What is a Video Haiku

Perhaps the first question we should ask is:


What is a Haiku?

A haiku is a classical Japanese form of poetry. It consists of three lines, each of which is broken into syllables. The first line and last lines have 5 syllables, whilst the second line has seven. Haikus traditionally are about the natural environment. In the spirit of Zen Bhuddism, then should capture a single moment of purity and perfection. Master Matsuo Basho is probably the most famous of the Haiku masters. He wrote in the 17th century. Here is one of his pieces of work:


Literal Translation

Fu-ru (old) i-ke (pond) ya,

ka-wa-zu (frog) to-bi-ko-mu (jumping into)

mi-zu (water) no o-to (sound)


Translated by Fumiko Saisho

The old pond-

a frog jumps in,

sound of water.

A 17th Century poem by Master Matsuo Basho

A video haiku is a short video divided up into the same 5-7-5 format. Instead of syllables, we use clips of 5 and 7 seconds in length. Here is an example of a video Haiku that I made when out walking.




That's great Dave, but what is it for?


Good question I have asked on your behalf there.


First of all, it doesn't have to be for anything, and be just for the enjoyment of engaging with an environment and working through a #process. Very often, working through an almost remedial process can be a useful vehicle for much deeper thinking. #Einstein changed the world of physics whilst working as a lowly patent clerk. When we engage fully with a process like going for a walk, or making a video, we making a deliberate act of development and change.


You can also use the video haiku as a way of reflecting on a specific topic. You might want to make a film about #deforestation, or public allotments, or a kids playground.


You can also use this as a useful way of engaging people with technology that they were not previously competent with. By providing structure and rules, people are not distracted by the challenge of "being creative," but instead can learn a new skill to then explore their own creative selves.


If you want to create your own video Haikus, or perhaps use them as a workshop activity, then please download the PDF here. I have also provided you with a short 'how to' video.


Have fun with this and subscribe to the blog for more on #creative_process, #narrative_structure and the #spoken_word.


How to make a video haiku





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