Finished Documentary Treatment
The concept of locations and landmarks in poetry
Synopsis: A short documentary about the importance of various locations and landmarks explored through the perspective of Edinburgh and Glasgow poets. It follows a few poetry nights in both cities trying to find the traces different places leave in people’s minds and their creations.
Name: “Places in Words”
Length: 10 minutes
Format: Digital Video, 25fps, 1080p
Crew members: Vita Oliskeviciute, Liam Boyd, Helen Clocherty and Michael Mallon
The film follows two events organised by Loud Poets – an Edinburgh based poetry association in Glasgow and Edinburgh and an event in Glasgow organised by The High Flight. It explores the mention of locations, specific places and landmarks in poems recited during the events and then further investigates what these places mean and why are they mentioned through various interviews with the same people. The audience is also shown the places mentioned. It gradually paints the picture of Scottish poetry scene as very international and transcultural and shows how different individual styles and traditions intervene and merge with each other creating new poems and ways of story telling.
Characters of this film are all poets performing live in Edinburgh and/or Glasgow on a regular basis. They come form different places and backgrounds and display individual poetry styles. Their poems tend to include names of places, streets, landmarks and other geographical objects.
Georgia Bartlett-McNeil - Edinburgh based biology student who loves poetry and is ready to improve her poems at any time – even if she’s in a middle of performing one. She’s a long time performer and has a solid presence in the Edinburgh and Glasgow poetry scenes.
Mr. Freddie Alexander – Edinburgh university graduate, poet, poetry nights host and organiser. He was part of the University of Edinburgh’s first winning UniSlam team and now works at National Library of Scotland.
Carly Brown – previous Scottish Slam Champion, author of two books, student in Glasgow University, originally from USA. She placed fourth in the World Slam Championships in 2013 and continues to perform with Loud Poets.
And more characters that will be confirmed in the near future.
Visually the film is portrayed as a mixture of footage from live performances, interviews and places mentioned. The shots are quite straightforward and simple, letting the audience concentrate on what is being shown rather than how. The takes are quite long and meditative and the editing slow and calm. It slightly intensifies as the movie progresses and shifts towards the culmination and then slows down again as it reaches the end. The structure of editing is not linear – rather it develops the argument by interweaving different snippets of interviews, performances and locations, juxtaposing them between each other and going full circle back to the same poet.
Aurally the film is filled with diagetic sounds, for most parts none of them are removed to emphasize a specific one. There is a crowd cheering and chattering during the live performances and you can hear distant music and sounds during the interviews as well. It’s not enough to make the voice ineligible, but as the cultures and places mix so does the sound creating a slight chaos and making the scenes quite down to earth. Instead of feeling overly “poetic” the shots look a little more ordinary and therefore more realistic. When the scene or a part of it is really important, however, the sound clears up and ambience quiets down drawing the full attention to what is happening on screen or the lines being said in a now clear voice. Some shots are connected by the continuation of the interview turning into voice over and vice versa. Poems from the Loud Poets events are accompanied by music. That music, however, is diagetic as there are musicians playing live at the event as such is the format of the events. During the High Flight events, however, there is now music used as it is not there in the first place.
The target audience of the film is mostly young people interested in poetry or different cultures. Of course the movie might appeal more to Glasgow or Edinburgh audiences as most of the places shown and maybe even the poets would be ones they are familiar with, but the film is constructed in a way that lets even a person who has now interest in the cities enjoy it. The universal topics and subjects make the movie engaging and interesting for people from different places around the word. Age vise, however it is constructed to appeal to the audience of young adults as the night life atmosphere portrayed and young characters are more relatable to people of similar ages.