If I was to create an advertisement for television based on the poem Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen I would start with an aerial shot of a graveyard, the shot would be in colour, and at the bottom right of the screen where there would be a path leading along the graves, the only sound that can be heard is that of bird chirping and fluttering, I would then have the camera begin to spiral round the graveyard, slowly lowering itself, but always keeping on the old man, until it was level with his head where it would then slowly zoom until his face entered the picture, where it would then stop.
I would then switch to a camera that has the old man in a shot at which it can see the whole of the man, he is stood in a black suit and is looking down upon a grave, we cannot see the grave but the look on the old mans face gives the impression that it was someone he cared about deeply. He begins to tremble and the camera returns to the shot of his face, paying close attention to his eyes, it slowly moves forward until they fill the shot, he closes them tightly, the camera fades to black.
When the picture returns it is in black and white, and we see the same pair of eyes, but when their owner was younger, still closed they open to the sound of an explosion, the camera moves back further to show a soldier, sat in a trench with gun by his side, with soldiers all around him coughing and shouting, we hear heavy shelling, the noise lowers as we hear a voice saying Bent Over, Like Old Beggars Sacks
The voice is of an old man, low and soft, the voice pauses, the sound is still love with a low, a slow mainly violin type of music playing in the background, a person with a clipboard passes in front of the young man, we can only see him from the waste down, he stops in front of the man and we hear a muffled talking, the look on the a mans face changes to a look of sadness. He gets up and begins walking along the boggy trench, the voice returns Knock-kneed, Coughing Like Hags, We Cursed Through Sludge
By this point the man has joined another group of men, the camera is still a full body shot from behind, they begin to climb quickly, Till On Haunting Flares We Turned Our Back, And Towards Our Distant Rest Began To Trudge By this point the man is running down the trench and we can see from a first-person point of view, the camera turns right as if his head was turning and we see just over the top of the trench, a group of soldiers running a short distance away, they are hit by a shell and blown to pieces, his head looks forward again for a while, then turns right and sees a man fall, he has been shot,
Men Marched Asleep, Many Had Lost Their Boots, But Limped On, Blood Shod, All Went Lame, All Blind The soldier is beginning to slow, the camera looks down to see the mans hands trembling on his knees, he looks back up and runs to a small alcove, where a few more of his battalion had gathered. Drunk With Fatigue; Deaf Even To The Hoots Of Gas Shells Dropping Behind The soldier is looking up to the sky, giving the impression he is leaning on the side of the trench gathering his energy, we hear the hum of a siren in the distance, one of his fellow soldiers screams GAS! GAS! Quick Boys!
His screams barely acknowledgeable above the music, the camera moves rapidly, shooting form side to side as the soldier searches for his mask, An Ecstasy Of Fumbling, Fitting The Clumsy Helmets Just In Time We hear the soldier heavy breathing as he puts on the mask, the camera now looking through the visor on the mask, the breaths increase as he sees a cloud of yellow gas fall upon the trench, engulfing them the gas is in colour, although the rest of the picture is in black and white, this puts some emphasis on the gas, we see a man lashing out at the otherside of the pit
But Someone Was Still Yelling And Stumbling, And Floundering Like A Man In Fire Or Lime, Dim Through The Misty Panes And Thick Green Light, As Under A Green Sea, I Saw Him Drowning, In All My Dreams Before My Helpless Sight, He Plunges At Me, Guttering, Choking, Drowning Whilst the narrator is saying this we see the man run down the trench towards the camera, where he drops on his knees, with a look of fear and sorrow on his face, the soldier pushes the dying man off him and looks away, closing his eyes, we can see nothing, the soldier is reflecting on what just happened, we see flashes of the man reaching out to him,
In All My Dreams Before My Helpless Sight, He Plagues At Me, Guttering Choking, Drowning The breathing stops. All goes black. After a few seconds the picture returns, hazy and distorted, it sharpens to a view, once again, from a first-person prospective, this time without the mask, of an open backed truck piled with bodies, we see the man who died in the gas attack upside down, his eyes wide open and his mouth too, open as if it were screaming, his arm draped as if it were reaching out for help, help that never came.
The truck begins to slowly roll away, the man begins to walk behind it, If In Some Smothering Dreams, You Too Could Pace Behind The Wagon That We Flung Him In, And Watch The White Eyes Writhing In His Face, His Hanging Face, Like A Devil’s Sick Of Sin, If You Could Hear, At Every Jolt, The Blood Come Gargling From The Froth-Corrupted Lungs, Bitter As The Cud Of Vile, Incurable Sores On Innocent Tongues
The camera has panned around the soldier and is now a short distance away but still has a clear view of his face, it begins to slowly move once again towards his closed eyes, a tear slowly rolls down his face, he opens his eyes and we see them in there real colour, as though the events he just witnessed have given him a new prospective on life, the camera moves towards his eye until there is a black screen, it then begins to move back, revealing the old mans eyes, he too is crying, remembering that day.
The picture is back in colour, the music has since faded away, only the sound of the birds remain, the camera moves behind the man, where his back is blocking our view of the grave, he begins to speak aloud, in the same voice; My Friend, You Would Not Tell With Such High Zest, To Children Ardent For Some Desperate Glory, The Old Lie
At this point the man begins to walk away, we see a shot of the dead mans grave, his name just out of view, we see the words Dulce Et Decorum Est, Pro Patria Mori engraved on the headstone, the camera reverses its original actions, spiralling up into the clouds, where when it has reached its original position, fades to black and the message Remember The Dead, Dont Forget The Living appears on the screen.