Thursday, May 8, 2008

Narrative & Film

Brett says:

"Try to influence producers, screenwriters, directors, so that they start looking for movies in poetry.

Try to influence writers so that they write good, substantial, dramatic narrative poetry. "

For the first we must apparently write things called "treatments." Quoth the Brett:

"It's called a 'treatment,' and if you're going to have 1-10 pages of lines to describe the actions, settings, plots, and characters that will become a movie, it might as well just be a 'treatment,' which is superior because it is Designed For and has the Explicit Goal Of selling itself as a movie."
and

"You could use a poem as a basis for a treatment, if the poem had character, setting, drama, plot, etc. (much the way you would use a short story for a treatment).

Many times the best movies-from-books come from novellas and short stories...long novels are much clunkier"

I must say a jillion times thanks to Brett for the schoolin. So here we have the specific instructions for putting narrative poetry-based ideas into the minds of filmmakers. For those of you interested in the experiment -- try it with this poem. I would be delighted to see the results.
So we know what to do. But how?

I would assume that we would have to get in front of some filmmakers. Anyone know any? I know one -- but he's spending more time on plays than film. I've a good friend in the movie scoring program at UCB, but I don't suppose her contacts will develop for at least a few years.

So if you know anyone
-or-
if you know how to get these treatments in front of people irrespective of y/our relationship to them, please let us know.

For the second:

Let's each write a 10-page-or-so narrative poem. 300 lines or there abouts ought to do the trick. You can go over if you want but don't go too shy of 250 or so lines. I'm currently working on retellings of fairy-tales. An excellent starting point. Ovid had great luck with myths. I'm sure there's something out there you can try your pen at. Submit them to Strong Verse or maybe someone will want to set up a narrative poetry mag just for us -- who knows? But then we'll have a stock of poems on which to experiment. What fun!

That's all for today -- I think we're at the point in "poetry-as-basis-for-film" where we have to move into the doing and not the talking stage. So go! Do!

Next time we'll get started on "a 'multimedia, franchise approach' to poetry promotion."

4 comments:

brett said...

A million you're welcomes (I don't have a jillion in me:-) ) for the info.

There are a number of places online where you can find 'how to write a treatment' essays, and there are books out there about getting into the film industry that have sections about treatments and whatnot.

So good luck! You're gonna need it:-)

(actually, you'll need hard work, perseverance, determination, talent, and connections more. But luck is good too)

ravenswingpoetry.com said...

Mr. Palmer, you said:

"Let's each write a 10-page-or-so narrative poem. 300 lines or there abouts ought to do the trick. You can go over if you want but don't go too shy of 250 or so lines. I'm currently working on retellings of fairy-tales. An excellent starting point. Ovid had great luck with myths. I'm sure there's something out there you can try your pen at. Submit them to Strong Verse or maybe someone will want to set up a narrative poetry mag just for us -- who knows? But then we'll have a stock of poems on which to experiment. What fun!"

And I'm thinking...hrm. A challenge. I like these. Last time it was 100 poems in the month of April because of National Poetry Month.

I normally write lyric poetry and I'd say my work is about a 50/50 split between public and private art (referring to your most recent post). I've been trying to encourage my growth by trying new things, and lately, poetic forms (most recently the Chaucerian roundel and the villanelle). But a narrative? 300 lines? I've never written anything that long, but I will definitely give it a shot. Between Hindu mythology and the Old Testament (the two biggest things I'd want to write about now), I should have *plenty* of topics/material to choose from.

-Nicole

G. M. Palmer said...

Wooo!
Can't wait to read it.
Love the old Hindu myths -- which ones are you thinking about?

M

ravenswingpoetry.com said...

The love story of Krishna and Radha first comes to mind. But I'm not sure how to treat it quite yet. I'm tossing other ideas up too.

-Nicole