With rents across New York City continuing their dizzying skyward trajectory, there's at least one defiant population which has found a way to make the city work for them, and not the other way around. Filmmaker Jeff Seal spent some time hanging out with a group of squatters who, for a time, took over a crumbling three story apartment building on Lafayette Street in Bed-Stuy.

"Where did you live before here?" Seal asks a man named Dave. "Queensboro Correctional Facility," Dave chuckles, taking a leisurely drag of his cigarette. Mark, seated to Dave's left, gives him an affectionate pat on the back. "We were in jail together," he said.

Tara and Jon live upstairs. They're former dog walkers, and a couple. "We've been together for like, eight years...what's the date?" Tara asks Jon. "I don't know, we've been together for like eight million years," he says. The pair used to have a dog walking business in Washington Heights, but times got tough and many clients moved away. They wound up on the street, but did keep one relic of their former lives, a Yorkie named Duchess who twirls on command. "She's the star," Tara beams.

Cops stopped by the building on occasion and issued a few warnings, but never enforced their departure. Everyone seems to have a pet. Steve-O keeps a cat on a leash.

Seal was introduced to the group by a man he met on the L train; during their conversation, he told Seal he lived in a squat in Bed-Stuy. His squat got shut down, but he introduced Seal to some of his friends—"the kids I ended up doing the video on," Seal said.

Seal didn't have an objective for the video, besides offering a platform to a group of people with some good tales to tell. Still, it has a sharp air of melancholy. Bailey used to be an actor—she's had roles in Law and Order, commercials and short films. "She used to be famous before she started doing the crizzle," said Bucket, a guy from Southern California who worked in construction before his dad's company got shut down. A scribbled note on the wall said "This is why God is a lie."

"I'm not a journalist, but I wanted it to be as objective as possible," Seal said. "I didn't want to glamorize it, but then on the other hand, I didn't want to pass judgment on them in any way, know what I'm saying?"