UPDATE: I rewrote the poem and remade the video on September 18, 2010. The post below refers to an earlier incarnation, using mostly the same footage.
Although I’ve experimented with video poems before, this is the first one where I relied on audio for the text rather than superimposing the words on the screen. The footage was all shot this past Sunday, at the top of our field (which is also the top of the Plummer’s Hollow watershed). My friends Chris and Seung had come up from D.C. for a weekend of sledding, and while temperatures on Friday and Saturday stayed nice and cold, and we had some spectaular toboggan wipe-outs (which is the main point of tobogganing, as I understand it), on Sunday morning the thermometer climbed into the 40s (i.e. between 5 and 10 degrees Centigrade, for you farriners). The snow turned sticky. Snowballs flew back and forth like carrier pigeons with one basic but never monotonous message.
By the time we got to the top of the field it was time for some sunbathing, and that’s when Seung’s interest in snowball-making turned from skirmishing to art, as seen in the film.
I wanted to see if I could make a video shorter than a minute and a half, primarily because my most common reaction to other amateur videos is that they aren’t edited well enough. I’m sure there are still lots of things I could improve, though. I don’t particularly like the sound of my own voice, and in general the video doesn’t come close to conforming to the idea I had in advance. There are a lot of avant-gardey things I simply don’t know how to do, and probably can’t do until I get better video editing software (on order). But it’s a start.
Incidentally, I also have a photo of Seung up on the photo blog — a badly underexposed, low-resolution snapshot taken with the camcorder that I altered almost beyond recognition in the digital darkroom for a portrait of an altered state which is not, I assure you, an accurate representation of our condition at the time.