How to make a poetry film or videopoem

U.K. poetry filmmaker Helen Dewbery at Poetry Film Live has created a terrific page on Making Poetry Films which we can’t top, so please go check that out. There’s a mix of practical suggestions and philosophical considerations that should appeal to newbies and seasoned filmmakers alike, supplemented with engaging video interviews and other material. And do consider signing up for one of her online courses.

We’re in agreement with Helen that a good poetry film should aspire to be a poem in its own right… and as with traditional poetry composition, there are no shortcuts: if you want to be a decent videopoet, you have to watch a huge number of videopoems. We’d like to think we have you covered there, though there are of course lots of great poetry films not in the Moving Poems archives, and people have different tastes, so do browse the other sites on our links page as well. If you’re new to poetry film, the top ten lists we’ve solicited from a variety of experts in the field are a good starting point.

Videopoets and poetry filmmakers at all levels of expertise can take advantage of a vast array of online resources. We have a whole page devoted to Web resources for videopoets. Poetry Film Live has a similar page that’s a bit more selective.

With so much free-to-use video online, you certainly don’t have to invest in camera equipment to make good films these days. Video LLMs are in the offing as well. But you do need to learn how to edit! Again, as with traditional page-poetry, there are really no shortcuts. You have to invest the time, and you have to cultivate a poet’s openness to the subtle impulses of the imagination as it interacts with a cosmos eternally in flux.