In Haunted Streets the viewer journeys through a dream-like montage of the streets of Brighton and Hove. Faces appear and disappear like the ghosts we really are; spirits occupying a small portion of the world, pressing its pavements again and again, until we move on to roads elsewhere. We make our imprint but we’re just passing through. And sometimes we return.
Writer and filmmaker Séan Baldwin passed through Brighton for 25 years. He knows its twists and turns by heart and will always feel connected to its fascinating streets.
Stories of his former neighborhood are recounted by friends old and new - universal tales of love and loss, friendships, humour and woe, all connected by a lilting soundscape made by Brighton-based musicians, curated by Neil Cantwell.
Haunted Streets aims to celebrate friends, community and the very paths that support and guide us as we make our way through life – no matter how long or short the road may prove to be.
Runtime:16 minutes 25 seconds
Completion Date:July 22, 2019
Production Budget:700 GBP
Country of Origin:United Kingdom
Country of Filming:United Kingdom
Sean was born in Manchester and has lived down south since 1981.
He moved to Brighton in 1990 and when he saw Kirk Brandon cycling along Western Road on his first day there, he knew it was the place for him.
Sean has worked in radio, film and professional theatre and co-created and performed in the Clutching at Straws comedy night in the late 90s. He has written for the children's book market and the Harry Hill comic strip in The Dandy.
These days, Sean makes videos for personal fulfillment as well as commissions.
Last year he finally got to join Kirk Brandon for a drink in a friend's back garden.
This film was inspired by the death of an old friend and the very empty feeling that I can't call round for a cup of tea whenever I pass his old front door any more.
It made me think of doorways, pathways and the connections we forge within our neighbourhoods, both personal and architectural - and how the streets, like our friendships, support us over the years.
I no longer live in Brighton but in my dreams I still walk these streets. And back in the day, late at night, those regular walks from friends' houses to my home took on a very dreamlike quality. One summer night I was questioned by the police, asking me if I'd seen a white wolf. And suddenly there it was, standing in the middle of the road. Whether it was actually a wolf or not, I'm still not sure. It was this drifting, limbo-like feeling I hoped to emulate with Haunted Streets. Dogs found their way into the film. Of course, in some cultures they're believed to carry the deceased to the afterlife.
These magical walks usually happened alone, and so I chose to film alone, following my feet or cycling along. Because of this freewheeling element, I decided to record on my iPhone, which I found a liberating process.
The film largely focuses on my old neighbourhood but this could well continue to other parts of Brighton and beyond for an extension of the project. It's a bit rough around the edges but then so is the location. Overall it's sunny, rather strange and full of fantastic people, just like my memories of where I used to live.