There’s been a slight break since our last Film To A Theme project to allow for the Top Ten competition and various practical evenings but that doesn’t mean we’ve given up on them.

As you can see, the theme for the next project is Poem.

Everyone likes a good rhyme, whether it is a witty limerick, an emotive haiku or a profound sonnet, and whilst it might not always be so obvious, the lyricism and inventive use of language found in a well written verse lends itself to any number of visual interpretations, which is where YOU come in.

We are asking that you get your cameras out and make a short film set to a poem, like you would with a film set to music but one that illustrates or interprets the text. Whether it is Shakespeare,  Wordsworth, Yeats, Hughes, Plath, Coleridge, Lear or Milligan we are spoiled for choice when it comes to picking the right title to bring to life, so spread your nets wide and let your imaginations run wild, and of course don’t forget you are welcome to hire a voiceover artist or actor friend to read the poem too!

Of course, your films can come in any style – live action, animation, photo slideshow, with or without music, whatever you can come up with will to provide us with an entertaining evening of films, all we ask that you adhere to the FIVE-MINUTE MAXIMUM time limit .

The deadline for this project is the screening date which is set for Tuesday August 13th so you have a bit of time to put something together, and we look forward to see what you have for us then!


  1. Sorry I have to ask this but why only 5 minutes max. I was going to enter a film but its around 7-8 minutes long. The problem that could arise is that you might get only 4 entries giving 20 minutes of films meaning the majority of the evening has to be made up of archive films. Surely you would be better off saying “We will show as many films as possible during the evening so the shorter the better” without stipulating a time limit. Okay the time limit is set so everybody can show their film (if everybody makes one of course) and each film would have a proper ending rather than stopping the film after 5 minutes, and also avoids boring the audience with 10-15 minutes of drivel. On the other hand of course with no time limit you could end up with 10 films each of 15 minutes but the way things are at OVFM today it’s probably unlikely. However I still feel that 5 minutes is too short and a quick decision should be made on the night depending on the number of films submitted. Ok rant over.

    1. This is something you’ll have to take up with the committee. Maybe it was because they are hoping the poetry theme is fertile enough to encourage a fair response from club members meaning a packed evening of films?

      I suppose it depends what poem people are likely to feature – if it is something like The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner or Paradise Lost then we’re asking for trouble! 😉 😛

      However, the very reason why we ask people to leave a message on this site telling us if they are brining a film and how long it lasts is to ensure we can plan out the evening, i case of too many films or too few.

      Unfortunately, since hardly anyone in the club bothers to do this – and it’s been EIGHT YEARS of asking – and people just show up with their films, we are left to wing it each time. I can’t speak for the committee but I am assuming the time limit is to both avoid boredom and to allow room for as many films to be shown.

      Yet, as you so rightly point out, the response to projects, themes evenings and competitions has gradually dropped off in recent years so a little leeway can be shown at the discretion of the chair or MC for the evening.

      Of course, if people showed a little consideration and cooperated with the request to let us know ahead of time if they have a film, this might not necessarily have to be an issue… 🙁

      1. It looks like I should come back especially as I have had both eyes done. As soon as I have been signed off from the hospital I’ll seriously think about it.
        Regards to all Bob

  2. Yes thanks for that prompt reply Lee. I thought when typing it that it was a comitee thing and maybe be discussed by them at a later date. I will just have to see. Yes I agree it would help a lot knowing well in advance how many members have a film and what length.

  3. Boundaries are useful, if not essential. Five minute films can be packed with pictures, colours and pace making for a very entertaining film that most members will enjoy. Conversely a five minute film can send one to sleep from sheer boredom or be particularly difficult to watch because no editing techniques appear to have been applied, some, in fact, will be straight out of the camera as filmed, warts ‘n all. This second category will leave members disappointed.

    At OVFM we are trying to encourage filmmakers to step out of their comfort zone and confront those parts of film making they find difficult … and then have a go … if necessary with the help of others. We have seen many develop new talents through such attempts. As a consequence, films that would once have bored an audience, have had new life breathed into them and hold the attention of those watching.

    If a member decides to produce something over 5 minutes, their film will go to the back of the queue and only be shown if there is time. If it is unedited or very boring, a decision will be made on the evening as to whether it should be stopped early. If stopped we could offer comments to the filmmaker regarding how the film could be improved to make it more interesting. This would only be done with the filmmaker’s agreement. Feedback, when given constructively and acted upon, is one of the most powerful tools in improving our art. Where film makers have acted to improve their film from advice received, some have gone on to win top awards.

    There will be other opportunities to show longer films on those occasions where the five minute restriction doesn’t apply.

    1. Thanks for the comprehensive reply Jane. I hope people find this enlightening enough and take heed rather than continue sticking their heads in the sand.

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