I have a surprise for you….
I turned one of my poems into an animated short film! I got to collaborate with an amazing animator whose work I’ve admired for years: Patrick Smith. The film is quite short (under 3 min), and it includes a surprise twist & a song!
I’m excited to share it with you!
WATCH “THE MONSTER” HERE:
HOW I MADE THE FILM:
• I didn’t originally set out to make a short film. A few years ago, I was at my typewriter, and I wrote a very quick stream-of-consciousness poem about a monster. When I shared it on instagram someone commented that it would be great as an animated short film. I thought so too. So I made it!
• The score is me on piano and my dad on bass. On one track, I’m playing the piano like…a piano. On a second track, I have the lid of the grand piano open, and I am strumming the strings of the piano. That’s what creates that eerie cascading harp-like sound and the plucking sounds.
• The song at the end of the short film was not planned. As we were recording the narration, I was goofing around by the piano, and I started making up the song, and singing in a Brittish accent, like a British 70’s rock n’ roller. It felt fun and zany and very “me” so I tagged it onto the end of the poem. Once we had the animation, the song ended up really tying the whole piece together.
• My dad is the voice of The Monster. This was not planned either. After we recorded the song, I thought, maybe Phillip should also sing something. I thought maybe, like Groot – the character from Guardians of the Galaxy who only says “I am Groot” – perhaps Phillip only says his own name. So my dad hopped in the booth and sang a few “Phillips”. I think we can all agree this is his most genius work to date.
• The way I found Patrick Smith’s amazing animation was through a video series he did called “Blank on Blank”, where he animated lost interviews of actors, musicians, artists etc. The very first video I watched of his was a “Blank on Blank” of my favorite actor. I asked Patrick if he could draw that actor into our video as one of the background characters. He did! I’m keeping it secret who it is. But you might spot this mystery actor 31 seconds in.
• Projects take time to make. I wrote the poem in October 2018. And now it’s October 2021 and it’s out in the world!
P.S. Here is the original poem! Some of you may remember it from when I posted it on this site 🙂