Students read or create poems and translate them into moving pictures.
Organization of the workshop
A group of students participates in different activities: reading or creating poems, analyzing them, thinking of their visualization, filming and editing audiovisual material. Their final works are audiovisual poems.
Students are divided into groups of 2-3, which are mentored by a professional filmmaker. The first activity of the workshop is reading a poem, selected by the organizer or/and the mentor of a workshop and/or the school’s teacher. (Instead of reading one, students can also be given a task to create their own poem.) Having analyzed a poem, the workshop’s participants look for its keywords or phrases. Afterwards, they think of visual metaphors or abstract images, which can illustrate the meaning and the atmosphere, and take several photographs. It is also recommended to show the participants several excerpts of experimental, non-narrative films, and to relate their form of expression to that of poetry. Among other aspects, it is important to highlight that a filmmaker can achieve a certain atmosphere, transmit feelings and ideas not only by capturing specific objects, but also by choosing deliberate or intuitive camera movements, considering the length of shots, the sounds, etc. After discussing photographs, film excerpts and elements of film language, students are ready to start filmmaking.
The workshop may last from one day to up to 6 sessions. Its duration largely depends on the poem chosen, the number of shots, the type of sounds (diegetic or non-diegetic) used, the thoroughness of the poem’s analysis, the school’s schedule, the number of activities, etc.
During the workshop, the teacher acts as a mediator between the students and the mentor of the workshop. It is recommended that a language teacher participates in the workshop and contributes to the poem’s analysis.
Selecting a poem
The selected poem should not be very descriptive, but instead leave room for alternative visual metaphors and abstract images. Moreover, it should not belong to symbolist poetry.
A reflection process should follow most of the activities. It is especially important at the end of the workshop. It should focus on the comparison between the poem and its visualization.
Sounds and texts
At the beginning of the workshop, the mentor and the students should decide if the films incorporate diegetic or/and non-diegetic sounds, monologues, dialogues, etc.
Number of shots
The workshop’s participants can film their audiovisual works in one or more shots. However, this number should not be too high due to the limited possibilities to process and edit an excessive amount of audiovisual material.
A mentor, together with the school’s teacher, should be responsible for charging and connecting all the technical equipment required for the workshop.