While I was singing into my cell phone, however, I could tell that the song was way too long! I think Bernie was relieved when I told him not to start working on it until I had trimmed it down to size. I had to reduce it to only three verses, plus add an instrumental, or middle-eight, section between the second and third verse. It was really tough slashing the song to half the size. Any author hates cutting out much-loved sections of copy. But it had to be done, and after much agonizing I managed to accomplish my goal. I then sat down at my piano and composed the instrumental piece and its transition into the final verse. That was also too long and had to be cut down. I sent Bernie the new Word file of the song and a new recording from my cell phone, including a hummed version of the middle-eight, and waited in anticipation to hear what he came up with.
Bernie launched into the project with great good humor and did an excellent job, adding percussion and backup vocals to the recording of him singing and playing his guitar. I couldn't believe it when I heard the first take! Here at last was my Gappy Song in actual sound! Even my husband, who'd poo-pooed the idea of my writing a song, had to admit he liked it when I caught him bopping his head along to the tune. Now for the next step of turning it into a music video.
In my vision, the video was comprised mainly of beautiful black and white graveyard scenes from Oakwood Cemetery. That's where Gappy's fourth adventure takes place, and Uncle Sam is buried there. Videographer Bob Shenise and I drove around the cemetery, taking photographs. It had recently snowed, which was great for my black and white theme, and Bob kept exclaiming in delight at the resulting monochrome effect of the snow against the headstones and monuments.
Once all the photos were downloaded on my computer, I selected the ones I wanted to use and changed them to black and white. I also tone-mapped them to make them appear more spooky. Then I laid them out, story-board -style, on my dining room table in the order in which they would appear in the video, numbered them, and added the numbers to my typed Word document of the song.