A year ago I created two short videos using audio poetry from Billy Collins and synced them with visualizations. Unbeknownst to me, about three weeks later another YouTube director, JWTNY, starting doing the same thing using other poems from Billy Collins. He, on the other hand, is very skilled in video production and created some very impressive films. But as each of his videos’ popularity increased, the popularity of my videos in turn increased, until eventually there had enmassed a small collection of visual poetry from Billy Collins on YouTube. The videos found their way onto several lists and links, and were even hosted on special ad hoc channels.
However, the very first poetry film using Collins’ poetry was from lmbrvill, who created a film from the poem “Walking Across the Atlantic” in June of 2006.
Next was Laschmidt76, who created a film from the poem “The Best Cigarette” in September of 2006.
The first poetry film I published of this sort was in January of 2007. This was the “Man in Space” poetry film, in which I used clips from the films Citizen Kane, Catwomen of the Moon, Star Trek TNG: Angel One, and Aeon Flux to punctuate the illustrations Collins was making in the poem regarding the status of women in science fiction and in modern society.
The second video I created from Billy Collins’ work was “Sweet Talk”. This short video took less than an hour to create, since the images were basically taken from Google image searches. What surprised me was that such a simple video jumped to nearly 85,000 views in about two weeks after JWTNY created his videos.
The first video JWTNY created was “The Dead”, a very cartoonish interpretation of a very ominous poem:
Here is one of my favorites by JWTNY, called “Forgetfulness”:
Here is “Budapest”, which demonstrates some very impressive video production skills:
This one is called “Hunger”. You’ll notice that the camera angles are very slow-moving but the text is very fast-paced.
Check JWTNY’s user page for the full list of his Collins’ poetry videos.