A mesmerically beautiful and brutal piece of film, BIRTHRIGHT features haunting provocative footage. From tortuous struggle to blissful fluidity, the piece displays a resemblance to the Irish surfing experience. Battling sideways rain may not be comparable with Michael’s difficulties but it is undoubtably a struggle – made worthwhile, ‘when you are able to get to a place where you are able to be free, to be fluid, to be able to dance.’ Au naturel.
Here are some snippets from Sean the director and friend of Michael…
‘Michael and I had decided to film his journey to the water. It all happened very quickly and spontaneously. I stopped by his house to say hello and he suggested we go shoot right then. There were no rehearsals and I had never traveled with him on this journey before. The film is five and half minutes long. I shot roughly three hours of footage to get there.
Even though it is only five minutes long, the film still has three acts. The introduction of the character, the struggle and the resolution or pay off for the struggle. Each act has to be balanced with the others in order to tell the most compelling story.
When shooting the sequence in BIRTHRIGHT where Michael is struggling to put on his wetsuit, my instinct was to be close, the camera hand held and myself filming from low on the ground with him, thus identifying our own life struggle with his.’
(Let it be known that the author of this post feels profoundly guilty for whinging when putting on wetsuits. Especially dry ones.)
Sean Mullens is a commercial film director. He has been working around the world making commercials, music videos and documentaries for the last ten years. His commercial and documentary work have received global honors and accolades which include an Emmy nomination, Cannes Gold Lyons, Gold Clios and festival awards from around the world.