Mean Girls Are Still Mean

Honestly, hearing we had a video editing project was terrifying.  I have tried to use Adobe Photoshop and could never figure it out so I figured Premier was going to be a nightmare.  However, having the lessons beforehand significantly helped and I realized that this project was going to be fun.  Throughout the project, I have learned how hard it is to actually make a decent movie trailer.  I now understand how transitions, angles, shots, lighting and text can all completely change the significance of a film.

In our project, the meaning of the film had to change.  The reading Messages, Signs and Meanings: A Basic Textbook in Semiotics and Communication by Danesi and Danesi explains that if we state that X means Y,  we can interpret the relationship of X and Y to be X=Y (13).  However, the authors say that the relationship is not that simple.  In my remix I used the filmMean Girls (Mark Waters 2004) and turned it in to a murder mystery over the Spring Fling Queen crown. In the film, Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) states the crown is a signifier for “The Plastics” and all of the bad things the group had done.  In the end of the film, Cady breaks the crown, showing that the bad behavior has gone away.  The crown was X while the bad things were Y.  In my remix, I used a similar relationship but I made the “bad things” turn in to one bad thing: murder.

Regina George (Rachel McAdams) and Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) fighting in the movie.

Another reading that was helpful for the video editing project was Film, Space and Image by Bernard Dick.  This reading made me realize which techniques were going to be the most helpful to convey the message of psycho-murder mystery.  In the reading, Dick explains that a straight cut is where one shot replaces the other.  From previous trailers I have seen, psycho dramas tend to use straight cuts because they are quick and action filled.  I wanted the same effect for the viewers so that the trailer would be exciting.

To further the mood, I used scary music that started at a slow pace and became faster while reaching a climax at the most important part of my remix: the death of Regina George (Rachel McAdams).  Along with the straight cuts and music, I used the cross dissolve transition to fade in and out of the text titles because they created a sense of apprehension.  Within the titles, I used red text in Trajan Pro font.  On the internet, I looked up other psycho-horror-murder mystery films and studied the font.  Most trailers used a large, capitalized block font that seemed to be very impactful to the viewer.  I wanted the same effect so I chose the Trajan font because it seemed impactful and mysterious at the same time.

The idea for my trailer did not come easily.  It is hard to think of a new idea for a movie that you have already seen.  However, once I came up with an idea, it was easy to think of how to make a trailer based off of my previous knowledge of this type of genre.  The reading Genre Film: A Classical Experience by Sobchack says the same thing.  Films in similar genres are imitations of what have come before and that we have to use our previous knowledge of these ideas within films to create a new film (196-197).  To create my remix, I watched several trailers for psycho-thrillers including but not limited to The Shining (Stanley Kubrick), Paranormal Activity (Oren  Peli) and Se7en (David Fincher).  These trailers taught me to use straight cuts, impactful capitalized fonts and crescendo-ing scary music.

While this was a fun project, there were some technical difficulties.  For some reason, I started not being able to use the in and out functions.  After trying to quit premier and re-open it, Premier wouldn’t open.  The other major difficulty was not being able to work on another computer besides my own.  I tried saving my file on to my F-Drive and opening it on another computer but the Premier on the other computers wouldn’t let it open.  Finally, when I was almost done with my project, my audio sync messed up.  I believe that this was partially my fault for saving the file incorrectly but it was still a hassle to fix the audio.  Thanks to Dr. Delwiche, the problem was solved easily.  Although, if I had to impart words of wisdom on to future COMM 2302 students it would definitely be “start early and listen to Dr. Delwiche in the help sessions!”


About mprice1

A student at Trinity University
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