#WWFVOICES: THE STORY OF BIRTHPLACE

#WWFVoices members and filmmakers Sil van der Woerd and Jorik Dozy are co-founders of Studio Birthplace, a production studio that focuses on ecological topics and finding creative new ways to deliver information through emotion.



Their eponymous project, ‘Birthplace', is a music video for Welsh musician Novo Amor. It tells the symbolic story of a man arriving on a perfect earth, who encounters his nemesis in the form of ocean trash.


This may be surprising for some, but everything in the 'Birthplace' video was filmed for real. Apart from removing some bubbles, the filmmakers say there was no computer-generated imagery (CGI) or digital manipulation involved.


The life-size trash whale in the 'Birthplace' video is a symbol of the magnitude of humanity’s neglect of nature.


It took 25 villagers from a small town in Bali, to build the 13 meter long whale from bamboo and dress it with real waste.


After the shoot, the whale was completely recycled. The bamboo skeleton is on display in the Balinese jungle.


It took nine divers to control the whale that was made for the 'Birthplace' video. British free-diver Michael Board made more than 250 dives for the video, facing many challenges head on: strong currents, wet clothes, and not having a mask, which rendered him practically blind underwater, the salt water constantly stinging his eyes.


During the underwater shoot on Bali, real plastic waste regularly drifted by in the water around the crew, reminding the crew of the urgency of the plastic crisis.


The plastic emergency in our oceans is vast and complex. Divers are among those who experience the reality of this first-hand most often, and members of 'Birthplace's dive crew each had stories to share about the pollution they encountered in the water.


Sil and Jorik filmed the wildlife for the 'Birthplace' video in Komodo, an island in Indonesia which offers some of the most stunning reefs and wildlife in the world.


But even here, in the clearest of waters, they found traces of plastic and ocean creatures nibbling on plastic items - a reminder of how human consumption can disrupt life on earth.


How did we let this happen? And now, how can we solve such a complex issue?


Source: WWF Exposure