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Poetry On Demand

Halfway through my 1,700 mile drive from Tampa, FL to Ely, MN I decided to conduct a poetry search on the iPhone podcast app. Why? Well, as a filmmaker, narrative story is of the utmost importance, so I think poetry will help me further analyze the different concepts of narrative and how they play a role in our everyday lives. As a result of my random search, I discovered  Poetry Off The Shelf by Curtis Fox and it has completely broadened my horizons in the poetry realm- highly recommended.

Fast forward to my first day in Ely with my brother on June 14th, 2016. As we cruise the main street of town we see this quaint farmers market in full swing. We begin to walk around and buy fresh eggs and pickled green beans etc and then I hear this "chik-chik-cha-chik-chik-chika-chik-cha.." sound coming from the distance. I immediately have the vision to create a film featuring a poet typing on an old typewriter sitting on a beautiful vista overlooking a lake in Northern Minnesota. I approach this "chik-chik-cha" artist and introduce myself. His name is Timothy Stouffer- a great local artist who creates hand carved fishing lures and writes poetry under the name "Poetry on Demand". He has a fun business model, people give him a subject to write about on the spot and he creates a narrative right then and there. He doesn't charge a flat fee. He only suggests you tip based on your love of his work. 

We exchange a few emails. And next thing you know, we're filming on a remote island in the middle of Cedar Lake, Minnesota. He wrote a beautiful poem that describes the mysterious and elegant waters of Ely, MN and how those waters relate to our lives. I plan to release the film as part of a larger series by end of June. 

Life is interesting. I showed interest in a new subject, Poetry, and sure enough, the world presented me with an opportunity to film this subject and share it with my world.  Check out the behind-the-scenes below. Film to follow. 

 Preparing film gear on the remote island. 

Preparing film gear on the remote island. 

 Building my shitty overhead rig. 

Building my shitty overhead rig. 

 Attempting to balance my shitty overhead rig. 

Attempting to balance my shitty overhead rig. 

 Getting in close with my  Sony As7ii  and Sony 28mm lens. 

Getting in close with my Sony As7ii and Sony 28mm lens. 

 Thanks  Cameron  for the behind the scenes. 

Thanks Cameron for the behind the scenes. 

Dylan Melcher