Concept, camera, direction and editing are all credited to Christopher Hughes (Shining Tor Productions), though I can’t help thinking the content of the film might have been influenced by the title of the book in which the poem originally appeared: Dangerous Driving by Chris Woods (Comma Press, 2007). Regardless, it’s a good example of how a narrative approach to filmmaking can work with a lyric poem.
Not Talking was “Made in partnership with Bokeh Yeah and Comma Press”; Bokeh Yeah is kind of the successor to the earlier Comma Film project, as I understand it. One way or another, at least four films have now been made based on poems from Dangerous Driving, each by a different director. Manchester would seem to have a very active poetry-film community indeed.
Christopher Hughes blogged a bit about how he came to make this film:
It seems like an age since Adele Myers approached me to come along to her group, Bokeh Yeah, and join in their poetry film challenge. Even though I agreed, I was initially quite dismissive of poetry films as they didn’t appear to worry about the things I worried about with narrative short films. Things like continuity, dialogue, plot, character, etc. They could shoot any abstract images they wanted and juxtapose them in any way that took their fancy under the general heading of ‘artistic interpretation’. It all seemed a bit too easy to me – or at least, that’s what I thought.
Anyway, I’d said I’d do it so I chose a poem that I liked and came up with a concept that gave me a chance to reference my beloved spaghetti westerns and away we went. I won’t go into more detail about the film, just watch it for yourselves, except to say, that I’m quite happy with it.