Is This Really Me?

12 Jul

I was one of twenty writers commissioned by Alastair Cook to write a flash fiction response to a film poem created for PechaKucha on 29th June. This was a new challenge for me, here’s how it went.

I received a link with a password for my film, it was number twenty (password twenty). The film was 1960s found footage and it was beautiful. Alastair had edited it to tell a 1 minute story.

I watched a woman in a white dress on her wedding day. She kept looking at the Best Man. I wrote my initial thoughts down and came back to watch it again, two days later.

My brief was to respond with a piece of flash fiction that could be read aloud within 10 seconds. Alastair wanted it to be short, two or three lines maximum, he said just a haiku in length.

I decided to use a haiku format (5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables).

I put ‘love’ in the centre of ‘forever’ to represent marriage and put a question on either side, ‘is this really me?’. In just a few words I wanted to show her questioning if she could truly love someone forever.

I was tentative in my submission, here’s what I wrote:

OK, I have a haiku:

Is this really me?
Forever. Love. Forever.
Is this really me?

But could also do a longer one – have got more. Do you want more?

PS Do you want it to be in the third person?

When I was first commissioned I’d thought along the same lines as the bride… is this really me?

  • What if I watch the film and have no emotional response?
  • What if I can’t do flash fiction?
  • What if my piece ruins the whole presentation?

And all of this ran through my head while waiting for a response from Alastair.

Thankfully, I had this reply within a couple of minutes:
No it’s bloody perfect x Baci x

To which I responded:
YAAAAY! Hurrah, so pleased. (:

The next day I had another message and it pretty much made my day:
I’ve just read through all 20. Yours is the perfect ending. I cannae thank you enough x

Here is the film, I’ve listed the writers below. It’s fascinating to watch and hear all the responses. I’m most grateful to Alastair for commissioning me and delighted to be part of the Twenty Second Film Poem project. I hope you respond and enjoy it too:

Twenty Second Filmpoem from Alastair Cook on Vimeo.

Alastair Cook included a transcript in the description on Twenty Second Filmpoem. This Filmpoem is part of a larger project, find more on the Filmpoem website.

Number seventeen of twenty, Robert Peake blogged about the project here. David Bonta blogged about the project and featured this blog on Moving Poems (thanks David!).

Writers involved in order:

Andrew McCallum Crawford, Mary McDonough Clark, Al Innes, Guinevere Glasfurd-Brown, Elspeth Murray, Janette Ayachi, Jane McCance, Donna Campbell, Ewan Morrison, Angela Readman, Gérard Rudolf, Zoe Venditozzi, Jo Bell, Sally Evans, Pippa Little, Tony Williams, Robert Peake, Stevie Ronnie, Sheree Mack and Emily Dodd.


Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Film, poetry, Writing


Tags: , , , , ,

8 responses to “Is This Really Me?

  1. Katie Smith

    July 12, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Just watched this – it’s fantastic!

  2. Milo McLaughlin (@milomclaughlin)

    July 17, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Interesting project. The film has quite a spooky effect and I love the way it’s edited and the way he reads it, and he’s right – your words work really well as an ending. You have a knack for finding very cool opportunities Emily!

    • auntyemily

      July 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      Thanks Milo, I know what you mean about the film too (:


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