Today I made some poetry films. Filmic poems. Poem-y film things. Yes, THEM. With the help of film-makers Jack Morris (camera chap) and Max Phillips (boom bloke) two poem film babies are now being brought to birth. Is that a good metaphor? I DON’T KNOW!

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Making a #poetry film! #Cardiff #Wales

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But, I did learn a few things about making films today, so here are a few tips for you who haven’t but might, or have but it all went horribly wrong. Follow my tips and your film will turn out tops! Maybe. Don’t sue me if it doesn’t, though! I’m only a poet, like, Jack and Max did all the actual work. Anyway! Here are some things that I learned, or that I imagine, based on today’s experiences, would be helpful….

1. Get permission to film. If you don’t, for whatever reason – maybe you forgot, or couldn’t be bothered – then blag it. Have a clipboard clipping many important-looking papers together. If you are told off for filming, ask to speak to Whoever Is In Charge. It probably isn’t those two blokes wearing council t-shirts and carrying litter pickers who harassed us in Bute Park. Those guys are arse hats.

2. Be polite. People like politeness. It makes them think of Victorian dads and olde worlde values. Handlebar moustaches jump into their eyes and cloud their vision. Ladies’ handkerchieves fly into their noses and bustle skirts rustle in their ears. They remember their grandparents and go all gooey with nostalgia. They will do whatever you say. Even read out rude rhymes to camera. Politeness rocks!

3. Have batteries, both for your equipment and for your body. Duracell and cereal bars, that sort of thing, though MAKE SURE YOU PUT THE RIGHT ONE IN YOUR MOUTH HA HA! Cups of tea are good, too, BUT NOT IN THE CAMERA HA HA!

4. Memorise your poem. And make sure it is so well-memorised, practised, and performed that it’s practically the same every time you read it out. Otherwise, it can be tricky for the film makers to put the different angles/clips together afterwards, as you might be reading in different tones, or at different speeds, in each recording. Become an automaton of verse! A poetry robot! Like me!!

5. Apply make-up. Even if you are a man. A little powder will take the shine from your nose, which is probably pretty red from all the free wine you’ve imbibed at launches, readings, and so on. Looking like an alcoholic won’t help your rep at all, unless you are going for that sorta vibe. It’s the Dylan Thomas centenary, so that look is very on trend, actually.

6. If make-up isn’t going to make you look any more presentable, maybe go for animation.

7. Avant-garde may make a crap poem seem very intellectual indeed.

8. Have business cards to hand, some people might stop and ask what’s going on. You can give them a card and they will look at your website, read your work, buy your stuff, etc. Maybe you will meet The Love Of Your Life. Or, Your Future Stalker. Who knows!!!?

9. Alternatively, tell them you are filming the new Doctor Who. NOTE: THIS ONLY WORKS IN CARDIFF. Tell them you are the first female Doctor. NOTE: THIS ONLY WORKS ON STUPID PEOPLE.

10. Get someone famous to star in your film. It will not only make the poem seem cooler and more well-crafted than it is, it will also get you loads more views. We got Superman. Thanks, Supes!

Anyway, my poetry films will be online very, very soon, and then I will blog in your face about em. Any questions, please let me know via this email: Cheers! x


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