October 2016: Lights, camera, action!

Sid the Serpent, Gondola figurehead Sid the Serpent Gondola figurehead
Filmmaker on Gondola

We’ve been busy filming a local group of poets on board Gondola this week.

We invited Brantwood Writer in Residence, Geraldine Green and her group (I wonder what the collective noun is for a group of poets – a ‘stanza’ perhaps?) on to the boat back in June to kick off a season of Gondola-inspired poetry. 

They didn’t disappoint with their contributions, so this week they all came back on Gondola again to recite their wonderful poems to camera.

Our ‘Steven Spielberg’ for the project is locally based filmmaker Jo Hutton of Jousey Films (seen in the photo above, perched on the roof of Gondola attempting to capture the perfect shot).

We selected one of the poems as our centrepiece for filming, a poem called ‘Gondola Found Us’ by Marion Brown. Here’s the first verse:

'Gondola found us, washed up and waiting
Coils of serpent smoke steam from her
Navy blue funnel, gilded gold as
The languid pulse of the engine draws us aboard
Into her red velvet interior'

A couple of my fellow Gondola crewmen and I were ‘persuaded’ to recite a few verses of the poem. I’m not sure if that means we now qualify for our equity cards? Something to add to the CV perhaps - engineer, purser, helmsman and actor. If they ever bring back the Onedin Line I’ll surely be a shoo-in for a major role.

Filmmaker Jo has now gone away to work on the film in her editing suite. I’m just hoping I don’t end up on the cutting room floor.

We also roped in one of our National Trust rangers Rob for the day. A keen photographer and filmmaker himself, he helped film our other poets so that we captured as many Gondola poems as possible. Below is a shot of poet Oonah Joslin practising her lines before Rob gets his camera rolling. Her poem 'At Brantwood Jetty' features in her new book 'Three Pounds of Cells' which is being launched on 18 October.

Poet Oonah Joslin practising her lines
Poet practises her lines
Poet Oonah Joslin practising her lines

Here's the first of Ranger Rob's poetry films. We’ll be adding more videos of our poetry recitals on the website in due course, but don’t forget that we'd love to hear your Gondola- inspired poetry too - and if you submit one before the close of our sailing season at the end of October, we'll enter you into a prize draw to win a Steam and Cream experience for two.

If you are in the area on Thursday 3 November, a couple of the Gondola poems will be recited at Brantwood as part of Geraldine's end of residency celebration. Maybe see you there? More information