I created the storyboards and notes for these poem at relatively the same time, because I know that pre-production is vital to having a well conceived film and idea, and an efficient and easy-as-can-be shoot.
With all of my poems I started off by hand writing the poem into a notebook. I found that handwriting the poem and physically writing down the poem and my ideas helped me picture them more clearly in my head as opposed to just typing it all up into a word document. After I had written the poem I read it a few times to gage the meaning and my understanding and what I took from the poem. For some poems, for example Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye, I could conceive a proper story with an easy to follow narrative. However, for other, for example The Trembling of the Veil by Allen Ginsberg, I couldn’t so much picture a linear narrative as much as a series of shots that would be up to the viewers interpretation as to what they mean, but they’re all symbolic to what I took away from the poem.
After having an idea, I began to string certain shot ideas to certain lines of the poem, writing them on the next page. With a bright highlighter (so it was easy to see) I connected the shot with the corresponding poem line. Some shots were easier to come up with than others, but eventually I would have a conceptualised idea in my head and on paper of the shots I wanted to film for each poem. There were a lot of shots so I knew I had my work cut out for me, but I knew that I could manage it. I also knew that it was likely that a lot of these shots would end up on the cutting room floor during the editing stages, so I allowed myself the flexibility of not getting too attached to one particular shot that I wouldn’t be able to let go of even if needed be.
After writing these shot ideas into a notebook, I transferred them onto a storyboard. Realistically, I knew that I could manage without a storyboard because of the clear image in my head of each shot I wanted in my film. However, because the notes were made only for my eyes, and they were very messy, I knew I needed to have a story board as well, to make sure that I have a clear representation of what I want in my film. It’s good industry practice, because if I work in a company, I won’t be the only one working on the film, like I am for this project, so all the shots and ideas will need to be clear so that everyone can understand what’s going on and what shots are needed.
Poem #1 – The Trembling of the Veil by Allen Ginsberg
For this poem I wrote notes and created a storyboard. Although I didn’t end up using this poem in my final production for time constraint reasons, I’m still glad I put some practice into the art of storyboarding because, although I personally find it quite tedious, I think it’s a good skill to have, as it’s vital to the film-making process.
Poem #2 – City Dusk by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Again, for this poem I wrote down notes in a notebook regarding my shot ideas, and then created a storyboard. I did end up using these ideas and this poem in my final production, and I found the storyboard vital to my filming and editing process. If I had just had the notes and no storyboard (and also a shot list), I would have found shooting this poem very difficult, as my notes were quite scribbled and messy. And if I couldn’t understand them easily, it would have been practically impossible for someone else who obviously isn’t in my own head swimming around with my own ideas to take on the shooting task. Having the storyboard also helped me in editing, because the shots were not filmed chronologically – as is normal in a filming setting, for efficiency and for convenience – really helped me figure out which shots had to go wear, and when I had to cut them etc. Again, if I hadn’t had the storyboard I would have struggled a lot more, and the editing process would have been a lot longer, maybe doubly so.
Poem #3 – Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye
This was the only poem I shot that I had not written a storyboard for. This was partly down to me having a clear image in my head of what I wanted to shoot. Since this poem has a stronger narrative that’s I’ve created film wise, it was easier for me to be able to string shots together in filming without the aid of a storyboard. However, a lot of the lack of storyboard was down to time management issues. I was originally planning on creating a storyboard after filming, because although I didn’t need one to help me film I thought it would be a good idea to have one to show for pre-production. However, I found that I just didn’t have enough time, so I sacrificed creating a storyboard for this poem to make time for more (in my opinion) pressuring and prioritised aspects of the projects that I still needed to finish – such as important blog posts, film logs, and editing. However, I did write up clear notes for this poem in the same way as the previous two.
Poem #4 – Heart To Heart by Rita Dove
This poem suffered the same problem as the Frye poem, not enough time. If I were to go back and re do this project, and to keep in mind for the next project, I would make sure I had completed all, if not most of, the storyboarding before the filming dates, to avoid running out of time. However, this poem was quite a simple concept, although it was more complicated as first conceived, but when I changed the idea it was simple enough for me to feel like it didn’t warrant an urgent storyboard and that aspect could be put to the back whilst other important elements of my project were completed. Again, however, I did write down notes for my first idea, but not for my second one as I didn’t have enough time, and the idea was very simple anyway.