Who are the Ad Wizards?

Remix! | April 1, 2010

Back in high school, when I had dreams of entering the movie business, I dabbled in editing. For my US History class during my junior year, I created a 10 minute video montage of still images, videos and music from the 1950s. And though I did create something new, I still considered it more of an editing process. Since all the material was already there, I just put in an order that did not exist before.

Our next assignment for visual rhetoric has us remixing educational films from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s with commercials from this past Super Bowl. And though some may argue that remixing is a new way to say editing, it does encompass a bit more than the traditional sense of editing. In remixing, the artist is looking to create new meaning by combining multiple media. An editor, on the other hand, is looking to keep a consistent message with the source material. In both cases, I consider the work an art form. It takes a special talent to patchwork together images, sounds and music from different sources and create a message.

An added wrinkle to our assignment is to create a mashup video that also has makes a social commentary. Since it’s mostly males, between the ages of 18 and 55, watching the Super Bowl, the majority of the commercials have a particular message to their audience, “this is what it means to be a man.”  With undertones of misogyny, homophobia and sexism throughout many of the spots, I intend to highlight these themes were being thought to men in the 1950s – the golden age of misogyny, homophobia and sexism.

With help from educational films about overcoming shyness, what it means to be popular and dating, I hope to showcase some overriding themes found in commercials from CareerBuilder, Dockers, Dove, FloTV, and Snickers.

I was able to get an A by putting together my 1950s montage with borrowed video tapes from the county library, two VCRs and a CD player. I can only imagine how much better I can do with the power of computers and the internet.


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  1. The fact that we had to add a social commentary to the remix was a bit of a challenge for me. I spent a lot of time going through material from the ads and the instructional movies. I tried to look for ideas that can create or drive my message forward. Although i had many ideas, it was a challenge to narrow them down so i changed the intended message several times. Finally, once i decided, i began to search for the footage that served my purpose.
    I actually have a new appreciation for this kind of work. Before i started the assignment , i was under the impression that this was probably as easy as throwing vegetables in a pot. whilst i have an idea down, i still don’t know what impact it would have as a final project. I anticipate more work down the line.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Comment by Nahid Ahmed — April 1, 2010 @ 10:11 am

  2. Sounds like someone knows how to do a remix. They can also bring meaning to something provided that you put the clips in an certain order. I’m sure that was mentioned in class but I just thought I’d point it out.

    Comment by Sean — April 4, 2010 @ 1:53 am

  3. […] a second look at what it’s like working in/with/across digital video. As I’ve stated before, I have some experience editing. But these skills were mostly used in the time of audio and video […]

    Pingback by Next Week on Medium… « Who are the Ad Wizards? — May 5, 2010 @ 11:52 pm

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