PLUS+MINUS productions

BIRDS

Single-channel artist film, stereo sound
Duration: 28:27

Watch the trailer

BRIEF SYNOPSIS

BIRDS is a tale of radioactive pigeons, two pairs of twins and a massacre, set in a seaside village in the shadow of a decrepit nuclear plant. In this blighted environment all is entangled — birds, humans, plutonium — and nothing will be spared.

Reading omens

ARTIST STATEMENT

BIRDS is an artist film by Merilyn Fairskye, the latest in her series of photographic and screen works that explores the contemporary realities of nuclear sites.

BIRDS humanises the connections between the nuclear and the everyday at a time of great environmental threat and nuclear uncertainty. It was inspired by real events that took place between 1998-2010 in the area around Sellafield, a large nuclear reprocessing site close to the village of Seascale in Cumbria, England. Imagery builds around the sanctuary, the seaside and the nuclear plant and accumulates and dissipates in different ways to build a sense of a blighted environment where all forms of life are entangled. The over-arching motif is the environment that the nuclear plant seeps into — land, sea and air — metamorphosing and mutating because of human actions and now, beyond human control. The birds are the constant presence. Actors relate different accounts recorded in the media at the time.

Ava and Birdie

Deryn and Robin

NOTES ON THE SOUNDTRACK

The actors’ voices are woven through a soundtrack that draws on experimental processes to give a voice to the birds and the environment. It was created by musician and composer Meg Travers, who constructed a 21st century interpretation of the Trautonium, a 1920s German synthesizer.

The original Trautonium, the first instrument capable of sculpting electronic sounds, was used by German composer and electronic music pioneer, Oskar Sala, to create the non-musical soundtrack for Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’.

To find out more see: UNLIKELY

The official

 

CREDITS

executive producer OGNIAN PISHEV
direction, editing, camera MERILYN FAIRSKYE
soundscape composition and performance MEG TRAVERS
dramaturg/assistant director GREG GIESEKAM
sound mix ROBERT HINDLEY
online editor, title design and grading GREG FERRIS
production assistance TONY TWIGG

CAST

Ava/Birdie MONETTE LEE
Robin/Deryn DANE CARSON
official MAYU IWASAKI
announcer MICHIEL DOLK

additional voices SONJA BENNETTO, GREG GIESEKAM, DYLAN MCKIMMIE, LUCY MCKIMMIE, MEG TRAVERS, TONY TWIGG

additional UK photography NICK SHIMMIN, CLIVE PARKINSON

Dedicated to Martin Forwood & Janine Allis-Smith

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