After moving to Brooklyn, it wasn’t long before I found myself at an event in Bushwick. I was on the jury this year for the Malarkey Film Festival, and the festival ended its cinematic festivities with a screening and a performance at 3 Dollar Bill on Meserole Street.
Upon arriving to Bushwick, I knew almost immediately that I had to film in this neighborhood. So I grabbed my fish eye lens and my camera, and I returned the next day, venturing around on foot and capturing as much footage as I could of the industrial looking buildings and vibrant street art before hopping back on the L train.
I was able to incorporate this footage into “Apostrophe,” my latest and final short film. After a decade of creating short form content, both independently and for various clients in fashion, art and the food industry, I was finally ready to throw in the towel.
Having screened my work from the TriBeCa Film Festival to the Guggenheim museum, I was feeling content with my experiences. And a bit exhausted. But how fitting that my last foray in the short film genre was also my first time incorporating the landscape of Bushwick into a narrative.
The protagonist of “Apostrophe” lives half of his life through a pair of VR goggles, exploring different city streets from the comfort of his home. This film has a lot to do with virtual reality. It has a lot to do with street art and graffiti. It is a reflective piece on memories and dynamic relationships. It’s a story about redemption, acceptance, and finding the best version of yourself in a place you weren’t expecting. This all sounds like Bushwick to me.
Bushwick has long had a relationship with creativity and has served as a hub for different outlets throughout the past couple decades. I recently worked in distribution for a Bushwick based film called “Floaters Dot Com,” and I helped organize different screenings in Brooklyn for it this past summer.
At every screening, I would get a chance to watch the film. And as these showings progressed, I became more and more familiar with Bushwick and its surrounding areas. And this was before I decided to film here! It was like a surreal entry guide into the neighborhood. I can now say that Bushwick Public House has become one of my favorite coffee spots in Brooklyn.
It is the strong opinion of this filmmaker that more productions need to be shot in Bushwick. I did some research about the films and television shows that were filmed in this area and I want to petition that we need more to come. Bushwick is a really beautiful neighborhood through and through, and it has so much to offer.
View Sommer’s short film “Apostrophe” below.
All material courtesy of Sebastian Sommer.
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