Flying with Josephine, from Creation to Credits!

Last week, I detailed the technology of how I produced my movie and it was pretty much the same but much more efficient this time around. Just to recap, I used CloudConvert after downloading everything using the Firefox browser from YouTube, getting video in MP4 and audio on MP3. The audio I recorded from my phone in MP3 and emailed it to myself then made any adjustments on Audacity. Then I importing all files as needed into OpenShot, building first the basic songs, then adding the voice-over narration, then the background sound on a different track to the narration. Then I created the Title file and Credit file on PowerPoint and exported them as jpg to import into OpenShot.

This week, it’s really more about the creative process. I am surprised that I started out thinking I’d be doing something like a an old newsreel format from VideoAssignment 153 “News on the March.” I still call it my inspiration but it morphed way beyond that assignment. My 10+ minute movie, “Up She Goes, Over a Century,” looks at the song “Come Josephine, In My Flying Machine” in its three permutations since it was created in 1910. The most recent incarnations were in the movie Titanic, produced in 1997.

My original concept had been to look at five different aviation songs from the early 1900s, all different genres, and show how America was all a-buzz with flight, singing songs in their parlors at their upright pianos. When I got to “Josephine,” everything changed to one song with its three versions, mostly because I thought it would hold my audience’s attention because of the Titanic version being more current, and it showcased Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett.

With that concept change, I decided to use two videos from the Titanic movie to capture my audience’s attention and because the Titanic ocean liner disaster was in 1912, just a year after the original song was recorded. The first video is the bow shot where DiCaprio has Winslett blindfolded until she is on the forward bow rails, when she opens her eyes and he shares with her the sensation of flying. Then he whispers the song “Come, Josephine” to her (and he goes in for the kiss!). The second scene is when Winslett is hallucinating and she is singing the same song but more in a dream state so it begins slower, then changes to a more upbeat rhythm. The next clip is the original tune sung by Ada Jones and Bill Murray in 1911, with a video that has some great flying, then the last video that is very upbeat and patriotic done by Spike Jones in 1942. Once I had the major pieces in the right location, I cut them as much as possible for time. I still kept with a solid story line using the narratives for the introduction and transitions between clips. Then I chose background sound of an old airplane flying as if I’m outside with vintage aircraft flying overhead. The last thing I did was to decide on the name of the piece (the title) and compile the credits.

What I didn’t get out of this process: I still need to learn how to write over video–I wanted to do that for this title but instead used PowerPoint to create both the title and the credits. It’s fine, but I think I overused the sheet music image because it’s all I had. I really wanted to find video of old planes flying and have the title and rolling credits in the foreground of the video. I also would like to learn how to fade in and out of scenes for both the video and audio–the cuts are too abrupt as they are. So, there are still more big muscle movements to figure out.

Here’s a screenshot of my video editing screen!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Paul

    You might want to look up the pan and zoom functions in OpenShot (https://www.google.com/search?q=openshot+pan+zoom). That would be a way to make the static images move a bit. Another nice resource for a project like this is the Internet Archive (https://archive.org/) where you might find old-time film clips of airplanes and more images of sheet music. This is very good though, as it shows a number of things you’ve figured out and others that you’ve thought through.

    1. Jenny

      Thanks! I didn’t know you could do that with OpenShot. I’ll play around with it. And also for archive.org. I had a hard time finding old imagery.

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