Dear readers/viewers/people who follow my artistic/creative pursuits,
Today, after finishing the last episode of my video journal, Approximately 345 Days in the Cold, I am thinking about what to do next with film, and how I can bring filming things together with my writing work. I would love your thoughts and input about these ideas.
I have begun with two vague ideas which have evolved as I have jotted them down. The first is that I want my next film project to be something which could form a portfolio towards my dream kind of work… which is to be involved with something like Playschool or, as I will describe more, a similar program aimed at people of all ages/for different age groups. From there, an idea has evolved which I would like your opinions on. Here are my notes:
- Write stories that are like fables with a lesson, but new, addressing modern issues told in an abstract way, e.g., using animal characters and/or fantasy. I would like them to be stories which promote community, forgiveness, and things like how to explain your point of view or even change somebody’s mind, without making that other person feel rejected or MORE different from you; stories with ideas about how we can work towards equality and fairness and kindness in ways that have a positive outcome for everyone. Stories that discuss how we are all human, perhaps, ironically, by using characters that are not human. Isn’t this what fantasy is for, in some ways? What do YOU think? And what kind of stories would you like to see me try to tell?
- These could go with a series of illustrations of things from the fables, which I could then use as an art series entitled ‘modern fables’ or convert into a picture book of the story, but they would be used in the film reading, not necessarily animated (although I would definitely consider working with someone who does this), but probably in a turning the pages of the book kind of way.
- Promote the idea that picture books/verbal storytelling are not just for children: I think this is something which can inspire us and get our brains working throughout our lives, and that perhaps there is a need for storytelling in the style we think of as ‘for children’ and ‘children’s books’, aimed at young adults finding their place in the world, older adults looking for meaning/memory triggers etc, and so forth. So here’s a question for you: Who do you think needs picture books and verbal storytelling, and if you would watch something where someone tells you a story, what kind of stories would inspire you and give you hope and direction in your current part of your life?
- Research cultures where verbal storytelling/oral history and the fusion of these two things are common and find out to what extent they are/were historically used with the community as a whole rather than just with children
- Promote inclusion of poetry in stories for children and adults, and work against the idea that poetry is not accessible to those who are not ‘great literary minds’ as it were – write poems as part of these stories which appeal to most people
- Work out how to fuse film of the real world with drawn illustration in a way that does not detract from the flow of the story
The second vague idea is that I want to, in general, create simple films with overlaid spoken poetry. I want to:
- Set poems against beautiful film backdrops that promote hope, meditation if that’s your thing, and relaxation, and perhaps may aid people with relief of stress and/or anxiety.
- These poems should all inspire action and hope for the future, and the images should encourage mindfulness and reflection by drawing attention to the small and beautiful things all around us. If you feel you have knowledge of the kinds of messages that should be in this poetry, or in the visuals, or thoughts about it more generally, send them my way.
- The obvious title which came to mind for this particular project is ‘Poetry in Motion’ – it’s a bit clichéd. Does anyone have an alternative title idea for me?
Thank you for reading this morning’s reflective ramble! You are more than welcome to give me your thoughts as comments here on social media if your idea/thought/request fits into a reasonable length comment. If you get all inspired (I hope lots of you do, that’s what I’m aiming for!) and want to write me an essay, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org (an alternative to my usual email, to make it easier to keep responses to this all in one place and separate them from my always very full normal inbox).