Just a couple weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were watching a marathon of horror movies. I have always adored horror movies due to their often hyperbolized depiction of youthful blissful ignorance, but my boyfriend saw this a different way.
“This is so uncomfortable.” He mentioned. I did not understand what he meant at first, as it were a horror movie, it was not designed to lull the viewer into tranquility.
“What do you mean? Are you scared?” I responded.
Instead he began to list of all the girls that appeared in the movies, how they were all supposed to be in high school and yet were always filmed in compromising positions. I marveled at the fact that I had not noticed this, although I claimed to be so aware of women’s issues. Since I was so used to seeing girls my age or younger depicted in compromising situations, nothing of it was disturbing. Later on, I reviewed the movies just by skimming through and I saw exactly what he meant. Every movie had a girl, supposedly sixteen, getting undressed or showering for no reason.
Most of the scenes that were hot and heavy had nothing to do with the plot, neither did the compromising half-nude scenes. I wondered why the directors were so intent on showing this when even the actresses themselves were underage.
This led me to dissecting more videos that were dictating how women should be, and I saw a sense of dissatisfaction. When women were young, they wanted to be older. There are several videos online of Youtubers trying to guess the age of Instagram stars and exploding in laughter when they find the girls are usually 15 or under, but appearing as if they are in their twenties.
In movies, women are only valuable when they’re not too old but not too young.
This is what I wanted to portray in my video by showing the dissatisfaction from both sides. On either end of the spectrum, there is tons of footage detailing the perils of being too old or too young. The pressure that is put on women is immense. There are multiple ways women try to change themselves. I tried to use clips of women changing themselves in multiple ways. I highlighted key arguments that had to do with my overall theme through audio in specific videos.
My strategy in piecing together the footage was with repetition rather than irony. I had attempted to make it ironic, however the argument was not clear enough and did not clearly reach the viewer.
Working with film was a particular challenge for me. Although I do watch the occasional horror movie, I do not enjoy watching movies or television that often. Often times I like to do multiple things at once and my short attention span needs to be engaged in a lot of things, thus making movies my least preferred method of entertainment. Due to this, I could not think of a lot of movies to place in my film. While I chose sources that were in pop culture such as Toddlers and Tiaras or simple commercials, I feel as though these choices are too obvious.
Structuring an argument through a film is exciting, but it is a daunting task. Much of the footage I found progressed to slowly to be used in a remix video. This unsuccessful attempt at a video remix helped me realize what a challenge remixing is. When you watch all the videos paired together it seems as though they are so natural when alongside each other, then finding them must’ve been easy — this is not true. An individual must have a large repertoire of videos and knowledge to sift from to make a truly cohesive video. With an academic paper, the process of building an argument is linear, whereas my process with the video was reductive. I started with a longer video, but I had to cut much of it out to avoid the video becoming too repetitive. In an essay, you can almost never be too clear as long as you have evidence, however, in the video evidence can easily become redundant.
Music: “This is What Makes Us Girls” -Lana Del Rey