I was intrigued by the idea of aging a movie trailer to make it appear to be from the silent era. It essentially admits that silent films are a separate art in and of themselves, with unique pros and cons (while of course also providing the opportunity for a humorous editing project). As such I immediately began to rack my brain for recent movie trailers… Then I hit upon the new trailer for Wonder Woman. Not only is it a beautiful example of a modern movie trailer, but the setting of the film is WWI. I could essentially edit the trailer to match the time-period of the film itself! As such, I realized that it would be the perfect candidate to return to the silent era.
This video assignment posed a unique challenge, in that I have a great deal of experience with editing video, but haven’t had much need to use effects. So I began playing around with different options in the effect room of Cyberlink PowerDirector (my video-editing software), and found an effect called “Old Movie” that seemed to fit my needs. However, I adjusted the background color, as the original seemed to filter with a strange sort of mustard yellow that just seemed odd. I also realized that my video still seemed too smooth. It now was black and white with aged lines, but the actual playback wasn’t jumpy. I ultimately decided to combat this by adjusting the playback speed. I’ve actually been searching for a way to edit speed for a while now, and now had real motivation to properly investigate. Combing through the designer options yielded nothing, nor the effects room. I ultimately opted to try a Google search, and voila! The answer turned out to be in the Power Tools section of my software. I then sped up my footage to make it jerkier.
After adjusting the playback speed, I began to work with title cards (specifically this one), stretching my selected card to fully fit the 16:9 aspect ratio. I opted to use subtitles to insert the dialogue. This was a bit of a pain, as it was difficult to center the dialogue, and timeline adjustments usually meant adjusting the placement of all the following subtitles. I also used Incompetech to select my silent film music, ultimately choosing a bouncier intro piece and a more dramatic distressed piece for the latter half of the trailer. After making small adjustments here till the video met my satisfaction, I published the final product on YouTube.
The final product looks relatively well aged. Personally, I most enjoy the mashup of WWI battle scenes with this silent film style. The two mash together quite well, and helped affirm my trailer selection.