Reflecting on the Mashup Experience
Why I Do Declare! (The First Reflection)
I can honestly say that this was singularly the hardest thing I have EVER done and that includes two root canals, tightening of braces, and fractured bones. The anxiety of getting the right clips, am I getting it in the right order? Will anyone understand what I’m trying to do? Is the message coming across? Are they supposed to understand? Should I be using different clips, how many is too many or is less actually more? All these questions and more plagued me as I was researching to put this thing together. And then having a conference with your professor where he casually mentions maybe changing the song and then strongly suggesting that you cut out half of the clips that you have accumulated and all about a week before the due date didn’t help my anxiety level at all.
However, I am thankful for this experience because it pushed me. It made me think even more outside of the box than I usually do (or at least I like to think that I do.) It was an intriguing method of getting my message across without using any words. I also learned a new software program, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. It was extremely technical. I am seriously thankful for my brother for providing the program and helping me get started and then making sure that all my clips were enlarged. I got more than half but there were some that were giving me trouble. By that point in time (about 2:30 in the morning), I was about ready to pass out and he made sure I kept at it until I was satisfied with it.
Mashing up videos and traditional writing are actually very similar. I approached it the same way that I do with traditional writing and that’s with coming up with a concept, especially one that I will feel I can do it justice. I researched the topic to make sure that whatever I’m putting out there is actually grounded in fact and not just made up information which is followed by hopefully presenting it in a cohesive manner that will be able to be consumed by your intended audience.
Another way that I noticed in creating this mashup correlates to traditional writing is the selection process. With that I mean selecting the right clips goes hand in hand with selecting the right words. I felt as if the editing process was actually different because with traditional writing you can just cut out words, substitute and then move on. But with video clips; but you have to make sure that the visual message you are trying to convey doesn’t change because you are altering the location or type of clips that you are using.
Thinking back on this I feel that I would have done better with I would have known the limit of clips that I could have used. Like less than 50 but more than 20 something along those lines would have made it easier to narrow the focus and know that I could have done more.
(side note: Now that I do have this program maybe once I have free time, I’ll play around with it and see what I can come up with.)
The Second Refection (because the fun doesn’t just stop with the first one)
When I first started this mashup I wanted to explore the recent breach of privacy with the hacking into the celebrities’ private accounts and releasing personal and private photos to the general public. I started my research and decided to include the children of celebrities; but I ultimately decided that it wasn’t enough.
Most people assume that celebrities have a glamorous life with movies, more money than the US treasury, and shouldn’t have anything to complain about because they are living the good life. But if you think about it, celebrities are just actors are just humans who are trying to do a job and musicians are just humans who want to create music and hopefully share it with the world. But because they become high profile, society feels as if they should be able to know everything about them.
For example, I used Jennifer Lawrence, Gabrielle Union, & Kirsten Dunst because their privacy was invaded when their personal photos were leaked for public consumption. That is why I tried to structure their clips within the two clips of typing on a keyboard followed by the second one having the skeleton on it to show that it was a bad thing.
There are those who succumbed to the pressures of Hollywood by way of drug overdose or suicide such as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger, Cory Monteith, Dana Plato, Judy Garland, and River Phoenix are the representations of individuals who are succumbed to the pressures of the Hollywood lifestyle. There are so many of them which is why I chose to begin and end with them.
Then there are the musicians, such as Selena and John Lennon, who were murdered by their fans. Princess Diana has a dual meaning because she died in a car crash while being chased by paparazzi and showing footage of her accident is also to highlight have paparazzi are relentless in pursuing a picture.
Juxtaposition comes in with the three successful actors who transitioned into successful adults. I choose to showcase them first their younger selves and then them older. Neil Patrick Harris and Leonardo DiCaprio are two actors that were successful both as child actors and adult actors. Shirley Temple was one of the most successful child actors of the 30s who transitioned into a political figure as a UN ambassador. (You only asked for clips from the 40s and on; but I thought I could do one better. Woohoo extra points??) The black and white Shirley Temple footage is from one of her movies “War Babies” of babies taking the place of adults which is what happens a lot of the time when child actors who aren’t protected and/or given the chance of having a grounded-in-reality childhood. I wouldn’t say normal because normal is relative.
Intertextuality comes in the form of Amanda Bynes & Lindsay Lohan, coincidentally two former child stars as well. These two actresses are known for their brushes with the law as well as dealing with personal mental health issues. I used footage from Amanda’s movie, “She’s the Man” were she pretended to be her twin brother to play soccer to showcase the mental breakdown that she’s been going through these past couple of years. Lindsay’s footage was from “Just My Luck” and it really was just my luck that there was a jail scene with her in it.
Sean Hall states that “when one thing is substituted for another in a piece of communication we call it a metonym.” My metonyms were the clips from the Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Rear Window” which shows the two people with a camera and binoculars to signify society’s fascination with knowing everything about celebrities from what they drink, to what they wear, to who they sleep with.
The vultures are my metaphors because they are the best thing that I can think of besides piranhas to signal to the viewer what I think the paparazzi look like when they are circling a celebrity doing random everyday things. The cars being crushed signifies the pressure that celebrities are constantly under as well as the car test crash dummies. (These were also taken from McIntosh’s clips and I could have sworn I read somewhere that if we were able to incorporate any of those clips into our mashup that there will be bonus points also.)
I hope I was successful in my attempt of a mashup.