“Word: Collected Poetry” is a collection of powerful spoken word poems beautifully brought to life, adapted from the work of four poets living in New York City. Directors Jamil McGinnis and Pat Heywood were inspired by a poem called “Things I Carry Into the World” by Cynthia Manick, and wanted their film to feel as if someone had wandered into a bookstore and began reading through a book of poems.

“Adapting poetry to film was a lot closer to putting together a thematic puzzle than it is building any kind of narrative. All sorts of space for us as filmmakers opened up to explore their language. Juxtaposing images, observing, asking questions rather than giving answers. We wanted a film that was challenging and abstract, but at the same time, presented moments of meditation.

We wanted to dive into the same themes and ideas that their poetry does, so collaborating closely with the poets and having their creative perspectives was vital. We didn’t want to assume anything about their experiences, but rather create a visual space to explore them further. We raised these questions about the school-to-prison pipeline, the problematic side of creative expression, and queerness, amongst others because they did. They gave us that space.”

The film’s production was entirely crowdfunded through Kickstarter, raising over $15,000 through nearly 200 donations in 30 days.

Behind the scenes shooting Word: Collected Poetry


Behind the scenes shooting Word: Collected Poetry


Behind the scenes shooting Word: Collected Poetry


Behind the scenes shooting Word: Collected Poetry


Behind the scenes shooting Word: Collected Poetry


“Untitled” by Makayla Posley (0:09)
“band-aids & other temporary healings” by Trace DePass (4:01)
“From the Inside” by Nkosi Nkululeko (7:23)
“Rule #1” by Esther Aloba (11:09)

Directors: Jamil McGinnis & Pat Heywood
Producer: Claire McGirr
Director of Photography: Frances Chen
Editor: Chris Mitchell
Starring: Esther Aloba, Trace DePass, Nkosi Nkululeko, Makayla Posely
Story: Esther Aloba, Trace DePass, Pat Heywood, Jamil McGinnis, Nkosi Nkululeko, Makayla Posely
Casting: Safiya Martinez Connell, Adam Falkner, Shannon Matesky
Assistant Directors: Jessica Miller, Tiffanie Young
First AC: Armaan Virani
Steadicam: Patrick Morgan, Denny Kortze
DIT: Chandler Tucker, Manny Munoz
Grip & Electric: Adrian Anaya
Production Assistants: Kearah Armonie, Will Chambers, Jacob Pirogovsky, Darcie Reisler, Jay Robinson
Storyboards: Tiffanie Young
Sound Mixing: Jesse Peterson
Title Design: Max Friedman

Editor: Chris Mitchell
Assistant Editors: Tiana Mesta, Anne-Laure D’Hooge
Producer: Lisa Barnable
Executive Producer: Eve Kornblum

Producer, VFX: Catherine M. Fischer
VFX Supervisor: John Shafto
Executive Producer, Color: Dani Zeitlin
Producer, Color: Jenna Gabriel
Colorist: Adrian Seery
Color Assistants: Daniel Silverman, Seth Weinman

Score: Sloan Alexander, Trace DePass, Jon Hubbell, Rob Suchecki
Sound Design: Sloan Alexander
Executive Producer: James Dean Wells


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