Sign In using your Campus Account

Short Film & Short Film II by Julia Bird and a new writing prompt from Ben Rogers

Writing Prompt – High-Concept by  Ben Rogers                    

Write a poem that acts as the full synopsis of an imagined high-concept film.  Indulge in far-fetched fiction and employ a narrative that utilises the type of big what if questions that regularly surface in a cinematic blockbuster, such as ‘what if toys could speak?’ or ‘what if a car was invented that could go back in time?’  Whatever you select and however grandiose the narrative it pertains to, keep the poem in the spirit of a synopsis by being relatively short considering the tale it tells.  Experiment with other aspects, including how you relay key plot points, the way you introduce characters (if any) and when you choose to spotlight critical details.

Poems of the Day – Short Film and Short Film II by Julia Bird

Today’s poems of the day are from a five-piece short poem sequence that play on different cinematic genres while handling the constraint of a diminishing word count.  The sequence, which runs through Julia Bird’s first collection, wittily captures the visual close-ups and compressed plotting of short films.  The poet describes the opening poem and its sequel as a “50 word road movie” and a “40 word rom-com”.

At Poetry in Aldeburgh: Julia Bird is the founder of Jaybird Live Literature, whose project ‘Beginning to See the Light‘ features at the Peter Pears Gallery on Saturday 5th November, 5.30pm – 6.30pm

Short Film

Finally they let him have a go, from the garage as far as the pavement.  Checking the mirror twice, he lowered the handbrake then freewheeled the twelve-foot slope.  Through the windscreen’s frame he could see the porch step, his mother from the waist down, milk bottles full of air.


Short Film II

The supermarket checkout girl at till two smiled at him as he queued and paid for his Mars Bar.  Her hair was as black and her lips as red as its wrapper.  How 60p in change feels like a divorce.

from Hannah and the Monk (Salt, 2008)

Add your Reply