place among humans. In Seagull City I tried to get as close as possible to the world of seagulls that occupy a place among humans. I studied and filmed seagulls from the roof of a school and an old graveyard. I built a hide on the roof and spent a week – above the traffic, the construction workers and the cries of children – camped out near the seagulls. I spent much of the time waiting, watching, looking, sighing, sleeping and yawning with the seagulls. At the graveyard, a few gravestones away from a brooding seagull, I draped a rain coat over the camera. I took a seat in a large green coat, so that I could observe and record how the seagull kept its eggs warm.
Seagulls experience the world at a much faster pace than humans; their hearts beat faster and they move faster. To engage the viewer in the world of the seagull, not only did I get as near as possible to them and live with them for a short time; I also shot the entire film in slow motion so that I could reflect their perceptions effectively. The camera angles I used aren’t human either; for example, from a roof or very low to the ground. But at any rate different from how humans are used to seeing the seagulls. To show the perspective of a seagull in flight, I launched two miniature cameras on a homemade 3D rig − one on a remote controlled mini-helicopter and the other on a bunch of helium balloons that went up to the clouds.
- Length (min.)
Original title Stadsmeeuwen
Direction/production/camera John Treffer
Direction/production assistance Han Hogeland
Sound design Floris Schönfeld
Sound mixing Marc Lizier, Klink audio
Editing Katarina Türler
Pre-editing Piet Oomes
Stereography Jurriën Steenkamp, Marcel da Costa
Equipment Flying artists – Wageningen University, Surfnet, Vision Research, Noyz Boyz
Foley Martijn Helle
Violin Kees Hilhorst