The Art of Poetry Film with Cheryl Gross: “Working Order”

Working Order
poem by Dora Malech
video by Gentleman Scholar, for Motionpoems

Gentleman Scholar is a group of solution-driven artists situated at the intersection of story, style and technology. Wielding extensive experience in strategy, live-action production, animation, digital and print, we help the world’s leading agencies and brands tell their stories.
bio on Vimeo

Gentleman Scholar created fabulous effects to illustrate the poem “Working Order” by Dora Malech. They have used a combination of animation programs to achieve a fluidity that enhances as well as captures the essence of the poetry. I personally prefer this painterly approach (there are several brush stroke filters in Photoshop that imitate painting) to the usual bells and whistles that go along with 3-D modeling, Maya and whatever else, that intends to dazzle the viewer.

The pace is fast and combined with a motion blur, Working Order gives the illusion that the paint is moving. It would be great to see it in 3-D. That would be a nice touch.

I love great art that moves. Gentleman Scholar are highly successful in their application of digital painting. A good many video-poetry artists struggle to get the same impact using illustration, photography and/or enhanced video. This group shines through and brings new life to the genre.

The combination of Malech’s poem and Gentleman Scholar’s visuals has resulted in a stunning work of art. By using this method they have not only bumped poetry video up a notch, but have succeeded in making it the quintessential platform of the 21st century.

For Gentelman Scholar’s own assessment of the video, as well as the full credits, see their website.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Cheryl Gross (website, blog) is an illustrator, painter, writer, and motion graphic artist living and working in the New York/Jersey City area. She is a professor at Pratt Institute (where she received her MFA) and Bloomfield College.

Her work has appeared in numerous festivals and publications as well as gracing the walls of many galleries, corporate and museum collections.

“I equate my work with creating and building an environment, transforming my inner thoughts into reality. Beginning with the physical process, I work in layers. I am involved in solving visual and verbal complexities such as design and narrative. My urban influence has indeed added an ‘edge’ to my work.”

Cheryl has often been compared to “Dr. Seuss on crack.”