What’s Beauty? Mash Up

Reflection 1:

For this video mash up I worked with Sony Vegas Pro 11. It was my first time using this technology to form a video of any sort.  At first, it was difficult to use Sony Vegas Pro 11 but I got the hang of it and it got easier as I kept using it. Using this type of forum for wiring was like learning a new genre of writing for the first time, you must keep practicing to understand it and make it perfect.  Like traditional writing it was hard to brainstorm my ideas for this assignment.  It took a long time to get my ideas together into one cohesive thought.  Just like traditional writing, I wrote down my ideas for this mash up.  This helped me because it allowed me to get thoughts down in an organized way.

Researching for this video was a little more difficult than I thought.  When researching for a traditional research paper, it is way easier because you can easily find multiple sources on the specific topic you are writing about.  When searching for an article, I usually type the topic or words about the topic and the search engine will pick up key words and find articles.  When looking for videos, it was difficult because Youtube did not pick up key words that might appear in the video.  This made the research process a lot longer than I originally thought it would be.

Like writing, this video has a beginning, middle, and ending but the way it is presented it not straight forward or orderly like traditional writing.  This was hard to get out of the habit of doing.  Once you are taught to always have your writing and thoughts in an orderly fashion, breaking out of that is challenging.  I really had to think about not placing video clips where I would normally think to place them.  This is also the fun and beauty of video mash ups though.  Putting your thoughts into an abstract order is really fun to do!

I really liked making this video mash up. I think it is a great way to get across a message to a large number of people.  I mean, I would much rather watch a video mash up than read a 10 page research report.  Just like traditional writing would discuss, this video mash up shows a serious social problem and ideas surrounding that problem.  While this mash up uses video clips and not words, like traditional writing would, I think its message is just as if not more effective than it would be in a traditional writing piece.  I think having your ideas represented by an image, either still or moving; can give a very powerful message.  Using video allows people who would not normally choose to read an article the opportunity to get educated, and that is powerful!

Reflection 2

This mash up video represents the idea that society has an effect on the way people think about and see beauty.  Through the use of commercials, ads, and toys, specifically Barbie, women of society are trained and taught to look a certain way, because that is what beauty is.  In order to represent this idea I used many beauty and Barbie ads.  In addition to that I used many clips and theories to represent an idea or feeling.

One idea that is very important throughout this video is the idea that commercials affect the way women view beauty.  To get this point across I used multiple makeup commercials.  Every commercial is essentially the same, the makeup is shown, the model puts it on, smiles, and the makeup is shown again.  “How is this equation possible?” is the theory I used to get across the message.  The signifier in each commercial is a person, specifically a model, the linking notion is beauty, and the signified is makeup.  The message that these commercials send is that in order to look like that model and to be beautiful you need to wear this makeup.  I also illustrated this idea through the use of a montage, showing that each commercial is essentially the same and gives the same message.

Another important idea that I represented is the thought that society and commercials have power over beauty and the way women see beauty.  I illustrated this idea by incorporating the video clip of the string on the doll being pulled.  The pulling of the string is a metaphor to show this idea.  I placed this clip throughout the video, usually after commercials of makeup or Barbie showing that the commercials are controlling us just like the person pulling the string is controlling the doll. I also showed this idea by inserting clips of the girl being strapped in the chair and being made over by various people, the puppet, and the girl being manipulated to look like Barbie on a computer.

I added video clips of various little girls throughout the world that represented their idea of beauty.  I put these video clips after or before commercials of Barbie or little girls putting makeup on.  I placed these clips after or before them to contrast, or juxtapose, the different ideas of beauty.   In one clip we see a little girl in Africa being force feed to make her gain weight and having her fingers clinched to make stretch marks this is very different than the “American” idea of beauty and is not shown through most commercials or ads.  To show the difference I placed it right before a little girl putting makeup on and a commercial of a Barbie doll in a beauty salon.  This contrast the different ideas of beauty little girls grow up with.

Another clip I used to illustrate a concept is the skeletons.  I placed the skeletons to illustrate the concept that we are all the same inside.  We are all essentially the same with the same skeleton on the inside.  I hope through the use of the clips I chose to use, the social problem of what beauty is, is being represented.

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