Working with iMovie and YouTube to such a full extent has proven to be quite a tedious task that I had not imagined beforehand. While I’m not a technological wizard, I had always managed to convince myself that I was pretty savvy tech wise and screen literate in comparison to most people. Prior to working with iMovie, my senior year in high school I had created my own video mashup of clips I had taken myself for a psychology class. The overall process was not too bad, although I had the assistance of a partner. With that being said creating my iMovie film was still more difficult than it should have been.
Originally opening iMovie I was completely, and utterly lost – I did not know where to begin, clearly I must have been busy tweeting in class rather than actually absorbing what was being said. Thankfully, Google and YouTube have all the answers, and I was able to find multiple “How To” videos along with commentary, which made a world of a difference for this process. After a decent hour of a reading and watching, I thought I had the process down as far as the steps I needed to take to begin, which for the most part, I did.
A huge first step for me was obtaining the videos for my mashup, and determining which ones would be appropriate for my message. I found the possibilities to be limitless, because it was my own vision, and based on my own perspectives. Also, there are a wide range of sources related, or semi-related available. While this made my options open, it also made it harder to filter out what would and would not be best to use, and that’s when this assignment got critical. I used a couple of standards to help determine what I would end up using for my final piece, things such as clarity, purpose, and whether or not text overlapped the video clips. Because of all the possibilities, it kept me busy, but also showed me the multiple directions I could go in.
After submitting the video clips into iMovie rearranging and editing was the obvious next step. This task also proved to be tedious, and again I had to research how all of this was done. Fortunately, while revising my work I had fun re-watching what the “final” versions ended up looking like. I think this part of the project was difficult, because there is always something different that can be done, and always new concepts that could be brought up based on your juxtaposition of clips. Another difficulty of this is the different perspectives of everyone seeing it. While I can find a certain section to make perfect sense, and to be the best 10 seconds of my video, someone else might see and be confused or not understand the point. This is why I am concerned about grading, because it is all subjective rather than objective in my opinion.
This experience and this class have oddly taught me the ways writing can be conveyed in a multitude of ways. Writing is a way of giving a certain message, idea, and/or point. In my video, I was able to convey my own personal message of animal cruelty in the food industry, and the blind eye we turn to these issues. Therefore, creating my own message, without the typical text we are accustomed to.
In my video mash up, my main goal was to express, and bring to reality the horrors that animal go through behind the scenes in the food industry. I attempted to convey this through the use of graphic video clips as well as demonstrate the relations these violent incidences have to human life, and our responses to these occurrences. My purpose is that each viewer takes a hard look at what is going on, rather than ignoring the situation and truly embodying the statement “ignorance is bliss.” While my video mash up is not that drastic, long, or close to a documentary, it gives quick glimpses that get straight to the point in a thought out fashion of what the food industry is like.
My hope is that through the use of rhetoric, and more specifically pathos, I can convince the viewers to take seriously look at the food industry, even if it does not make them drastically change their life style, at least they are more aware than they possibly were before. Through the use of the violent and disturbing video clips such as the brutality against pigs and chicks, I hope to evoke feelings of disgust and horror. I also hope through logos, people will see the unsanitary ways of the industry as well as the demeaning activities that go on. Rather than spending money and positively reinforcing these businesses we look at better possible options.
In This Means This, This Means That: User’s Guide to Semiotics, by Sean Hall, we learned the different techniques that are used everyday to convey some sort of meaning or message. Through this reading, and many others that were available to us during the course played a huge role into how I created my own video mash up. Knowing that three terms had to be incorporated: intertexuality, montage, and juxtaposition, I made sure to incorporate that multiple times throughout my mash up. For example, a huge moment of intertexuality is the clip where it shows the packaging of burgers with the “M” on it, and then flashes to customers walking out. This is a moment of both intertexuality, and montage. The montage bit makes this section seem like the burger gets made, gets packaged, and then sold to the happy customers, as if it were all one scene, rather than multiple scenes put together. The intertexuality of it is knowing that the “M” on the packaging stands for McDonald’s a huge burger corporation. My purpose of this was to show the connection fast food businesses directly have to the brutality that occurs in factories to animals such as cows. An example of juxtaposition occurs when I contrast the beauty of nature with a laboratory, and then an explosion. This is to compare animals and life to beauty, something that needs to be admired, which is then contrasted with a lab with chemicals everywhere to show we are someway manipulating these things. Basically, my overall goal was to compare and contrast what goes on behind closed doors, and how it relates to our lives, because these are some of the foods we indulge in.
Other concepts of semiotics that I incorporated into my film include: contrast, metaphors, signs, metonyms, and logos. Each semiotic concept helped adapt my film into the way it is now, hopefully clear with in-depth meaning when analyzed. For example, the turning of heads represents the resistance most people have to acknowledging what goes on in the food industry. I included the STOP sign to signify the need for us to stop for a moment and pay attention. I again used the McDonald’s logo, to show these high-end corporations that are famous worldwide, that give more opportunities to animals being in this situation. Overall, my entire video uses examples of many different semiotic terms to convey my message in my video.