Private Project

CCTV Portrait of a City in Reboot

An experimental surveillance documentary short reimagining the public space created entirely from found footage repurposed from Transport for London's 177 online streaming traffic cams during the third national lockdown in England as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

All footage is time and date stamped from the morning rush hour on the 14 April 2021: two days after Step 2 easing of restrictions. The naturally occurring glitches and misted lenses of the in-situ CCTV cameras are mimicked and exaggerated by overlaying and collaging the collated footage; thereby fully exploiting the soft painterly quality of lo-res standard definition video, especially when projected large.

Inspired by the central themes of Igor Stravinsky's ballet 'The Rite of Spring’, this video painting of bodies and vehicles in motion seeks to ask questions around renewal and hope, the sacrifice of individual freedoms vs. government control, and whether we wish to return to a pre-pandemic society so reliant on environmentally polluting fossil fuel. A recent government report recommended that adopting the WHO’s stricter permissible levels of air pollution could save 36,000 lives a year in the United Kingdom.

A DV video™ Production © 2022.

UPDATE NOTICE: This film has been updated on FilmFreeway to include a new soundtrack by Porcelain Kings. If you require the original silent version of this film for a screening or gallery installation please message/email me or use the contact form on my website.

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  • David Valentine
    The Duellists (CCTV free-running film)
  • Porcelain Kings
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 21 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 30, 2022
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Shooting Format:
    Online streaming traffic CCTV
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - David Valentine

David Valentine (aka DV video™) is a former film journalist turned artist-filmmaker/writer repurposing video technologies, both developing and outdated, to find new and interesting ways of creating the movie image while highlighting societal issues. Credited by Newsweek as 'having advanced video sniffing to an art form and social tool', he is best known for his internationally exhibited surveillance shorts. His films have received media coverage in The Guardian, Reuters, The New York Times, on BBC Radio/TV and More4 News; with Arena magazine featuring him as part of ‘the next generation of filmmakers set to revolutionise cinema with the aid of new technology'.

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Director Statement

Always on the look out for interesting ways to repurpose technology and digital media for creative expression and to highlight issues troubling modern society.