These projects each take conflict as their theme. Each looks at the effect of editing an impressionistic montage to complement and amplify the meaning of the poems.

Key Questions

  1. Which moving images match the mood?
  2. Which still images match the mood?

Project 1

Belfast Confetti

Key Question:
Which moving images match the mood?

Pupils are learning to:

  • to consider carefully the nuances of two readings;
  • to construct an insert edit, adding extra images and a soundtrack as appropriate.

Your group is going to create a short film to accompany Ciaran Carson’s Belfast Confetti. It is to be included in a documentary you are producing about people’s memories of 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland.

You have been sent the video materials to accompany the poem. These include the following:

  • Two completed edits of an actor performing the poem;
  • Some shots taken around the Belfast locations mentioned in the poem;
  • 12 black and white still photographs of the troubles;
  • A music soundtrack.

You must look carefully at the two different filmed readings of the poem and decide which one best fits the mood and tone of the original written version.

When you have downloaded your chosen version into an editing package, you then need to decide how much additional material you want to insert into the reading. You will need to think carefully about the effect the new material creates and be clear what you think it is adding to the original.

Finally, you will need to decide whether or not adding the soundtrack enhances the production. If you think it does, then you need to add the appropriate sections of the piece provided to the film.

Unit 6a

Belfast Confetti

Suddenly as the riot squad moved in, it was raining exclamation marks,
Nuts, bolts, car-keys. A fount of broken type. And the explosion
itself - an asterisk on the map. This hyphenated line, a burst of rapid fire…
I was trying to complete a sentence in my head, but it kept stuttering.
All the alleyways and side streets blocked with stops and colons.

I know this labyrinth so well – Balaclava, Raglan, Inkerman, Odessa Street –
Why can’t I escape? Every move is punctuated. Crimea Street. Dead end again.
A Saracen, Kremlin-2 mesh. Makrolon face-shields. Walkie-talkies. What is
My name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going? A fusillade of question marks

Ciaran Carson

Unit 6b

Project 2

Key Question:
Which still images match the mood?

Pupils are learning to:

  • to construct a montage of still images to fit the mood and content of a poem;
  • to record an evocative reading of a poem and add it to the edit.

For the mother of a son shot dead during the riots: 1976

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is commissioning a series of films using poems to celebrate the contribution made by South African school students in the struggle to establish a non-racist democracy in their country.

In 1976 protests by black school students in the township of Soweto near Johannesburg were crushed by armed police who shot a number of them dead. The poem by Peter Clarke deals with the events of 1976 from a mother’s viewpoint.

Your group has been awarded the contract to make a film version of the poem.

Read the poem carefully, thinking about the mood or tone you will adopt when you record a reading of it.

Look at the photographs SABC has provided. Decide which would best complement the poem. Remember, you are not looking for pictures which exactly match the words of the poem; you need to think how the images you choose will suit the mood you are trying to establish.

Practise a reading of the poem and when you are happy with it, time how long it takes you to complete the reading.

Create the visual edit using the photographs you have selected.

Record your reading to fit your visual edit.

Listen to the soundtrack which has also been provided and decide whether or not you wish to use any of it in your final edit.

For the mother of a son shot dead during the riots – 1976
She lights yet another cigarette
and stands with her hand
under her armpit,
puffing away,
dressed in her funeral mother’s black
she is caught in a mesh of thoughts,
silent at the non-answered questions
regarding the death
of this son of her flesh.

About how he had died,
They say nothing,
smirking behind their uniforms and officialdom,
leaving her with the hurt of the dead son’s shirt
bulletholed red and the thought that they lied.
But she knows that they know
each dog gets his day,
dying badly.

Peter E. Clarke