Researching Remixes

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For ds106 this week, we were required to do a bit of study on remixes, mashups, and as a result, copyright and fair use laws.  This week’s material we had to review was probably one of the most entertaining to date.  With the exception of a few, the majority of these were extremely likeable and fun to watch.  It definitely gave me a better mental picture of the genre we’re working in.

References I watched:

Everything is a Remix – In this four-part series, Kirby Ferguson explores the concept of a remix, and its usefulness and problems in society, in enlightening painstaking detail.  I have to admit to sharing at least one or two of these videos on my personal Facebook page.  Silly, I know, but the points he makes about creativity, what it is, how it’s done, and who can do it, are beyond inspiring.  Basically, the answer is that it is everything, copying everything else, done by everyone.  Which makes me think, ‘Hey! I’m part of everyone!  I can do this!’  And that’s a good feeling.

Steal Like An Artist – I appreciate the brevity of this little clip.  It basically sums up in 47 seconds what Kirby said in 4 episodes over two years.  Plus a cute puppy.  #winning

A Fair(y) Use Tale – Bold use of Disney’s material, intentionally due to their ruthless pursuit of anything resembling copyright infringement.  Well put-together and demonstrates remix and copyright vs fair use concepts and sharing and building ideas within society in a relatively concise and effective manner.  Though I have to admit that I *hate* this kind of video.  I can’t stand the choppiness.  I know, I’m picky. :P

Examples (I probably spent too much time on this)

Buffy vs Edward: Twilight Remixed – Hate.  I know the point was to kill Edward.  That does bring me some joy.  But still, having to watch his patheticness the whole time…*shudder*

Two Gentlemen of Lebowski – Epic.  Not a video, still a mash-up.  Who in the world thinks to pretend Shakespeare wrote the Big Lebowski? Adam Bertocci, apparently.  Bravo, sir.  Bravo.  The Knave abideth.

Star Wars Call Me Maybe – Hate again.  I can’t stand the choppiness.  Or ‘Call Me Maybe.’  This one was doomed.  Still, effective example of a mashup.

Don’t Tase Me Bro/McHammer – I wish I hadn’t watched this.  I don’t get a lot of pleasure from others’ pain.  Again, though, helped me get the concept of what a remix is.

YouTube duet: Miles Davis and Kermit – Heeeeere we go.  This is more like it.  This is epic.  I was really impressed with the way this one was put together, the way it fit together, the way they chose to just show their work as they played the two windows simultaneously and adjusted the settings and such – very well done, and a nice window into the mashup/remix process.

Scary Mary – I thought this one was awesome.  I liked it a lot, so I nudged my husband.  Who then pointed out that somehow my window was on mute.  So then I restarted it.  Then I LOVED it.  #iamsoawesome #whyamIusinghashtagsonwordpress  This opened up a whole new world of what can be done with remixes.  And that’s exciting.

The Shining Recut – Same concept as above, in reverse.  Epic remixes.  I like the concept.  This one was hysterical, to boot.

Star Trek Meets Monty Python – Best one yet.  Introduced me to the idea of redubbing a part to impose another character into a movie foreign to them.  I was nervous at first – if you’re going to try to redo Monty Python, you had better make sure you can do it right.  And it was.  This one was impressive, but left me wondering how capable I would be at accomplishing anything near this awesome. :)

I’ve said before that I’m a really visual learner.  I need to see things to really understand them.  I loved the references and examples provided us for these two weeks, they were extremely effective in this regard.  I feel like I get the concept – you can mash two things together, as long as they’re tied together by any one aspect, whether it be the overall message, similar themes, shared music, or even using all original clips from one movie and editing them in a way that changes their meanings.  I feel like I’ve been embedded with a rather sufficient amount of indignation toward copyright laws, as well as a healthy fear of ContentID, and I feel confidant in my ability to create something that sticks to fair use policies.

I have to be honest about one thing, though.  If asked to explain the difference between a mashup and a remix, I think I would be at a total loss.  Still, progress has been made through my exploration of the ideas here, I think.

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