“Even the fluffiest piece can have a flip side”: an interview with filmmaker Paul Broderick

This is the seventh in a series of interviews with poets and remixers who have provided or worked with material from The Poetry Storehouse, a website which collects “great contemporary poems for creative remix.” Paul Broderick is a filmmaker. His recent short poetry film “CATS” by H.P Lovecraft will make its debut at the Peak Film Forum “Show Us Your Shorts” Short Film Screening in Colorado on March 11th 2014. Paul and his wife Arlene reside in Queens New York with their three cats Max, Cali and Sammy. He can be reached at gumppaul@aol.com and can be found on Facebook.


1. Would you briefly describe the remix work you have done based on poems from The Poetry Storehouse?


PB:
I have remixed two pieces thus far from The Poetry Storehouse, poems by Dustin Luke Nelson (“A Short Film For Today About What Happened Yesterday“) and Lennart Lundh (“Elegy“). Both poems caught my eye and I had to give them a visual voice.


2. How is The Poetry Storehouse different from or similar to other resources you have used for your remix work?


PB:
The closest I have come to anything resembling The Poetry Storehouse would have be the website archive.org, the difference being the amount of contemporary poems at the Storehouse with readings attached. This I have affectionately begun to call “shake & bake productions” or one-stop shopping… everything the film maker needs is right here. When I found out that there was a sub-genre of film production called poetry-film, it was off to the races.


3. What specific elements do you look for when you browse offerings at The Storehouse (or, what is your advice to poets submitting to The Storehouse)?


PB:
I am a very big fan of horror and the supernatural. I will first look for the elements in a poem that I can translate visually with an emphasis on things that are dark. Even the fluffiest piece can have a flip side. Collaborative is the keyword. As an author, the poet is taking a leap of faith by allowing their work to be interpreted by someone they have never met, and this is the beauty of the creative process.


4. Talk about how the remixing process comes together for you. For example, does your inspiration start with a poem, or with specific footage for which you then seek a poem?


PB:
I will read a poem and immediately start tossing some ideas around in my head and then the creative process will begin. For me it all begins with the author’s work.


5. Is there anything about the Storehouse process or approach that you feel might with benefit be done differently?


PB:
The poetry storehouse is a wonderful place. When a poem, reading and visual style come together, it is a sight to behold…


6. Is there anything else you would like to say about your Poetry Storehouse experience (or anything else)?


PB:
My experience here has been wonderful. I would however, like to take a moment to thank some of the people that have inspired me along the way: my beautiful wife Arlene, who puts up with my endless hours and obsession with film making; an old friend of more than 30 years, Ralph Giordano, director/filmmaker who first introduced me to film poetry; another old friend, Robin Taylor-Southern—a voice-over artist who has generously lent her voice and time to my projects; and a special nod to Erik J. Nielsen, comic book illustrator (Amphibimen Comics) and an old friend… thank you, Erik.