Spectacle Artefact – Development 1

Having decided to do my ‘Power’ artefact at a later stage in the game, I have for the past two weeks been making a start on my artefacts for the words ‘Memory’ and ‘Spectacle’. Spectacle is up first, so it is time to take a trip back in time to roughly nine months ago – Coventry University, second year. ‘The Montage Of Beautiful Things’:

That module had a similar premise – we had one week to make a video every week, and each week the restrictions, and the word the videos were based around, were different. The word for the week was ‘Time’, and in response to several students basing a video around poetry, I decided to put my creative literature skills to the test. After doing a bit of research into John Cooper Clarke, I decided to film myself reciting one of my own poems, with a few stop-motion cut aways and photographs overlapped. The video received largely positive feedback, but mostly in terms of lyrical content. The cut aways had been a bit of an after-thought.

Two Minutes was always set to have a sequel in the pipeline. The moment this module was set, I got to work making a ‘Power’ poem. However, one of the lecturers told us specifically to avoid the ‘Power Of Love’. Given that my last poem was of a darkly sarcastic romance within the angry youth of today (and to which also received largely positive reviews upon recitations in Tenerife over the summer), I decided a love poem would actually make for good listening.

I would never do something as obvious as a love poem, but certainly when it comes to the ‘Spectacle of the Self’, my love life is nothing short of ‘poetic’. I doubt I can find any aspect of my life that has more irony, sarcasm, and dry depriving wit. My last poem about romance was a rather serious affair, so this time I was going to take a more light-hearted approach – generally, making a mockery of my romantic life for the literal joke that it really is.

Coming up with the title took all of thirty seconds. It has been a label to me for quite a while – particularly at university. ‘Mr Nice Guy’ is a term with dual meanings – it can be literal, as in a person who is nice, or sarcastic, as in a person who is fed up of being nice. Since both relate to my current situation, it seemed like the perfect subject to do a light-hearted whimsical romance based around.

As with so many of my literature, inspiration really can’t be remarked upon – I read some of the top 100 of the Nation’s Favourite Poems by Classic FM to get me in the rhythm, and then just started writing. The general idea was to start it off sounding nice and sweet, and then ultimately descend into something that was sexual, titillating, shocking, and possibly altogether offensive. In the final lines of course, we bring it back to the innocent beginning of the first few lines.

In order to pull this literate trick off, I knew this poem would probably be longer than ‘Two Minutes’, making the video longer as well. More attention will need to be paid to the cut aways this time. I want to put a more emotive performance into the recitation this time, and also want to generalize the content to more than just myself, so I may use other people to model for a few ‘avant-garde’ shots.

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