Frida to Marty McConnell

In collaboration with Corinne ThrashHannah Mintek, and Meg Wiedl

Poem by Marty Mc Connell, "Frida to Marty McConnell"  |  Music by Lila Downs  |  Read by Maria Billorou

 

The Challenge

To create an informative how-to video. We chose to visually illustrate advise on love given to poetess Marty by a post-humous Frida Kahlo.  

Visual Solution

Using abstract imagery & metaphor, we created a visual painting of Marty's poem, which so poignantly describes love found, ached for, and grieved.

Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell
by Marty McConnell

leaving is not enough; you must
stay gone. train your heart
like a dog. change the locks
even on the house he’s never
visited. you lucky, lucky girl.
you have an apartment
just your size. a bathtub
full of tea. a heart the size
of Arizona, but not nearly
so arid. don’t wish away
your cracked past, your
crooked toes, your problems
are papier mache puppets
you made or bought because the vendor
at the market was so compelling you just
had to have them. you had to have him.
and you did. and now you pull down
the bridge between your houses.
you make him call before
he visits. you take a lover
for granted, you take
a lover who looks at you
like maybe you are magic. make
the first bottle you consume
in this place a relic. place it
on whatever altar you fashion
with a knife and five cranberries.
don’t lose too much weight.
stupid girls are always trying
to disappear as revenge. and you
are not stupid. you loved a man
with more hands than a parade
of beggars, and here you stand. heart
like a four-poster bed. heart like a canvas.
heart leaking something so strong
they can smell it in the street.

Design Timeline (3 weeks)

Visual research

Group brainstorming

Search for poems/ spoken word

Inspiration boards

Story boarding

Screen writing

All editing and videography executed by Corinne Thrash

Inspiration

We sought inspiration from other abstract spoken word videos that were heavy in visual metaphor, drawn to ones that played with dramatic light and shadows.

 

Storyboarding & Process

We pulled apart the poem and found the areas where the rhythm slowed and then quickened again. Wanting to be intentional with how we framed our scenes, we isolated places in the lines where it was natural to transition from one visual arena to the next between scenes.  This syncopated separation creates both a smooth, cohesive, and abstract visual arcing timeline that explores and represents the poems' imagery.

 

Reflection

My talented classmates Hannah, Corinne, Meg and I made this video for our final New Media project at Seattle Central Creative Academy.  Corinne (humble, humble Corinne) did the labor intensive video editing, changing lighting in many of the frames for balance with extreme delicacy and skill.  Meg, whom had the beautiful poem we decided on in her heart pocket, and Hannah, were equally supportive and talented creatives.  Overall, this project was a transformative working experience.

I found this entire process empowering, because together we made something that I truly feel so very proud of.  Last, but definitely not least, special thanks to Maria Billorou for narrating for us!