Emulating 1920s Caption Cues

3 replies [Last post]
goloshthefox
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Joined: Jun 9 2006

:) I am attempting to emulate 1920s-style caption cues [e.g. Nosferatu; Chaplain; Un Chien d'Andalou] for a feature film and am thinking about the best way to achieve this.

I tried generating caption cues in Photoshop (importing appropriate fonts to do so), and then importing these into Final Cut Pro HD 4.5, before adding Nattress Filters to make the screen shake (weave) and to add scratches, grain, and distortions. However, the results looked artificial and worthy of Microsoft Power Point!

So I now plan to get an artist friend to emulate the fonts on white paper in italic pens; scan the caption cue sheets in to Photoshop; invert them (so it's white writing on black); project this onto a white wall, and then film it on my DV Camera, applying Nattress filters afterwards if necessary.

Does anyone have any experience in this area? If so, how did you accomplish it? If not, any comments on the strengths / weaknesses of the above approach would be greatly appreciated...!

Matt.

PaulD
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Joined: Aug 31 2002

Hi
There are hundreds of examples of the originals in the British Pathe newsreel archive:
itnsource.com/en/Search/Advanced-Search
just select only British Pathe and search your way through the 1920s.
Some are extraordinary works of art in their own right.

Personally I've always used Photoshop and FCP's jiggle filter (from Too Much Too Soon mattias.nu/plugins ) and noise generator, but your way no doubt will create an interesting effect.

goloshthefox
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Joined: Jun 9 2006
Pathe samples

Hi Paul,

Many thanks for your helpful reply. But how exactly do I sample the 1920s captions? I ran the search for the 1920s, selecting only Pathe, and loads of results came up, but when I clicked on the stills [in thumnail format] it directed me to a new page, which remained blank because the content doesn't download.

Can you help?

Matt.

PaulD
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Joined: Aug 31 2002