For the Remix Assignment students will cut, edit, and remix film or television footage from any era in an attempt to provide some social/cultural critical commentary. This assignment is going to ask you to think expansively about historical and contemporary representations of gender, sexuality, and race in visual media and compose a remix of video, audio, and, perhaps, still images in an attempt to make some social/cultural critical commentary. This, as expected, is an enormously broad directive, which leaves the door wide open for a variety of possibilities, but which also requires a lot of student self-direction and critical conceptualization.
• must incorporate at least 3 communicational modes (moving/still images, non-native audio, oral discourse, text, etc.)
• must be at least 2 and no longer than 5 minutes in length
• must include credits and sources (including separate, complete work cited [following
the APA citation guidelines] on the video itself and in the associated paper)
• must use at least 5 “cuts” (breaks in the native video flow)
Beyond those guidelines, students’ options are really wide open. You can weave in real-action footage you shoot yourselves or sample multiple sources (film and audio) in addition to using the films as core content; you can create minor montage sequences; you can create 3 or 4 smaller projects that work together to make critical commentary; you can create micro- narratives, satires, ironies, tragedies and so on. You can watch examples on Blackboard and we will discuss the theory and practice in lecture. This will be done in pairs (with perhaps a trio or two).
In addition to the video production, students will also be required to complete a Critical Reflection Paper (5-6 pages) that explains and justifies the work you have created and how it applies within our parameters of remix/mashup. It should focus on the message, on the attempted rhetorical moves, on the editing techniques themselves and why various edits, cuts, mashups, etc. were done (what was their intended effect). You must discuss some theoretical perspective and provide the academic context for your decisions. You must also produce a 2 minute “presentation” video where you (this can be one member of the group or both/all members, it is entirely up to you) will introduce your project, explain what you set out to so, why you chose that idea, and how you decided to do it. The Introduction and the remix will be posted to Blackboard so that we can all watch each other’s.
Your video, no more than 5 minutes long, should tell a story distinct from the original text. The goal is not just to make a funny mashup or simply construct a fake trailer – instead you should manipulate the given footage to create a new narrative. It is an exercise to highlight not only how the audience can produce subversive texts but also how editing can tell stories, so you should feel free to be creative in how you recut the original. You will work in partners, so try to partner with someone who can accentuate your strengths.
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