Sunday, September 29, 2013

A few stills from the film

The Story behind the film, Monsters of My Youth

Monsters of My Youth is a short film based on the poem, The Monsters of My Youth Appear Different Now, by Coleman Stevenson.  It began as a small, personal project in which poet, Coleman and Director, Monica Graves were collaborating.  But it soon grew into a beautiful piece of cinematography showcasing a small bit of Oregon with scenes filmed at the beautiful Cape Lookout, and the Oregon Gardens outside of Silverton.

Graves wrote the screenplay and based her artistic direction for the film off her own interpretation of the words Coleman had placed on paper.  And since the film had started out as a personal project - Graves and Coleman cast themselves as the two dueling characters in the film.  As Monsters of My Youth grew in production value they stuck with their casting decision, because there was a personal connection for both of them within the piece.


Monsters of my Youth is a visual interpretation of a four part poem.  In part one, the film follows a fairytale type character (Coleman, the poet) as she wanders into a massive forest and begins to write a poem.  As the poem begins, Coleman suddenly finds herself masked, and standing on a dark and stormy beach opposite life's obstacles (played by director, Monica Graves). They fight, and just as Coleman is about to overcome her obstacle the first portion of the poem ends and she is whisked away onto a childlike sailboat in a lake full of empty corked bottles.

One of Graves' favorite lines is spoken during part two:

"I'm always on my boat
set with its sephamore sails
trying to carry a message to land"

After this, Coleman finds herself entering a forest at night through the gasping of air while surfacing from underwater, and then back on the beach where she finally unmasks her opponent.

At first, Coleman believes she sees herself under the mask, but then sees her unnamed opponent, and realizes fairytale Coleman stands on a cliff above them watching over her as she struggles through life's obstacles.

Finally, Coleman finds herself back in the forest writing her poem, but dark is closing in.  She puts her book away and leaves the forest.  Ending with this:

"I went in to gather and I gathered.
I went in, came out another side.
I wanted to show you it could be done."

For Graves, the poem is about the struggles of life, which sometimes are external, and at other times are internal.
For the author, Coleman; " "

We plan to screen Monsters of My Youth with several of Graves' other shorts in spring 2014.  Check back soon for more details.