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Four Weeks by the Sea

A short documentary following Coney Island and its visitors as winter turns to spring.

Watch Four Weeks by the Sea...

Details - Synopsis - About the Director - About the Film
Production Stills - Credits

Details:

Run time 9mins 50secs - 30P DV - 16:9 letterbox
NTSC DV, VHS, BetaCam, DVD - Mono soundtrack
Completed 2005

Synopsis:

In a city whose geography faces away from its surrounding waters, Coney Island is tied to the sea and the cycles of nature. Four Weeks by the Sea follows the area and its often eccentric inhabitants as winter turns to spring, and the local attractions open for a new season.

About the Director:

Born in Tehran, Bobby Webster left Iran with his family shortly after the revolution to settle in England, where he has lived for most of his life. A world champion debater and former actor - with screen credits alongside Sir John Gielgud, Miranda Richardson and Emily Mortimer - Bobby most recently spent several years working for one the UK's leading political think-tanks. He moved to New York in 2004 to pursue his dream of directing films. He now lives in Brooklyn, where he is working on several fiction and documentary film projects.

About the Film:

As a stranger to New York, I was fascinated by my first visit to Coney Island. For a century, its rise and fall - and more recent regeneration - has been a visual metaphor for the city's changing fortunes. Having passed through its dramatic heyday as a resort in the 20s and 30s, and its low-point of crime and decay in the 80s, the area is now finding a new balance: as a reviving tourist destination and a place which celebrates eccentricity.

What struck me most, though, was its sheer beauty. On a visit in the middle of winter, I found all of the shops and parks securely shuttered against the elements, the boardwalk and beach covered with snow and ice, and only the big ships passing in the distance marking a human presence. In some ways, I felt I couldn't be further away from bustling New York; but a visitor just has to turn around to see the tower blocks of the projects overlooking the famous Wonder Wheel and Cyclone.

Four Weeks by the Sea is my attempt to follow the changes in Coney Island as, over the space of a month, the winter snows melt and the resort re-opens for a new season. Although I met a lot of interesting people, the film is really about the place - the few miles of boardwalk and sand where old New York meets the sea.

Production Stills:

Click on the images below to open enlarged versions.

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Credits:

Camera: Bobby Webster
Sound: Luke Matheny, Zao Wang, Levi Abrino

Editor: Bobby Webster

Assistant Producer: Marni Zelnick

Directed and Produced by: Bobby Webster

© Bobby Webster 2005 - All Rights Reserved

   
 

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