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The Mashup video was extremely difficult for me. It was a new way of composing something that didn’t involve alphabetic text. Since I would rather write something than create it through images, drawings, or video, this assignment was a challenge. The first challenge for me was learning how to use iMovie. The first time we discussed iMovie in class I was so incredibly lost. In addition, the first time I actually tried to use iMovie, I was completely lost. I found myself getting very frustrated to the point where I would have to walk away from the computer from time to time. After about 9 hours into editing my mashup, I began to understand how iMovie worked. The second thing I found very difficult was converting the videos and pictures and importing them into iMovie. I was discovering videos off of YouTube and images of of the archival websites that were provided but I was having trouble on how to get those images into iMovie in order for me to work with them. I found myself converting the YouTube clips to mp4 files on an online converter, then converting them again on the application Evom. After conferencing with Professor Wolff, I realized that converting them through Evom was not necessary. This was extremely frustrating. Then, through countless hours, I realized that the only way to import my still images was to add them to my iPhoto and then they would automatically appear through the photo gallery in iMovie. Another issue that I had was trying to get my message across. Since I couldn’t use traditional writing techniques or symbols (letters) I didn’t know how to give meaning to the images and videos I wanted to use. I decided to focus my mashup on body image and plastic surgery. Although it is hard to express how a person feels about their body and express their emotions and self-worth, I thought it would be fitting for my mashup to show these emotions and feelings through videos and pictures.
I found almost all of my video clips off of YouTube and some images and clips off of the archival websites that were provided for us. Through my conference with Professor Wolff, I was having trouble trying to find some clips I thought I could use. He advised me to look outside of the box, and showed me a clip of a car commercial. One would think, “What does a car commercial have anything to do with body image or plastic surgery?”; however, ironically, there was a women in the advertisement that was getting ready, putting on make up, and doing her hair to be picked up by a man in a Trans Am. I decided to include this in my mashup because it shows that even in car commercials the idea of body image and sex appeal are used to sell products.
After mastering the application iMovie, I found myself doing a couple of things. I had the tendency to long video clips when, in retrospect, would not have given off the meaning that I intended. After countless times of watching my mashup, I realized that by making my video clips shorter, I was giving off the feeling of urgency, chaos, and anxiety. In the song that I used, there is a point in the middle of the song were the beat builds up and the drums become faster and faster until there is a break. I wanted to include video clips that had the most rapid change in images and put them all together at that exact moment; so, as the beat was building up, the video and images were building up as well, showing the viewer multiple images and clips in about 3 seconds.
Through this mashup, I realized that traditional writing is effective; but through technology, a new form of writing has emerged. This form of writing uses symbols, images, video, and sounds to tell the story rather than alphabetic text. I believe that using this new form of writing is actually more effective in producing emotion from the audience because it uses so many different aspects: images, videos, music, and sound. Although, many emotions can be conveyed through alphabetic text, I believe more emotions can be conveyed through music, sounds, images, and videos.
In my video mashup, the video clips that I decided to use demonstrate the idea that body image is so distorted in our culture and plastic surgery is a result of the myth to be “perfect” or like Barbie. I chose the song “Happy Violence” by Dada Life because even the title of the song is an oxymoron. I also chose it to tie it to the idea of plastic surgery. These people are willingly going under the knife to be happy and confident about themselves. Unfortunately, some of those people have their plastic surgery go wrong and there face or body completely disfigured. I also used the song because the term “happy violence” is an oxymoron, and so is the magazine covers or photographs of every celebrity. Those pictures are photoshopped and fake. The computer can make anybody look “perfect” and our society doesn’t realize that. I wanted to show that our society falls for this myth of perfection when, in fact, the people that are fueling this myth are faking it as well.
The various editing techniques that I used in my mashup. I used the image and video clip of the little girl going around and around on the playground because I wanted to remind my viewers that we do not think about these types of things as a child. I also wanted to show my viewers the juxtaposition of the little girl on the playground with Barbie. I chose to do this because I wanted to convey the meaning that young girls are being presented with these toys that show them a false sense of reality. This also used intertextuality because to understand the intended meaning, my viewers would need to know that Barbies are toys made for children.
Also, in my mashup video, I demonstrated montage. For example, the first clip I showed was of a Victoria’s Secret Angel standing, then the second clip I showed was Heidi Montag standing almost nude with marker all over her body, finally the last clip I showed was Pink in her music video “Stupid Girls” dancing next to 50 cent. This demonstrates montage because these are three unrelated clips, but together they convey meaning. The first and second clip were extremely similar in the sense that both women were standing up straight. However, they were both in very different context: the first clip was of a Victoria’s Secret Angel, who our society believes to be the epitome of a perfect women, and then the second clip was of a women trying to change herself to look more like the status quo. I chose to add Pink’s clip after these two because the way she is dancing next to 50 cent is how women are portrayed in our culture, hot and sexy right beside their man. In addition, I put a clip I found off of a commercial of a doctor getting closer and closer to the camera then immediately cut to a montage of images that showed women getting injected with needles, cut, or jab with the liposuction tool. This demonstrates juxtaposition because the first clip of the doctor had nothing to do with the images of the women. It acted as a signifier that the doctors aid women in completing these acts of transformation.
In addition, through this course, I added many different ideas of semiotics. The montage of faces looks like it is on a white piece of paper. The eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, etc. look like they are torn apart and pasted together with glue. The fact that these images look like they are being cut and pasted conveys the meaning that our society wishes they could do that with their own face. Showing all the faces of every different Barbie doll acts as a signifier because the faces show the many different ways these children and young women are getting the idea of what is perfect and what isn’t.
After completing this mashup, I showed my parents to see what meaning they got out of the video. Both of them got the intended meaning of our corrupt our society is in making women believe that there is some kind of “perfect”, even at a very young age. They also understood that I was trying to show how celebrities and magazines are hypocrites because they photoshop every image that is published in their magazines.