The Banjo Apocalypse (videopoem)

This entry is part 4 of 34 in the series Breakdown: The Banjo Poems


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The opening poem in Breakdown: Banjo Poems gets a video at last! And for once, there’s no banjo (or banjo-like instrument) in the soundtrack at all, for obvious reasons. I played around with industrial noises for a while, but ultimately settled on something much more angelic, courtesy of a young Irish composer of film and video scores named Steven O’Brien who gives his work away on SoundCloud under an attribution-only Creative Commons license. This particular track, interestingly enough, was used in a humor video that went viral, True Facts about Morgan Freeman. Given the god-like powers attributed to Mr. Freedman in that video, if any viewers of this videopoem are reminded of that, so much the better.

The imagery comes from a World War II propaganda film made by Warner Bros. for the U.S. Maritime Commission (and therefore in the public domain): A Ship is Born, directed by Jean Negulesco. I am indebted to Rachel for the suggestion to try using shipbuilding imagery for this poem.

Series Navigation← Shackleton’s Banjo (videopoem)The Silent Banjo (videopoem) →

3 Replies to “The Banjo Apocalypse (videopoem)”

    1. Thanks, Dick. I guess my list of free online resources would be the best place to start: I’ve been doing these banjo videopoems exclusively with found footage, and also using the quite primitive video editing software on my machine, Windows Movie Maker, which I believe is slightly less advanced than iMovie if you have a Mac, or Quicktime. I use Audacity, which is free to download, for audio mixing. I have a somewhat pricey microphone, a Zoom H2, for recording my readings, though the first three were done just with the microphone on a Logitech webcam, and I thought they were adequate (though Rachel, with her background in radio, felt otherwise).

      I don’t think these videos actually sell many more books; that’s not the point, for me. The point is they represent a new form of creative endeavor involving poetry, and they’re a blast to make!

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