Exercise in the Face of Divorce by David Campos

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California poet David Campos calls this “A narrative video poem about utilizing exercise to deal with the pain of divorce.” It was the first example of contemporary videopoetry examined by Ruben Quesada in his article in Ploughshares last week. As the quotes in the article make clear, however, Campos prefers to think of his work as part of the film tradition, and describes his composition process as follows:

Sound can carry an image…. In “Exercise in the Face of Divorce,” I focused on capturing sound in the shots—this enhanced the poem. All the film criticism I’ve read came into play while shooting and editing the video. I framed and composed shots from the beginning to add meaning. I was conscious of the color while shooting and editing. I edited the footage down to their essential parts. Most importantly, I added sound from the shots themselves. These projects are not “video poems.” They’re short films and they must be treated this way. It is why I use a story board and a rough script from the beginning. The same care I would exhibit in creating a poem on the page must be taken through its production into a film.

Read the rest of the article, if you haven’t already, and check out more of Campos’ work on Vimeo.

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