‘Sandburg and Photograph’ – process notes for a video remix

‘Sandburg and Photograph’ is based on a poem submitted to The Poetry Storehouse by Lennart Lundh. For this one, I started with the footage and then searched for the poem.

One of the challenges for a videopoem maker not yet handy with his or her own camera (that would be me) is finding video footage that a) works and b) is copyright-free and c) is either free or inexpensive. There are a few sites (eg Motion Elements or OrangeHD) that put up video clips for free use, and I trawl them regularly, downloading and saving footage against future need. The clip subjects are super-odd and almost comically random and nearly always fall in the ‘you never know’ category.

In this case, I found a series of shots taken of and through the side rear view mirror of a car. They struck me as metaphorically powerful and I went back through the Storehouse poems, deliberately looking for one which would match the metaphor. Lennart’s elegantly tragic simple/complicated piece, with its telescoping rearward/forward depiction of time and space jumped out at me very quickly.

I had to slow down the clip a little to make it long enough, but that only helped with the atmosphere, I thought. I also reversed the clip (wonder if anyone noticed!) to add even more body to the shifting space-time metaphor. The ‘alien’ soundscape I used had one of my favorite aural themes (monk-chant!) and I felt it effectively added to the overall otherworldly time-travel feeling.

This was a simple project, with no image layering and using only one clip, but I was not tempted to add anything else, especially given the complexity already offered by this deceptively simple poem.

Thanks once again to Lennart for contributing his work to The Poetry Storehouse. As always, we warmly encourage other remixers to visit the Storehouse and get creative with its contents.

Visit the Poetry Storehouse Vimeo page to see all Storehouse-based video remixes.

Published by

Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

4 thoughts on “‘Sandburg and Photograph’ – process notes for a video remix”

  1. So glad you’re taking the time to write up some process notes — this will come in handy when I get around to sharing the video at Moving Poems! This is one of my favorites of yours, and speaks well for the ekphrastic approach, I think (or semi-ekphrastic, since you found rather than wrote the poem).

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