Political Video Remix

No Child’s Toy

It was with great distress that I finished up the above video. Not surprisingly, watching so much footage of horrific violence commingled with the market fueling those atrocities. Still, I am happy that I made this project. While I may not be the first to speak upon the dissonance between the fantasy of gun culture and the visceral reality.  From how the work is brazenly composed and with the somewhat overbearing tone, I do hope that the result is worthwhile.

Going into this I was confident in the project material that I wished to incorporate. My design theming was around the aim of that aforementioned clash between advertisement and truth, so the obvious answer was combine the two together. Find the most popular brands of weaponry in the USA, and put them next to them the worst shootings of the last few years. It may have been exploitative, but the product actually feels like it works better that way.

No matter what, with the anti-gun or gun control theme of the video remix was to rub someone the wrong way. Those who would already be for the support of gun control likely don’t appreciate the use of footage of the massacres to illustrate the point. Meanwhile, those pro-Second Amendment types are notorious for taking umbrage to criticism of their standing. Realizing that I couldn’t win with either camp, being unable to work around the deaths or bluntness of my outline, I decided to instead make it as lacking in subtlety as possible.

Bombasticness for such a sensitive topic was the emerging goal here, to juxtapose hard

the dichotomy of what is being sold and the result of that process. So, I elected to eliminate transitions almost entirely. By going from one from the next with little to no preparing alternation I hoped to shock the audience. The discomfort from the jumps would help heighten the reality of the horror, illustrating just how much the events stand in direct opposition.

Take any of the gun ads themselves for examples. They advertise not just safety, but power as well. That very same power though results in the deaths of dozens. Using the jump from a gun advertisement to the Las Vegas massacre had the intention of creating the dissonance between the previous ad and the unfolding scene of death and carnage. Likewise, the somewhat inconsistent audio levels were intended to create a jarring sensation for the viewer’s balance in proceeding with the video. Whether I succeeded in that dissonance is up to the viewer.

Those viewers were part of the same reaction problem that I ran into. The audience base was obviously meant to be those in support of the Second Amendment. However, this left me with the uncomfortable situation of designing a product for an audience who would likely respond negatively. If this was in a paper format, then of course I could argue much more concisely and with a more directed point. Unfortunately, the format of this project leaves me unable to direct the viewer fully to my point, given that the nature of the remix has the viewer attach their own meaning to the project. Thus, my hands are somewhat tied here. I cannot force my audience’s direction and thought in this format anymore than I could make a reader see what I do in an essay. In both mediums there are unfortunate limitations that one is forced to work within.

The editing process for the peace followed a similar trajectory. Noting how I was moving toward subtly and the quiet motions, I reaffirmed my stance for the project and became ever more abrasive. Sudden cuts and switches, plenty of jumps in both audio levels and quality, with violence of the real interact with that of the staged. Again, I tried to make the project a blunt instrument, which guided how I ultimately focused the work.

So, what has all of this left with at the end of the day. Well, I do have a final product. Four minutes of video is sitting on Youtube in perpetuity. My goal was to create a remix that could hopefully add to further the contentious argument of increasing gun control. From watching and editing the footage for hours and hours it became apparent that change is needed. The process was to do what I had to, making it direct and blunt as possible, making the dread of gun violence ubiquitous and even more horrific in that light. Who knows if this was actually pulled off properly, because I certainly don’t. Hopefully though, hopefully I managed to succeed.

Works Mixed


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