So I was a little unsure about what I should write about this week since we are all so involved with creating our mash-up videos. After reviewing Sean Hall’s textbook, This Means This, This Means That, a few ideas came to mind about what is really involved in a mash-up video and what we should think about doing or adding to our own. Before you start reading I do want to point out that I just as new to this as many of you and comments and feedback are much appreciated!
Tip #1: Interpretation
Interpretation is key. Everything in life is left up to interpretation. We all bring ideas and experiences to each situation that will make each one of us look at it in a different way. Do not be afraid if someone watches your video and does not reach the point you are specifically trying to get across. Take for example the video below:
This video for me represents the uphill battle of life. We are told to go to college so we can get a good job, but even after doing that we still have to work hard for a job we may not get. For others it might just mean the struggle of college work, or the struggle of paying for college. Each interpretation is correct if they can support their opinion with examples from the video. The problem you should fear however is if someone cannot make meaning of your work. If this is the case then I feel revision needs to made to clarify the point you are trying to make.
Tip #2: Denotation and Connotation
Denotation is the literal meaning of something, while the connotation is the nonliteral or feelings you get about a subject. In the clip mentioned above the literal meaning is the discussing the post grad American dream. The American dream is that you will succeed if you take the necessary steps, but in this remix it doesn’t turn out this way. Again, all this is the denotation. The connotation of this happened is the feeling of failing, falling down, drowning, feeling pressure, etc. These feelings are portrayed in the clips shown below:
The goal is to find the emotions or feelings you want your viewers to experience and display them. If the viewers should feel shocked, show images of someone being shocked, if you want them to feel happy, show clips of something that is happy or will make you feel happy such as showing a cute dog (that would make me feel happy), etc. Displaying these feelings will make the mash-up successful.
Tip #3: Combinations
Society dictates the way things should be arranged or combined together. But what happens when things aren’t together when they should be? For instance someone wears red pants with green shoes. People will question the decision they made to combine these strong colors together. Think about doing this in your mash-up video. Place to clips together that usually would not be seen together; in other words that are juxtaposed. This will make your views question your choice of using this clips together and will ultimately make them think about how these create meaning. The clip below I think does this seamlessly.
The creator of the video shows images of food being beautifully designed and eaten, and quickly jumps to scenes of people starving and looking malnourished. It makes you think about how we, in America, are using food compared to how food is scarce and needed in other countries.
I hope I have helped you in thinking about ideas for your mash-up videos by closely examining these three semiotic concepts. Please share comments about how you can use these in your work!