After coming across this brilliant redo of Star Wars in the Silent era form, I created the ds106 assignment “Return to the Silent Era”

The dawn of cinema had no audio; silent movies created an atmosphere with music and the use of cue cards. Take a 3-5 minute trailer of a modern movie and render it in the form os the silent era- convert to black and white, add effects to make it look antiquated, replace the audio with a musical sound track.

I just found an insanely fun shortcut- The Artsifier “Make any YouTube Video Award Winning”. You simply load any YouTube URL, and it renders it in old styl black and white, and it adds a sound track (boo, it looks like every one you try gets the same sound track, let’s make it RANDOM!). You get a little track, and you can add captions (as well as title info).

I chose a video I shot while visiting the Giant Theremin in Melbourne with Rowan Peter, and added some captions to make it look like some old alien invasion movie:

Editing the Artisified video (click for full size)

And you can see my final effort at (an embed option would nice too) (and some font choices or more old fashioned styling on the captions) (can I ask for more features?) (please?).

It is fun to play with. But it would be a short cut too easy to use for the ds106 assignment.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. The generator seems a little too easy, but at least you have to add the titles. I found a great iPhone app for making videos look like the come from the silent era, the 60s, and others called 8mm. There’s even a button to create frame jitter anytime you want. I’m definitely going to do this assignment using this tool. It’s a great riff on the trailer mashup assignment. I’m thinking of either ‘Jaws’ or ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High.’

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