Over the last month, a lot of planning went into what the trailers should look like. After reading each collection of poetry and chatting with the authors, I started to brainstorm ways of visualizing each collection. How to convert words to pictures? I decided to use images that had been lifted from the text in order to gesture towards the poetry rather than represent it fully.
For Love is a Very Long Word, I was struck by the variety of images and themes in the collection. Majlinda’s poems are full of references, put together in a syncopated way. The collection has a certain kind of harmonious dissonance. In order to capture this sense of the collection, I decided to use still images that could be played in quick succession. Especially against the backdrop of Majlinda’s poem, “This is War”, such a technique could portray the cacophony, and the fullness, of Love is a Very Long Word.
Navy Blue is a great collection of poems, and each one brings to mind blues songs. The collection has working class grit, and I wanted to make sure that this aspect is emphasized in the video trailer. I was also inspired by the photograph that makes up the book’s cover, a picture of a boy curled up on a dirty rooftop. Drawing on this, I decided that people should make up the book’s trailer – the individuals we encounter everyday who are beat down, working hard, and struggling. For this trailer, I’ve decided to have it composed almost entirely of short videos of people from Toronto, from working class or struggling backgrounds.
Colour Theory requires a completely different approach. I wanted the trailer for this collection to be true to the poems’ sense of interiority and domesticity, but also giving voice to the collection’s range of references – to artists, places, and saints. The poems about family, especially mothers and daughters, were also very compelling. The trailer that I’ve brainstormed for this collection focuses on photographs, each alternating with different themes in the collection (artists, places, family), being tossed onto a bed in a woman’s bedroom. I’m excited about filming this collection, and giving the trailer for Megan’s selection the beauty and grace that it deserves.
So far, I’ve managed to collect all the images required for each trailer. As I write this production blog, I’m siting in the alley by my apartment, taking photographs at 5 in the morning as the sky grows lighter! These photographs will compose the introductory section for the trailer of Love is a Very Long Word. I’ve also spent the weekend walking around Toronto, asking various people on the street if they wouldn’t mind being filmed for the production of a book trailer. While most people are very willing to oblige, there are those who would prefer not to be filmed, and that’s completely understandable. The whole process is very exciting. Now to compile all the images, videos, and sound that I’ve collected into working trailers! Stay tuned for more updates!