Fan Culture Video Mash-Up by Stephanie Miller

Reflection #1
Upon first having this project assigned, I felt a great bit of anxiety. I had never done anything like this, and so I felt a little overwhelmed at first. Since a friend of mine already had the software, I was able to use Adobe Premiere CS6. Going into using this software, I knew there was going to be a bit of a learning curve, but luckily it was not as bad as I had expected it to be.
In order to collect the footage that I wanted to use, I used a program known as iSky, which is a video convertor that allowed me to get the footage for free off of YouTube. While the software made this process quite a bit easier, the actual finding of the videos and determining of what showed my idea the best was much more difficult than I thought it would be. While all of the videos were downloading, I was able to spend a good bit of time looking for a song. At first I decided on “Come Together” by The Beatles, but after my peer review in class, I decided to change the song to “Together Underground” by The Wild. Once I had the videos and converted them, I was able to simply drag each video into my “Videos” folder in the Premiere window. After all of the videos were transferred into the editing software, I needed to scale them all down to the same size. This portion was actually one of the most difficult things that I had to do, because I wanted them all to be the same size.
The next stage of the process was to use the cutting tool to cut and splice the footage. While this wasn’t the most difficult portion, it was definitely one that took a lot of time because I wanted to make sure that I caught the most important parts. Once every one of the clips was cut down to a certain size, I planned out a sequence for them that not only went along with the song, but also accurately portrayed just how amazing fan culture can be. After everything was placed into the correct sequence (this took multiple attempts) I made sure that each of the clips was the length that I wanted them to be. Luckily, during this process we as a class were able to get feedback from each other, as well as from Dr. Wolff, and so I was able to go back after each and add/change/rearrange the clips, in order to make sure that I was getting my point across.
From that point, I finished off the video with a title role for the credits, and decided on the “Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives” Creative Commons License.
A few weeks ago, Dr. Wolff called out one of my peers and me for tweeting that we didn’t understand how this assignment related to the writing that is mentioned in the courses name “Writing, Research, and Technology.” While Dr. Wolff tried to explain it to me, I still wasn’t sure how they related. That is no longer a problem. When creating a video mash-up, it is important to look at the mash-up itself as though it were a story, which then makes the video clips the words to the story. After each peer review when I would go home and make changes to the various clips that needed it, or when I changed my song, I was really going home and changing and rearranging the words to my story. Overall, after realizing how this mash-up relates to everyday writing, I believe that everyone should have to create one and really think about how carefully they choose their video clips. I believe this is an important idea to grasp because writers should be as careful when choosing their words as they are when choosing their video clips.

Reflection #2:
When Dr. Wolff originally gave me the idea of creating a video mash-up about fan culture, I was a little hesitant. I wasn’t sure of how I could show my argument, of how fan culture has had a positive influence on our society, through videos. Then I had an “aha” moment. Everyone in the world is a fan of something, whether it is TV shows, movies, books, music, etc. Once I realized this, finding videos became less of a chore, and more of a fun way to see how people show their love for these things. Once I realized how to find all of the videos, I was able to concentrate on incorporating all of the different concepts that we have covered in class.
As a result of the fact that I was showing fans of all types of things, it is important that the audience at least has a general sense of what each of the clips is showing; this need for prior knowledge is how I was able to show the concept of intertextuality. From there, I decided that I wanted to have examples of juxtaposition throughout the entire mash-up. In order to do this, I showed clips of the different movies/TV shows and then the different fans cosplaying as the character. In relation to the examples of juxtaposition, you will see an example of montage at the 1:02 mark, when I have taken a clip of the Disney movie Frozen, where Ana is knocking on Elsa’s bedroom door singing “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” being interrupted multiple times by another clip of a young girl dressed up as Ana, acting out the same scene.
In addition to these three concepts, I have incorporated a variety of semiotic theories found in Sean Hall’s This Means This, This Means That. You can find examples of the theories used below:
• Metonym: The posters in the fans bedroom (0:58) represent fandom. Also, the clips showing Diagon Alley (1:17) represent the Harry Potter fandom.
• Synecdoche: The clips of Harry Styles (0:30) show him as a part, while the musical group that he is a part of, One Direction, is the whole.
• Icon: The clip of the artist creating a sculpture of Pikachu (0:59) shows this because the sculpture represents the character of Pikachu.
• Index: The clip of the young girl dressed up as Rapunzel (1:00) shows this because she is nervous to be standing in front of a crowd to be judged based on her ability to accurately portray the Disney princess.
• Symbol: The clip of the crowd surfers (2:14) symbolizes the arbitrary relationship between crowd surfing and concerts.
• Simile: The various clips of Justin Bieber (0:07), Harry Styles (0:30), and The Beatles (0:11-0:13) show that these three musicians are alike based on how their fans react to seeing them.
• Truth and Falsity: The clips from the Modern Baseball concert (0:51) show this because they are clips of a concert that is not actually a concert, but rather just a film set.
• Sameness and Difference: The clips of Sword Art Online (0:22) and the Sword Art Online cosplayers (0:24) show that the two are similar because each clip is supposed to show the characters but different because one is animated, while the other is real.
• Wholes and Parts: The clips of the female Two-Face (0:43), female Roger Rabbit (0:44), and female Chewbacca (0:45) show this because even though they are distorted versions of the characters, they are still recognizable because the main points (Two-Face’s suit/scars, Roger Rabbit’s bowtie/suspenders/ears, and Chewbacca’s fur/belt) are all present.
Overall, knowing that I was able to make the edits in the proper places to aide in understanding of my topic, really gives me a visual of how all of these relate to each other. After creating this project I definitely feel that I have gained a much better understanding of the different semiotic theories Sean Hall discusses in This Means This, This Means That. As well as the concepts of intertextuality, juxtaposition, and montage that we learned from McCloud’s pieces.


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