(Hopefully) Helpful Tips for Mashing

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:

Drowning Falling Falling_2 Weight

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!


10 thoughts on “(Hopefully) Helpful Tips for Mashing

  1. I liked your take on interpretation and combination. Especially dealing with controversial topics our messages can be misconstrued, but that doesn’t mean the viewer will necessarily get he “wrong” interpretation, just different. This made me feel more confident about using symbols as I work to revise my mashup.


  2. I liked how you were able to focus on what we’re working on in class. You really helped me think about what is important in my mash-up video and what to think about when placing my clip. When you talked about the red pants and green shoes, it gave a different insight to the topic of combinations and I could definitely understand the relation. I also really liked your part on denotation and connotation because, again, it helped me think about how I should implement it in to my video.


  3. I can appreciate this blog post for trying to guide a piece of work for optimal understanding. I find so much of this up to interpretation (like you said) and preference. I noticed immediately when I started showing my piece for critique in class that my preference for subtlety and undercurrent of theme was not reaching some people because they wanted something more overt. This has disappointing for me as Ive put a good amount of thought to how I modeled things to be thought on and more people would rather be spoon fed.
    With that being said though, I can say that the balance can’t be wrong. Just because I may have set up a piece in my mind as being right, it may not be exactly where it has to for the best response. I think that can be the most important thing in the piece- is finding the proper balance between thoughtful and murky.


  4. As I’m sitting here stressing over my mash-up, this blog post made it a little less hectic for me! I liked how you used the topics of our textbook and integrated it to our mash-up videos. It’s funny how in the end, it all ties together. For my mash-up video, I want to focus on using combinations of certain things because out of all 3 of these tips, I feel it works best with my video.


  5. I’m sure Wolff would be proud if he read this! lol I think it’s great that you were able to clearly combine our textbook with our current video mash-ups. Many people, myself included have been stressing out over this considering the majority of us have never done something like this before. I’m glad that you chose this topic to write about, because not only is the timing great, but it also was very helpful and reiterated important points that we should all be noting while making and editing our videos


  6. I really liked how you used multiple videos and screen shots. I also really liked how you pointed out that you are just as new to this as everyone else. This is a difficult project we are working on. Not only do we have to master these video making tools we have to add in all of these clips to some how make sense of our topic without being too obvious. So a post like this can be really helpful. A guide to mashups for students by a student.


  7. First off, thank you! This post is very much appreciated and extremely helpful. The three main tips discussed in the blog post are things I thought about when making it but after reading your post, they make much more sense and are more visible to myself as a creator of a mash up video. My favorite tip would be number three, combination. This is the one I had the hardest time with when creating my mash up, and to think – that is all a mash up is. It is a combination of mini clips combined together to create a larger video with meaning. It is hard to find the right interpretations to combine together in order to create the visual and the meaning you what to convey to the audience. Aside from the mash up, these tips are also related to the writing process. We need to be aware combinations, denotations, connotations, and interpretations when writing.


  8. I think that these are great tips for anyone who is trying to create a mashup video. I especially think that the combination section is key here, because of the fact that you were able to incorporate a semiotic theory into the tips. Juxtaposition seems to play a really important role here. Putting together different clips that normally wouldn’t be next to each other can provoke a great amount of thought, and it’s important to convey a message in a mashup video. Adding in juxtaposition can give the piece an opportunity to explore multiple angles of the topic at hand.


  9. Great job putting all these tips together in such a helpful way! I know I used your tip #3 Combinations the most. I created alot of juxtaposition in my mashup because I found that it helped to convey my message of income inequality best. Placing scenes of the rich after scenes of the homeless takes the viewer by surprise and puts things into perspective.


  10. I like your topic for this blog because it is something that we can all relate to. Creating those mash ups was very hard. When I wanted my audience to capture my topic, I a made it to obvious. Once I tried to use metaphors, then everyone was complaining that they did not understand what my video was about, and it seemed as if I just could not win! I like the metaphor of wearing red and green together, in comparison of how to juxtapose your photographs. I like how Hall was able to teach us the symbols can be interpreted differently by everyone because it made me feel less stupid while producing my mash up video. Great tips!


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