For this mashup project, what couldn’t I say about the medium? Besides the many trials and tribulations it cost me, there are many things I learned. I had never worked with any type of video editing software before this, even just for fun. So watching each person’s mash-up impressed me that a student like me could find all the clips to make a video and make it have meaning and cohesion.
I think as a class we all struggled with how exactly a video mash-up could relate to writing because we were looking at it from a technical standpoint. I realize now that what the mash-up is doing is representing an argument through visuals. It is one thing to take a stance in a paper, but certain effects are lacking because the reader (now viewer) cannot picture them. Presenting them in a video, the viewer now sees where the argument is sprouting from (due to some prior knowledge of the subject being argued and being able to see images both with and without their intertextual background.) The viewer also is specifically led in a direction where they can’t see where the argument is flawed; in this way, there is a tunnel vision effect. You say animal cruelty is wrong and an ignored problem? You can ignore the counter argument by having images that further prove your point and give no attention to the counter argument in and of itself.
The first week prior to Rough Draft 1 was probably the hardest because a lot of us were still learning how to work the new software while trying to add clips. I know not all of my transitions in my video are as smooth as others and that’s a result of trial and error and bad editing. It is something I struggle(d) with during this project and something I plan to eliminate in the future if I ever have to make videos again.
While learning the software was a process in itself, I also began to learn things about how to put images together in a specific way to convey a point that may not be in the video itself. I learned that I like cutting clips and that a three minute video might only give you five seconds of footage. However, this is actually a good thing; a main part of video editing is the manipulation aspect you have as a creator. Personally, I used a video from a civil rights’ protest to convey the police brutality against black’s, but put those images after images of interracial couples in love to make it seem like the brutality was a result of being with a white person in a relationship. I also loved that I got to use symbolism in these videos because having clips from Disney’s The Aristocats to give a portrayal of the upper class and snobbery (using a white cat) was fun.
By Rough Draft Two I was really into my video, although it was literal. I was at a point where I was removing images altogether and relaying different aspects of the issue that I overlooked before. I was finding more symbolism. But I am very grateful we had the conferences because I got to see exactly how literal my video was, due to the music. I did not really see the issue because I was using the video as my juxtaposition, but with my new song, I like that it doesn’t necessarily line-up, but there is still a sense of cohesion without the words saying verbatim what’s going on or even hinting “so-and-so” are in love here and where the music picks up it goes bad.
This project caused me a lot of stress, heartache, frustration, and tears, but I did learn things due to video editing software and I can see how it definitely has an impact on the future of writing (though that is moreso something I’m learning in Intro). I’m pretty pleased with how my video came out. Overall, I believe I get my point across and that is what I mainly wished to accomplish; that it was I feared I wouldn’t be able to accomplish and this project showed that I should think outside the box more and that I could be more creative than I was before.
My topic of interracial love (though I knew it was/ still is a current issue) perplexed me at first. I chose the topic because I was previously involved in an interracial relationship and while my parents didn’t mind, my boyfriend’s mother did not like me solely off the fact that I was white. After dealing with the cold shoulder and side eye from people both of my race and of other races for “intruding” on one of their own, I decided to research the topic, knowing there was plenty of videos on the injustice of couples in love of different races.
I enjoyed finding clips to represent the stigma such as the clip from “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” because I really think that clip captures my whole message so I saved it for the end as a kind of explanation that this is what can occur from imbalance and a stigma.
As discussed previously, I immensely enjoyed the cutting clips and manipulating them into the intended message I wanted to focus on. Off the bat I knew I wanted clips from Holes and West Side Story because interracial love is a focal point in each story and each movie explores both the good and the ugly side of the stigma of white and non-white couples. I knew I would begin with the good parts of their love story and show the results for “shock value” in the middle. These two movies were my main focal point which I believe I made clear in my video. In this way, I used the concept of metaphor (comparison of like things) between the two movies. Both deal with a “like” theme (interracial love) and both movies end with tragedy. But they also deal with Sameness and Difference. One movie is a musical, the other a drama. One is about the clash of inequality and lack of work for immigrants in America, the other is about greed and a family’s cursed history.
Another concept I used within the video was metonym (“a close association, substituted to create meaning”). Throughout the video I show images of a lily blooming. In history a lily has been a symbol for purity and remembrance. Seeing as the lily is also a white flower it could be showing the purity of white girls (like Mayella in the To Kill a Mockingbird clip) and how interracial couples aren’t pure and have caused havoc (ie: necessity of police force). In the remembrance aspect, lilies are also a popular flower used at funerals and both Sam (in Holes) and Tony (in West Side Story) die because of loving women of different races. These could be considered to be depicting symbolism in Wholes and Parts. In this same weigh, synecdoche was used to show scales because they are a universal symbol for weight (choices) and balance (dealing with consequences of previous choices).
This video also deal with repetition of characters for the sake of Before and After. As mentioned before, both Sam and Tony die and I used that in the middle for “shock value”. Through the video, I also use several clips of them with their girlfriends whilst they were alive to give the viewer connection to how they were people who were in love in the beginning (no crime), but in the end they end up dead because of that same innocent love.
Other attributes my video touches upon are Interpretation and Intertextuality/Intratextuality. The video can be interpreted as the cause and effects of what can happen in an interracial romance or it can be interpreted as finding a balance between races and breaking down walls that have existed. Much of the interpretation deals with the viewer’s intertextual understanding. One argument I had in class had to do with cast choices (which were out of my control) in West Side Story where Maria (who is played by a white actress, but is supposed to be a chicano) looks like she could be related to Tony or that they are the same race. Dr. Wolff stood up for me when this argument came about saying that if you had seen the movie, you would know Maria was supposed to be Hispanic and Tony was supposed to be Italian, hence the main feud in the movie; aka intertextuality at work (prior knowledge of a subject in a different situation.) Intratextuality has to deal with how you combine texts altogether even if there original meaning is lost in the video. Combining West Side Story and the civil rights movement showed how meaning could be construed from good editing and understanding the struggle in both instances, but also seeing how each clip was manipulated for a bigger purpose.
One of my favorite features of this mash-up (and the main goal I think) was to see how a video really makes a difference in representing the symbolic side of an argument and how it makes you choose.