Kill Bill in 1932

Film editing is difficult. Anyone to tell you otherwise is just showing off. I have worked on this project for far too long and I am beginning to hate it. The goal of this assignment was to transform a modern film into a silent film.



First, I decided to take on Quentin Tarantino’s film Kill Bill vol. 1. I felt that this film was an appropriate choice because it portrayed archetype characters, typical ¬†for silent films. Plus, I just really like the film too.

The Process:

My first hurdle was learning how to download videos from Youtube. Initially, my research revealed a program called, Youtube downloader. However, to get the program for free you had to sign-up for another on-line service (e.g. Netflix). I knew there was something better so I called upon the DS106 community, and my friend Tim Owens showed me a bookmarking tool that was super easy to use. (Sorry Alan, but I have clue what to do with script text.)

Next, I downloaded the official Movie trailer for Kill Bill. Originally, I tried to make my own trailer but I soon realized that it was a formidable task and not necessary (3 hours later). Then, I needed to mitigate its 21st century feel.

The original music was hip and cool. So it needed to go. In iMovie, I muted the original soundtrack then added my own with iTunes. I picked a sassy jazz piece that fit perfectly with the time frame. Yes, technically the song is from 1938 and not 1932 but let’s play pretend.

Next, I need to do away with the shiny colors and HD quality pictures. First, I muted the saturation to zero. Good-bye color. Next, I messed with the brightness and contrast levels to make it look more grainy.

Last, I uploaded it to Youtube. Ten minutes later, I was ready to upload it to Artisfier, but I was unable to make it work. I tried various privacy and quality settings and Artisfier still could not upload my clip. So, back to the drawing board.

Once again in iMovie, I tweaked the color setting to make it look more silent film-esque. There is a slight issue with some of the actresses’ black hair blending with the dark background but I figured it’s 1932 and we can’t win all of the fights with movie editing.

I tried creating a more time period appropriate credits intro, so I designed a minimalist poster and added it to the beginning of the trailer. However, after doing so, I worried that I was infringing copyright laws so I deleted it. It did give me the opportunity to play with transitions between scenes. So, one point for learning!

Overall, after struggling with different aspects of film editing, I feel that this was a great way to introduce myself to the art of editing. There are still a lot of things I want to do better with, like making it look more grainy and less shadow-y but I am excited with how it turned out.



Tags: , , , , ,

6 Responses to “Kill Bill in 1932”

  1. Miss MC says:

    Totally agree! I have been working on this assignment to make it more authentic so I will have to send you the link of the updated version.

  2. Tyler says:

    This trailer is very visual and worked well in silent format and your music choice really worked well too. I can relate by how much of a long process this was from doing my own silent movie. You start the project thinking “oh I’ll just make it soundless and colorless and add some old timey music,” but in actuality it was a million times more complicated. Also I too couldn’t get artistifier to work properly and I spent like several hours trying to.

  3. Annie says:

    This is a really good example of this assignment. I thought it looked great when it was all finished, and I think your description of the steps you took is also very in-depth. I haven’t yet done this assignment, but I’ll be referring to yours for some inspiration!

  4. Miss MC says:

    True! I will also need to cut moments when people are talking, because it’s odd looking or add caption cards after scene with dialogue. #cantstopwontstop

  5. Jim Groom says:

    Wow, this must have been a ton of work—a long trailer and Kill Bill looks even more beautiful in Black and White. One recommendation I will have for everyone as we move into video editing is cut relentlessly. I would cut out all images of cars, school buses, etc. to reinforce the 1930s idea. The music is an inspired choice, and the chops you show on this early experiment bode very well for your work in video. I am looking forward to more. #cantstopdontstop

  6. Brian Brown says:

    Interesting, the movie choice is great. And I agree, if you could just get it a bit grainier and choppier, the feel would be a lot more fitting. Unfortunately, I haven’t any editing skills in this area, but I wish you the best