Process Notes from Marius
The poetry film garden was made during April 2020 which was the beginning of the Corona virus lockdown in the UK. This meant that the production process was a bit different to how I would expect to work in normal times.
Caleb and I had discussed making a film towards the end of March and when lockdown happened, we suddenly had time to start a project. Using the internet we were able to work remotely and to collaborate using email, Zoom and the telephone.
As the poem is set in a garden we did not need to go out to get footage, so we could work and maintain the lockdown rules.
For me the main challenges were learning to use my DSLR camera to shoot movie footage and finding visual equivalences to the images in the poem. Household objects, from feather dusters, plastic tubing and dental floss, were pressed into service.
In discussions with Caleb the blurring of boundaries between the human body and nature became a theme that influenced how I approached the edit. Layering of images, keying and masks are central to the look of this film.
I was able to get a first cut together fairly rapidly and send it to Caleb via the internet. This was what I termed the kitchen sink cut, I threw everything I could think of at it to see what would stick. We then discussed the cut in detail. Caleb came up with a palette of images which clarified the visual structure. Certain colours and motifs repeat at distinct points throughout the film.
As an editor I’m used to working by myself on programmes but usually there is a point where a producer or director comes into the edit suite to view and give direction. We could not do this because of the pandemic, however I realised in a way Caleb was giving direction through his reading of his poem.
I had enormous fun working on this film, it was a bit of a kid in a sweet shop experience. After forty years in television postproduction I pretty much had carte blanche in the edit.
Marius studied fine art at Bristol Polytechnic graduating in 1981 with a BA Hons degree in sculpture. He then made a career shift into broadcast television, becoming a freelance editor. Marius has worked on factual and entertainment shows, documentaries and feature films. He is also a photographer, examples of his photographic work can be found at: photography.mariusgrose.co.uk
Always interested in writing and story telling Marius has written screenplays for film and television. Since 2016 has been writing poetry and reading his work at open mic nights. He has had poems published in the literary arts journal Dream Catcher.
Caleb Parkin is a day-glo queero techno eco poet & facilitator, based in Bristol. He won second prize in the National Poetry Competition 2016. He has previously worked in media production for the BBC and as a teacher and Senior Inclusion Worker in schools and pupil referral units, and has tutored for Poetry Society, Poetry School and First Story. In 2019, he was awarded Arts Council funding to explore queer ecopoetry in his first collection. https://couldbethemoon.co.uk/