Digital Medium Reflection
When I was first told about this project, I was filled with severe different feelings. Creating a Mash up integrates data from multiple web sources, extracting data from multiple web sources, cleaning it, and combining it together. I started off completely lost on the actual topic I wanted to focus on. I started to think to myself, what is a present complex issue that really invokes strong emotions within in. It was that moment, that I picked my topic asking my audience, “What has really changed or stayed the same in our society?” and focused this question with the topic on police brutality on African Americans.
Similar to if I was writing a paper, I begin to collect information on how things used to be and how things are now. Since this was a video mash up, I would have to collect various videos to make a clear and concise video. This led to making storyboard. Our story had to include what we would like our first 30 seconds of the video to be about. I had to really brainstorm how I wanted this video to start, I was stuck between the video beginning in the present time or it being like an actual story and beginning in retrospect.
I had to convey whatever I would write in a paper about police brutality using a lot of mini videos and hope my audience understand my part of the argument. This lead me to do a lot of preparing, for every clip I used, I had to be able to provide an answer with why I used it and what it meant.
When it was time to get to work on the actual video, I was very eager to begin. Since I had a dell laptop, I did my mash up on Sony Vegas PRO 13. Though this was my first time using this video editor I was a bit confident since I thought of myself as someone who was semi- tech savvy. MY confidence quickly faded, the first 30 seconds of my video took me over three hours. I found myself searching up How To’s on what some might call the simple things on this video editor. I read and listened to many people on YouTube showing how to import videos, trim, make videos faster or slower.
Working with this editing software and different videos was something I am happy I had the opportunity to do. Although editing a video is very time consuming, it made me appreciate each second of it. Since this was my first time using Sony Vegas Pro 13, I did struggle quite a bit in the beginning, even something as simple as movie the clip was found to be a challenge. Through all my struggles, I am happy with the outcome of everyone, visual text to me is very important because sometimes you honestly don’t know how to say what you want to say and finding clips to provide as examples is very important.
The message of my video was on police brutality. I tried to explain that nothing has really changed within our time. This history of violence by whites has been reflected habitually by the police in their behavior especially in black communities: Rodney King, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Eleanor Bumpurs, Michael Stewart and many others are high-profile cases. The shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown sparked nationwide outrage as the country continues to struggle with its history of racial discrimination and police brutality, especially against African-Americans.
While creating this video, I used several semotic theories from the book This Means This, This Means That: A User’s Guide to Semiotics, those three theories include: message, past/present/future and viewer I also included intertextuality, juxtaposition, and montage. The first 30 seconds of my mash up, was focused on police brutality on past. These videos included clips of African Americans being attacked by dogs, beaten with clubs, and hosed down. Intertextuality is the using of another text to create meaning for another text. I was able to show this in my video by showing of police brutality videos from the 1960’s and recent videos of police brutality. I wanted the viewer to realize that although time has passed, police brutality especially on African Americans have stayed the same.
Juxtaposition is the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect. I was trying to show that if People really pay attention to the history of brutality and criminalization of the humanity of black people, they will learn that even though we are not dealing with Jim Crow, many things including police brutality has stayed the same. I showed old clips of people protesting and doing sit ins over the rights of African Americans being stripped and people doing the SAME thing now. There are so many protest happening right now because innocent black men and women are dying because our rights are being stripped from us.
Montage is a technique in film editing in which a series of short shots are edited into a sequence to condense space, time, and information. One can see that I montage clips of the past and quickly followed by recent clips of police brutality to show that police brutality is all the same. I also did this by adding different types of clips of African Americans being brutalized.
I also incorporated several semiotic theories into my mash up. Past/present/future is displayed in my video mash up. Past/present/future is shown throughout my video to show that police brutality has been going on for many years. Message was also used, the message of my video was that things need to actually change, police officers need to start valuing the lives of everyone especially African Americans. I tried to show this message by adding the child running in the field, the point of was to show how sometimes we as African Americans feel lost, we feel like we are literally stuck in a system where we were set to fail. I did this also by showing the black mother crying, a spoken word poet by the name of Jasmine Mans said “I Know Black mothers don’t raise their sons to be murders as much as I know they don’t raise them to be murdered.