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Music & Dialogue

As Nellie Bly, the protagonist of the animation, is a journalist, I’ve decided to use newspaper cutout for dialogue. This means I won’t have to animate lip sync or develop some trite text around the story, rather I will use descriptive words and city names that flash on screen in time to the soundtrack. I want something that is fast and upbeat in nature, to suit the story and the collage animation style. Because the story is set in the late 19th century (the Romanticist era of American music), I’ve done some research into composers from this era and will try to find something instrumental that won’t detract too much from the visuals. Nellie was a commoner and a modern character for her time, so I don’t want anything too symphonic or elitist, rather some kind of light hearted ditty or something folkish. Then comes the age old issue of copyright…I spent about two hours tonight hunting for “truly free” royalty-free music and for a long time all I could find was terrible MIDIs. I even found the Stephen Foster song “Nellie Bly” for which Elizabthe Cochrane named herself, but found the lyrics completely unsuitable. I did find a composer/mixer called Kevin McLeod who offers up some decent 3-5 minute tracks for students without payment so long as he is appropriately credited. I have found a number of his piano tracks are suitable though they will have to be edited to suit the animation length and tone. They will surely provide a suitable base for jigging. If I am unable to find a copyright free 19th century “original” I will likely bring one of his pieces into an audio mixer. The hunt continues but at least I have something suitable to work off if all else fails.

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