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) →

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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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