Dave Bonta, USA

Country of production: USA
Language: English
Title: Sea Change
Erasure, filmmaker and editor: Dave Bonta
Translator: Sharon Larkin

“I call myself a videopoet rather than a poetry filmmaker, and I think this video shows why: it’s all about the concept, and (ideally) making a poem that’s inseparable from the video. The actual execution was technologically simple and only took a few hours. I was told I could do what I liked with the text, and since erasure poetry and micropoetry are what I’m good at, I decided to go that route. The poem I was given described a more elaborate apocalyptic scenario, but I saw the word “sea” in the title and started thinking about rising sea levels and the various low-lying communities that are already being impacted around the United States, including Miami. And I figured the notion of a sea change would be a fitting way to close out a project that is all about mutability.

I decided to use the received text as a kind of symbolic wall, and have it gradually give way to to the figurative ruin of the erasure. When I found the free stock footage of waves on a beach at night, everything clicked into place. From there, it was just a matter of creating two jpegs for each section of text with a monospace font in Photoshop, and using the chroma key effect in Magix Movie Edit Pro to overlay them on the footage. I found the soundtrack by searching within Creative Commons-licensed tracks on Soundcloud. I thought of adding a little extra footage at the end, after the credits: the ruins of a sand castle on a beach. But I decided to keep it simple and not detract from the elemental power of the white-on-black imagery. Armageddon is, after all, a simple story. Perhaps that’s why so many people are perversely so attracted to it.”

Sea: you world to house
the beginning, you ill creature,
come up, slip into the city.
Steal the bricks, lapping
as walls fall. You’ll play
at destruction, their nest
will become you, sea.
You look juicy as
an Armageddon dream.

Dave Bonta