Time to Mix it UP! (Weeks 13 & 14 Remix and Mashup)

Can’t….feel my fingers anymore…been remixing and mashing SO much these past 2 weeks! On top of studying for final exams and doing final projects for other classes, I think these have been the busiest 2 weeks of the entire semester. But I got through them with all of the assignments done in time, and I even had some extra leeway time to put effort into them! I bet Youtube is sick of my uploads and having to give me all these copyright notices by now, but all these uploads were for a good purpose; EDUCATION! Since I pretty much summed up everything I did in the blog posts for these assignments, I think I’ll just list them here to spare anymore excessive finger injury.

Remix the Vacation (Alan’s Trip to Mars) Blog Post
This assignment was hilarious because I got to send the professor to another planet. I hope my ticket to Mars comes in the mail soon. I need a vacation!

Recycle the Media Assignment Blog Post

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! This was where I took everyone’s unneeded junk media and turned it into a work of art. It’s a media party and everyone’s invited!

“Post-Photographic Portrait” Challenge Blog Post

This assignment was one of the funnest ones since I got to turn a man into a machine. I was so happy when Jonathan Worth himself liked it! :)

Countrify Yourself! (Remix Generator Assignment)

I had to take an a capella song and somehow countrify it according to the remix generator. I had this song stuck in my head all night even though I came up with the horrible lyrics in like 2 minutes!

Remixed Album Cover (3 stars)

This was the first remix assignment I did. I created a parody of the Gorillaz album cover “Demon Days” by using characters from the show “Death Note.” I think the Death Note crew would make an awesome metal band.

Vocal Instrumental Mashup (3 stars)

For this remix assignment I took the vocals of one song and mashed them up with the instrumental of another song to create a totally new song. Couldn’t even tell it was a mashup really since both songs sound extremely similar!

Final Project Idea Blog Post
This is my final project idea to create a 4 minute tribute to my favorite pony, Rainbow Dash. It’s gonna have alot of awesome effects, transitions, and clips of her being spectacular.  I’m sure she’d be proud if she saw it.

Remix vs. Mashup

According to Webster’s dictionary, a “remix” is defined as “a variant of an original recording (as of a song) made by rearranging or adding to the original.” I discovered the meaning of the word this week, without looking up the definition, and how it slightly differs from a mashup. My definition of remixing is altering preexisting content and transforming it into a new piece of media with a different message. This could be done with any sort of content; such as photos, music, and videos. The image below is a remix of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”. This is only one of MANY remixes since the painting is so well known. Although the characters in the picture change throughout each of the remixes, the message of the famous portrait still remains the same in a sense that the individual in the center is meant to be the most important and is the main focus.


A mashup is very similar in the sense that it still an alteration of some form of media. However, what makes a mashup different from a remix is that it needs at least one other piece of media to create something new. This could be done without changing the content itself and just adding something else to it. An example of this one of my favorite videos called “Cant Touch Mormon Jesus” where the author mashed up an animated video about Mormonism and the MC Hammer song “Can’t Touch This.” What makes this a legendary mashup is the fact that not only is the video clip matched to music, but the voices in the clip also sync with the music, as if the narrator was rapping to the beat. “Stop! Mormon time!”

A remix and a mashup follow similar concepts in that they are a transformation of preexisting material, but what makes them different is the fact that one of them is a transformation of itself without the aid of any other media element.
Whew…I thought I would never get through these 2 weeks, but I made it through with one extra paddle to sail with. I learned now that the videos I’d been making since I was younger were really mashups, and I’d actually been crafting stories by creating them; stories about ghosts were turned into music videos, stories about serious topics were lipsynced with funny audio ect. Remixes and mashups can be used to convey messages that are different than what was intended in the original media clip. This can have the power to change a person’s feelings about a situation; just as I discussed in a previous post about political mashups being able to make an individual see a candidate differently. I feel there are endless possibilities to give meaning to a lifeless work.

Grab your popcorn! It’s Movie Time! (Week 10: How to Read Movies)

3-2-1 ACTION! It’s time to start thinking visually, but not with photos this time, but with the magic of video!  This week we analyzed different camera techniques used in movies and how they have the power to turn an ordinary dialogue exchange into a stunning movie scene. Next week is gonna be fun because we get to utilize what we’d learned this week and translate the knowledge into our own videos. Although I’m an audio-lover 4life, there was a point in my life where I’d created videos every other week.

Any Video Experience?

I’d been video editing since I was 12, first using Windows Movie Maker as a video editing program. I made little music videos using different cartoons and uploaded them to my first Youtube account. However, due to copyright infringement, Youtube shut down the account taking all of my videos with it. :( That really sucked, but I ended up creating a new account and continuing to create videos, just cutting down on how much copyrighted material I used. Once I started college, I ended up getting a Mac computer with no Windows Movie Maker on it and I panicked. I discovered a glorious video editing program for Mac called Final Cut Pro from one of my buddies. This was WAY harder to use than WMM, but most of the structures were the same; it had a timeline editor, filter effects, and different export options for video sharing. I’d been using this program since then. I usually dont have the time to create videos like the ones I used to make anymore, but now I have a reason to! BRING IT ON!

The 3 Time Analyze

The movie I chose to review was Pulp Fiction by Quentin Tarantino. I watched the scene where Vincent accidentally shoots Marvin in the back of the car. First I watched the scene without the audio on, second I listened to just the audio, and finally I watched and listened at the same time to see how much the camera and sound played a part in the scene. Clearly they both made made a huge difference. Check out the “3 Time Analyze” post here!



Further Analyzing (Pulp Fiction Facts and Montage)

This post was dedicated to Pulp Fiction as a whole rather than just one scene. I gave 3 facts about the movie, proved that it could be a Crime-Thriller-Comedy film through tropes, and created a montage demonstrating the 3 facts. I used Final Cut Pro and a few video clips of the movie to create the montage. Check out the somewhat long post here!

Youtube Makes Politics Fun (Youtube Genre)

Who would ever think that Mitt Romney could actually be an entertaining human being? Well, with the power of a little video editing and Youtube, he can unwillingly become a mainstream celebrity. This week I discussed how Youtube has a genre that makes politics entertaining and even funny. On the class Youtube Genre document I called this genre “Funny/Entertaining Politics.”  If taken seriously enough, these videos have the  power to influence an individual’s view of the politician. Check out this funny informative post here!


 Daily Creates

This week I did the 2 Daily Creates “Buried Treasure” and “Greatest Gift Recieved.” For the Buried Treasure one, I took a picture of a giant, dark pit in the ground and imagined it was the world’s oldest tar pit. In this very pit, a few dinosaurs were unfortunate enough to fall in and never swim their way out. For some reason, this pit reminded me of something out of the movie Jurassic Park, and I think it would be a great place to shoot a dinosaur movie! For the 2nd one, I drew a picture of the greatest birthday gift I had ever received, a 1 week vacation on the Disney Cruise Ship. This 1 week ended up being a week and 3 days because our ship was stuck out in the middle of the ocean due to a hurricane slamming our port in Florida. Hey, my family wasn’t complaining though; it was 3 extra days for free! Sounds like the best birthday present ever, right? Well it is…..untilll……FLYING DINOSAURS SHOW UP AND ATTACK THE SHIP!!

Jurassic Tar Pit

Best Present Ever Recieved

Potential Video Assignments

Anyone ever notice how Gary Jules in the song “Mad World” sounds ALOT like Winnie the Pooh? I made the connection when I first heard the song, but never got around to making a video for it. Until now! For one of my video assignments I’m planning to do the “Music Video” challenge. I’ll be using a scene from the movie “Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin” when poor Pooh is depressed about losing Christopher Robin and he sings a sad song about it. I found this scene fitting because it is the ONLY time in the Winnie the Pooh franchise that you’ll see him this upset about something, which also sort of goes with Gary Jules’ depressing song. I plan to use Final Cut Pro to align the clips from the movie together and also add the music. I dont know if I’ll be able to make the video with the whole song since I’m sure that I’ll run out of sad footage and I’d end up having to desperately reuse footage. I’ll use enough of the song to get the main message across; that Jules is secretly Winnie the Pooh in disguise.

Picture 2

In my other video assignment I plan to be the lead singer of a boy band and have no shame. In other words, I’m gonna have some fun with the “Lip Synch Your Favorite Song” challenge! For this one I want to “sing” one of my favorite songs since I was a kid, Nsync’s “For the Girl Who Has Everything.” Nsync and Backstreet Boys were me and my sister’s favorite bands and we would always take turns singing the songs when we were little. I think she’ll get a good kick out of me lip syncing the song when I do it! :)
Instead of Final Cut Pro like I’m using in the first assignment, I have to use IMovie because I sadly don’t know how to record from a webcam through Final Cut. I’m going to play the real song in the background as I sing along with it, and then when I save it, I’m going to remove the audio of me singing and replace it with the actual song; uploading the mp3 to IMovie and attaching it to the video. Actually, I despise IMovie, so I might just record the webcam video with it and THEN switch to Final Cut to do the editing. Nsync will have a new member, the young heartthrob Amber May! I’m gonna LOVE this!

Next week I’m gonna make some daring dives into the video editing pool and hopefully not drown. I’ve got a floaty on each arm to help me through the dangerous waters though; one being Final Cut Pro and the other IMovie (though the IMovie float seems to be a bit deflated…) So lights, camera, ACTION! It’s time for me to become the next Tarantino!

Weekly Summary: Audio Week!

Once again, I forget what week it is…I think it’s week 4….It’s so easy to lose track of time while in this class since the weeks tend to fly by. I may not know what numeric week this was, but I DO know that it was my favorite week thus far, AUDIO WEEK!

Cohosting on DS106 Radio

First of all, I LOVED cohosting on Ds106 Radio with Nancy on Monday! I was a bit scared of being live on the air where anything could happen, but I calmed myself down enough to speak clearly. We had the chance to share our experiences with ds106 thus far; our favorite assignments, our weaknesses, our strengths, our interactions with other students, and our complaints. There were approximately 10 people listening to us, and I learned how a good amount of DS106 students were not even in Virginia, or in this country for that matter! I found the special guest, Grant Potter (inventor of DS106 Radio), to be very informative in the discussion about how audio could be a huge part of digital storytelling. He really knew his stuff! During the discussion on digital stories within videogames, I explained how when we play videogames the game’s environment is not the only thing that governs our gameplay experience, but also the atmosphere of the room we’re playing in could also contribute. For example, playing sinister games like (Amnesia) in a brightly lit classroom is not the same as playing it alone in your apartment at night. It was so much fun to not only join in on a topic that sparked my interests, but to also get my feet wet experiencing what it’s like to be live on the air. This summer I am going to be an intern at the Q94 radio station in Richmond producing and editing radio commercials, but I may also have the chance to be live on the air with the station in the future. I was glad that I had this opportunity with Ds106 Radio, but the only part of our broadcast that I was disappointed at was the horrible timing of my apartment’s fire drill that caused me to miss the rest of the show! I re-listened l to it eventually, but man I wish I coulda been there!

Picture 3

Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad

Since this week was the intro to audio storytelling, it was very appropriate to first learn about the building blocks of an amazing story. I watched radio gurus, Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad, explain their views on audio storytelling. Glass’ video leaned more toward the structure of the story and creating it while Abumrad spoke more of connecting with the audience and painting mental pictures together. I felt that both of these men knew what they were talking about and obviously had enough radio experience under their belts to lead others in the right direction.

 This American Life: “Getting Away With It”

After watching Glass and Abumrad’s videos and had acquired an idea of how radio stories are structured, I began listening to the audio story “Getting Away With It” featured on This American Life. As I listened I mentally noted the radio techniques being used to bring the story to life. I felt bad that I couldn’t apply the techniques to the last story in the episode because I just couldn’t get into it.

Radio Bumper and 5 Sound Story

These assignments were single-handedly the best this semester (so far at least) and I really enjoyed doing them. The Radio Bumper was my favorite of the two because it gave me some practice producing radio commercials, which, as I stated before, I plan to be doing this summer. I created this by mimicking the structure of of my hometown’s radio bumpers. I threw in the random Tiny Tina line (which I voiced) because it was previously being discussed on Ds106 Radio on Monday, to the point where she somehow appeared on Twitter to haunt us.

The Sound Story assignment confused me at first because I had no idea that the content had to be new material. At first I used a sound story that I had created last year for a Umw video contest (which didn’t win, sadly) that contained 19 sounds relating to the life of a Umw student. When I learned that I had to make something new, I created a story recounting me trying to learn how to play an instrument when I was younger. This one only had 5 sounds as opposed to the previous 19.

Daily Creates

Acrostic Poem with Article of Clothing
Too Late

Hum First Memory
Retitle a Movie

This one was my favorite this week.



Another week, another week of amazing projects done by the DS106 prodigies. I take the comments that have been posted my blog to the heart because they address how I have the potential to be something great later in life. (I wont let you all down!) Overall I had a blast this week with audio! I’ve trained myself to be completely calm and collected when in front of a microphone, so much so that now it just comes naturally to not be embarrassed by my deep, boyish voice. There were more assignments than last week, but I didn’t care because they were based on hobbies that I do almost every day. The only negative thing that I could come up with is the fact that the Daily Creates are becoming more of a “rush job.”I don’t know…I used to love Daily Creates at first, but now stacking them on top of other things we’re supposed to do throughout the week, plus the assignments we’re doing in our other classes, is making them more tedious. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy creating things like these, but I wish I had the time to spend more time on them and make them a bit more elaborate; like the ones I created the first week. I could do SO much more with them!

And so ends the DS Weekly Hurricane (this is the name I’ve come up with because the assignments roll in like ferocious storms at the beginning of the week and die off at the end, leaving a beautiful sunbeam of accomplishment.)

Week 3: I Haven’t Seen the Sun in Days…

What week is this again…week 3? Man time flies! It seems like it was only the first week of Bootcamp! This week was a mouthful, literally (see 5-picture story), and we all got a chance to learn new things about the endless aspects of Digital Storytelling. First of all, I had to figure out a way to put into words what Digital Storytelling was. This is actually more complicated than it sounds because it’s hard to define what we see and take for granted every day. (It’s like trying to describe what “sweet” tastes like. Impossible!) However, I feel that I came up with a successful definition that even gained cogdog’s seal of approval!

The Shape of Stories Assignment

The 2nd thing we learned was how basic stories are commonly structured. Using the brilliant mind of Kurt Vonnegut and his “Shape of Stories” method, I constructed a story arc using an episode of My Little Pony entitled “Sonic Rainboom.”After creating one of these, I started to realize that A LOT of movies and books use these same mechanics to structure their plots. I don’t know whether it is a good thing that I realized this or a bad thing, since I’ll never be surprised at how a story ends anymore…

Previous DS106 Students’ Projects

Tuesday was a time to pay tribute to our DS106 Ancestors by looking back at their final projects. This group was incredibly talented and motivated to provide their viewpoints on digital story telling! I skimmed through each of their final projects and admired how eager they were to display their visions. My favorite in particular was Kiersten’s Toy Story Mashup which sent me on a major nostalgia trip.

Daily Creates

And now the fun stuff! THE DAILY CREATES! I seriously love doing these every week because they give me a chance to take a break from boring 6 page papers to do something that I love to do; be creative. This week I did 4: The 5 Star Breakfast, The Rude Blue Screen of Death, My New Invention, and  My Biggest Fear. The 5 Star Breakfast consisted of my usual breakfast, burnt toast with a Poptart and water. When you have a class at 9am on the other side of campus, you don’t really have time to eat a fancy, gourmet, bacon and egg filled, continental breakfast. This is college; where healthy meals are scarce and homework is plenty! My version of the Blue Screen of Death is a  error message that clearly hates the computer it’s running on…and the user running it. My New Invention was inspired by an episode of Jimmy Neutron where Jimmy used this pocket sized storage cube to store everything. This would be a nifty device because it would never run out of space, so one could shove a convertible into it and still have room for a Hummer. Finally, my biggest fear is a bit unusual. Since I was younger, I’ve always been afraid of these harmless floating objects, to the point where when we had to work with them in elementary school, I would pretend to be sick to leave class. Even in college, these objects scare me more than spiders. I cant even look at this video without cringing a bit…. Oh no! I was busy having so much fun with these Daily Creates that I forgot my paper is due on Canvas soon! Ugh!

Picture 3

The next assignment was to compile 5 photos and create a story with them. Since I uploaded my own photo set, I had to tell my story only with pictures and no text. This is a key part of digital storytelling because it is using photos on an electronic medium to convey a message rather than reading a linear explanation. It allows the reader to mentally create their own stories using only the information given to them. I’m not going to explain what my photo set means, I’ll leave you to figure it out, or you can create your own story using them! I’ll just tell you that it is based on a true story of deep regret and anguish.

Comment Groups

Finally, all of us were placed into comment groups to analyze and provide feedback on each others blogs. I enjoy this system because it gives us a chance to have our material reviewed by fellow students who are learning about the topics at the same pace. I found some of the comments I received on my posts to be extremely helpful since some of them inspired me to change a few things on my layout. Likewise, I was able to offer some advice on ways to improve one’s design, such as making it easily navegatable so potential employers wont have to waste time figuring out who’s blog they’re reading and what their website’s theme is. I feel so honored to be in a class with so many creative people!

In the end there was a good amount of tasks to perform this week, so much so that if it weren’t for the “Weekly Summary Checklist” on the course blog, I’d be a lost puppy right now. But once you know the list of things you must complete, and if you can get them done early, you’ll get some downtime to add extra things to your blog and even make a few more Daily Creates for fun! I learned some new functions on Twitter that I can now use to my advantage, and I started dusting off my Skype. Speaking of Skype, next week is the week where I co-host on the DS106 Show . I’m excited and terrified at the same time since I’ve never discussed anything live before, and I cant edit out anything if I mess up. The most I can do is give it my all and attempt to feel confident about the topic. Week 4 is around the corner with a baseball bat, but I’ll be ready with an Ak-47!