John Treffer

John Treffer

Master of Film

John Treffer (Netherlands, 1979) has been photographing his surroundings since secondary school; first around school, later during the various travels he undertook on four continents (mainly hitch-hiking).

"As a film maker, I constantly choose perspectives. What is the impact of my point of view? Am I a character? A seagull? A narrator? Where does it leave me as a film maker? To what extent does a perspective guide the view of the spectator? Or the behavior of the subject in front of my lens? And more specific: how can slow motion, 3D effects and shooting from a miniature helicopter help me tell my story in a documentary setting?

I’m making a short film about seagulls in Haarlem. They move very fast. In order to simulate their perception, I work with slow motion. By choosing this quite prescriptive form, I'm trying try to establish a firmly determined connection between the spectator and the scene. By contrast, in 3D shots I offer the audience an opportunity to look around, take time and choose where to look - without any guidance. There is so much to be found out about the potential of 3D."

Previous education
BA Gerrit Rietveld Academie - VAV (Amsterdam, NL)

Read more
- Jan Pieter Ekker reviews Graduation Show BELOW SEA LEVEL
- John Treffer's balloon camera was found in a tree


Citygulls - direction, production, camera

Artist's statement: Creating the right circumstances
I allow myself the time to really look at and think about what I see, so I see many unusual, different and beautiful things. In my work I want to give everyone the opportunity to see through my eyes. I want to prevent people from looking at my work and interpreting it be- fore really ‘seeing’ it. For me, the atmosphere is more important than the narrative in achieving that. Coincidence, a small crew, technical elaboration and identification with the subject form the basis of my work. I work with a small (mostly one-person) crew, therefore I can respond to my subject very directly. This makes the way that I treat the coincidence personal. I never saw the crucial shots in my films coming − until they took place in front of my lens. I do however create the right circumstances for engendering the coincidence to a certain extent. I set high requirements when it comes to elaboration and technique; not only because this draws the viewer into the film more, but also because it enables me to render a sharper representation of my subject.

Overige projecten

- 'Citygulls' ['Stadsmeeuwen'] (2012)
- 'Varkensvisie' (2012)
- 'Marktmeester' (2004)
- 'I'm a European' (2003)

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