posting early this week cause I’m headed up to Mammoth for some much needed snow times. unlike Sheep Ranch I will still have the interwebz there, but it can be a little slow and finicky, so I wanted to get this out while I was still in the flatlands.
I’ve just finished a new piece and am very excited to share it with you all!
the idea for this project came to me several months ago when I was at a Surrealist Animation screening at LACMA. (I wrote about it here.) one of the cartoons was a Betty Boop version of SNOW WHITE. like the rest, it was pretty bizarre. but the one section in particular that stood out to me was when the film broke away from the narrative and had a musical number. the character Koko started to sing and dance…in Cab Callowway’s voice! even though this film was from 1933, I recognized the song! it was “St. James Infirmary Blues.”
I was familiar with the song because one of my favorite bands, the White Stripes had covered it. immediately the potential possibility hit me, but I dared not voice the idea. in a room full of media-saavy Angelenos, it’s best to keep an idea to yourself until you have some to show. so as I sat in theatre I silently began to plan.
the first thing to do was to check and see if anyone had already done it… cause let’s be honest, “Snow White Stripes” sounded a little too perfect for me to me the first to do it. but no one had put two and two together… at least not that I could find. so I downloaded a copy of the public domain movie and began to work.
this project was also a chance for me to learn a new editing program. since I didn’t have a client I could take the time to experiment, watch tutorials, and fiddle around as much as I needed to. the program I settled on was Adobe Premiere… which was great because I also ended up using Adobe’s After Effects as well, and the functionality between the programs is great.
I won’t bore you with the details, but I used a variety of speed changes, both in the video and audio to get the original animation to line up with the new song. since the lyrics were mostly the same, I was able to tweak it into place. then I recreated the main titles, painted out dust & digital noise, fixed some animation errors, recolored, and added sound effects. modern music videos don’t have much in the way of sound design, but I wanted to match the style of the original… and since is was a “Golden Age” cartoon there were all sorts of fun slide whistles and other sfx.
so without further ado, here is SNOW WHITE STRIPES!
to see the original song, click on this link.
or if you have 7 minutes, check out the entire original film. it’s really a lot of fun.
any of you have a favorite musical performance from a cartoon or movie?