Divorce Mash Up


Initially, when asked to produce a mash up video – I was eager and excited to try something different. The videos we watched over the course of the semester that were considered mash ups were intriguing and creative. I questioned if I was going to be able to produce such a product myself. Thinking about a topic appeared to be harder than expected. I wanted to do something out of the box, not something that has been done before. My initial topic seemed clear cut and doable as I created my storyboard. When I presented my storyboard to the class – I thought I was off to a good start. Having a PC, I was going to use the program recommended, Sony Vegas for Windows users. Trying to download it was another story in itself. I got every error message possible. Therefore, I gave up. With that out the window, I decided to use a friend’s computer to complete my mash up on a Mac with the use of iMovie. This was a first for me but it was easier than expected. I was moving through the project quickly.

The hardest part in my opinion was finding proper YouTube videos. No still images; a sentence that will forever haunt me after this assignment. After finding the YouTube videos, they needed to be converted and downloaded into iMovie. Finding a video converter was also a learning curve. I personally have never worked with anything video related. I just watch them. Finding the proper programs that were free and posed an easier learner curve is exactly what I wanted and needed. After finding that – the saving of files had to be perfect. I was able to convert my videos and finish my three minute video. Done? No. It turns out that my final product wasn’t what I thought it was and I missed the whole idea of the mash up project. I was trying to cover too much of one topic within three minutes of video.

Finding this out was hard and I had no clue where to go. I could revise my initial idea and bring the focus in more or start over. I choose to start over. This time, I did my topic on the effect divorce has on children. Something that has been done before, probably but what I thought would be easier and more clear. I used Adobe Effects with the help of a friend on this one being as I felt like I failed with iMovie since my final product didn’t make the cut. Adobe Effects is very advance for my taste and I am sure my friend is sick of seeing me and all of my questions. It was fun trying to learn all these new programs. I am not a fan of the digital media creating – just watching and enjoying. I would much rather prefer traditional writing or writing and images such as our photo essays. The mash up relates to traditional writing in the sense that it conveys a story without words. The video images and audio create this story that can be interpreted in so many ways by the viewer.

As I stated in my above reflection, I used Adobe Effects for my final product of my mash up video. My overall goal was simply get it done and worry about the fancy stuff later. I wanted to convert the videos, embed them into adobe, and then edit. Cutting the movies was also harder than expected because I found myself watching the same video over and over again until I found the right sections to cut. I choose to cut a lot of longer clips because I felt as though the smaller portions of those did not convey the proper meaning I was aiming for. Although long, I do not believe they are overdone. Finding a vintage clip that met the needs of my video left a challenge. I choose to find a clip of a family eating dinner the traditional way. Families used to make dinner a big deal. Everyone would sit down together; no technology, no arguing and sit down and enjoy a family meal.

The idea of juxtaposition comes to play with the song. The song is perfect by Simple Plan. This concept that a child is saying “I’m sorry I’m not perfect.” Many times with divorce, children take the blame and the wrap for it. They often live with depression and anxiety with the feeling that they are the reason for the divorce. Children feel as though apologizing will make it better but in reality, it is not their fault and they have nothing to say sorry for. I didn’t want to use a song about a break up or family issues because it would be too literal and portray the idea too much. I want the viewer to be able to listen to the song while watching the video and grasp the concept. Without the song, the divorce idea is clear cut but it makes it more realistic when the audio is playing.

When it came to editing, I wasn’t sure what I could do to make the video more powerful or create an impact. I also didn’t know how to do such on Adobe Effects without the help from a friend. My initial idea was to change the whole video into black and white to create the idea of how draining a divorce can be on a child. Children lose their childhood and enthusiasm when going through a divorce.  After speaking with Professor Wolff, I decided to stick to the regular coloring of some of the videos and create some as black and white to create a more dramatic effect. I am not thrilled with the overall product because I believe the black and white looked more appealing and conveyed the meaning better. But in semiotics, meaning is determined by the reader or viewer depending on the gutters he or she may see throughout the video.

As the project comes to an end, I came to the conclusion that video editing is harder than I originally thought and I am not a fan of the process. Watching already done videos is so much easier and makes me wonder how these creates actually do that. I am not a video editor or graphic artist that posed many learning curves and challenges. I believe I now understand the concept of what a video mash up is and how to make one however I still think I have a long way to go when it comes to producing a high quality video.


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