Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Watch the Book Trailer for David Seymour's "Eyewitness Testimony"

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David Seymour, whose poetry collection For Display Purposes Only was released earlier this week, recently teamed up with accomplished film editor Jeremy Munce to create a book trailer for his poem “Eyewitness Testimony.” David approached Jeremy, whom he calls “a terrifically creative mind,” with the idea of using a spliced reading to tell one of his poems in multiple voices.

“The structure and content of ‘Eyewitness Testimony’ immediately lent itself to the initial concept,” David shares. “What better than to transform the readers into the eyewitnesses the poem speaks about, even though in the poem they remain spectral reported voices, as testimonials from a police officer’s notebook.”

The mysterious trailer features several well-known Canadian authors and poets (Michael Redhill, Jeff Latosik, Karen Solie, Alissa York, Ken Babstock, Matthew Tierney, Jeramy Dodds, Helen Guri and Anita Lahey), all friends of David’s.

“I’m very pleased they agreed to participate,” he says. “I respect each of these people for their own work a great deal. They’re not only talented writers, but are also, in extremely varied fashion, experienced readers, self-possessed performers. This variety was essential.”

During the filming, the crew began playing around with strobe light effects, capturing isolated portraits of each reader, which Jeremy decided to use to introduce them. The idea to rename the readers as characters was a “happy accident,” as Jeremy didn’t know all of the readers when he added the text to the credits. David became quite excited at the thought of being able to give his friends aliases as eyewitnesses — a truly great addition to the trailer.

David calls it "gratifying, heartening, humbling" to have so many gifted artists come together to help promote his work. The trailer stands out not only as an example of brilliant film making, but also as a testament to the sense of community felt among writers. "The eyewitnesses, Jeremy and Michael Banasiak, the camera operator," he adds, "haven’t just complemented the poem, they’ve enhanced it. I can’t think of any greater form of support."