Trying Something New, Part One

I have been lucky enough to have several of my poems turned into video poems by talented poets and filmmakers like Marc Swoon Bildos, Dave Bonta, and Nic Sebastian. So, encouraged by their talent and the mission of the Poetry Storehouse, I have set myself the task of making a film for Dave’s prose poem “Bear Moon,” which is featured on the Poetry Storehouse website. (My winter break from school is coming up, and I will have the time to devote to this project in a quiet house…)

As a complete neophyte, I have decided to chronicle my process here for others who may be considering trying their hand at this new way to look at poetry. Step one is my process could be nicknamed “the gathering.”

After spending some time reading several poems on the Poetry Storehouse website, I chose Dave Bonta’s “Bear Moon.” I especially liked the melancholy of the girl’s fantasy life juxtaposed with adult dismissal and the mysterious draw of the moon. (I also love the line about moon biscuits – it’s my favorite line in the poem.)

At first, I thought too literally about images, finding some clips of bears, but their rough wildness didn’t seem to match the mood of the piece. I wanted something more atmospheric and finally decided to remove actual bears or teddy bears from my mind altogether. After several sessions of searching different public domain videos, I found three interesting films that I have decided to work with, at least for a start:

  • some government film from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
  • film of a 1950s cocktail party (on Youtube – I will have to check the copyright issues for this one)
  • a post WWII government film about the baking industry

Dave’s own list on Moving Poems, the videopoetry site he curates, has proved invaluable in terms of knowing what is free and appropriate to use, where to find public domain video and music, and tips for creating work.

I hope to work with audio next, considering recording and background music (if any) and to begin the hit-or-miss process of experimenting with different editing processes. Stay tuned for Step Two: Donna throws a hissy fit because she can’t make iMovie work the way she wants it to work.


13 thoughts on “Trying Something New, Part One

  1. Pingback: ‘how to make a videopoem’ chronicle | Very Like A Whale

  2. I got my start video editing on iMovie back when Macminis were the rage… be patient. Editing, since it’s a subtractive process, the opposite of writing, takes a different kind of energy. I enjoy both and I’m on my fifth video poem, culling the archives for public domain home movies to criticize the suburban nuclear family paradigm.

  3. Pingback: Trying Something New, Part Two: Editing & Recording | Put Words Together. Make Meaning.

  4. Pingback: Trying Something New, Part Three: The Sounds and the Fury | Put Words Together. Make Meaning.

  5. Pingback: And…it’s finished. | Put Words Together. Make Meaning.

  6. Pingback: “Trying Something New”: a seasoned poet chronicles her first foray into videopoetry – Moving Poems Magazine

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