Poetry-films are usually short films, based upon a single poem. Trails, however, takes a selection of 5 poems (by Cardiff-based poet, Paul Mason) and combines them to produce a 30-minute film with a continuous narrative. There are two main strands of filmmaking methodology explored in Trails, which form the basis of the project’s research questions. The first involves creating a narrative from a database of poems; and the second centres on the interplay between still and moving-image.

The starting point for this particular avenue of exploration was the desire to produce a short film constructed entirely from a collection of poems - without the use of dialogue or dramatic action. Cognisant of how the language of poetry can at times be suggestive of inner monologue, it seemed apt to conceive of a film that specifically uses poems to map out a character’s development. Trails consists of unrelated poems, written by the same poet, that were not originally conceived of as a series, but are placed in a certain filmic order to delineate the main character’s inner narrative.

Behind the desire to use poems to create a narrative is an interest in minimalistic and slow cinema. To what extent can a film, without loss of interest, be stripped of its theatricality and allow film language to communicate a character’s developmental arc? Along with poems, Trails also seeks to indicate the character arc by utilising an array of conventional film language, i.e. visual imagery, montage techniques, shooting the same location in different seasons, picture grading, music and sound effects, etc. all of which are common currency within contemporary film practice. However, what is of interest in terms of practice-as-research is creating a system of interplay between still and moving-image to imply emotional and spiritual development
Original languageEnglish
Place of Publicationhttp://screenworks.org.uk
PublisherScreenworks
EditionVolume 4
Media of outputDVD
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ID: 935167