Mean, Meaner, Meanest

I have had little experience with video editing, and the few times I have tried I’ve given up quickly. But, I’m glad that this project did not end this way. As soon as you announced the project I knew exactly which movie I wanted to choose, Mean Girls (Mark Waters 2004). The fact that I have seen the film many, many times, really helped. Once I decided that I wanted to make it a horror film the pieces fell together and everything seemed to work to well after that. 

The hardest part of the project was definitely getting all the sub clips together and in order. When I first watched the movie I picked about about 6 minutes worth of sub clips and then was forced to cut down. In the original movie Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan)

Mean Girls 2004

moves from Africa after being home schooled her whole life and if forced to learn the rules of Girl World if she wants to fit in at her new high school in the “popular” crowd. She learns the ropes and is popular at first, but makes a wrong move when she falls for the Queen Bee’s boyfriend. You can find the original trailer for Mean Girls here. In my mashup trailer I changed Mean Girls from a Comedy Drama, to a Horror film. In the remix, everyone if competing for popularity, how far will they go to be the next Queen Bee.

While making my video trailer I referenced Danesi’s book Messages, signs, and meanings: A basic textbook in semiotics and communication quite a few times. He talked about how signs represent other things. In my trailer I used people’s facial emotions to represent the mood. Because the movie Mean Girls is not actually a horror film, I chose some close ups of faces and fighting scenes, that in the movie were imagined, to represent the hatred and anger that I wanted to convey in the trailer, transforming Mean Girls from a comedy to a horror. I used a scream and yelling to portray anger and gestures from the girls pushing one another to show the hatred and imply that they were all going crazy and trying to kill each other.

Another theory I used in the making of my trailer was the gestalt theory from Scott McCloud’s Understanding comics: The invisible art. I took scenes from the movie that were not actually connected like the girls being run over by the bus and then the chalk board crossing out “Army of Skanks”, this implies that the main character killed the girls, when in the real movie, the girls simply walked out in front of the bus. Using images that can be related tells the story while the viewer is actually filling in the blanks as to what is happening.

One of the most important parts about horror movies is the music. We all know what’s about to happen in a movie when the violins start to play their high pitched tone and the music gets louder and louder. Choosing the music for this video probably took the longest. It was extremely hard to find music that was fast paced and dramatic enough to go along with the storyline. Cutting and raising the volume of the music was especially difficult for me because what I hadn’t noticed originally was that Mean Girls has a lot of background music that almost overlaps every part of the film that I was using. The scary music that is played in the background of the video trailer manipulates the audience into thinking that the clips are much more dramatic than they really are. In the original movie the parts of girls fighting is hilarious, so I used the same basic principle that Chuck Klosterman used in “Ha ha, he said.” when he talked about laugh tracks making the audience laugh by manipulating them into thinking it’s much funnier than it actually is.

For the titles and transitions I kept it very simple, I watched  few horror movie trailers and noticed that many of the cuts were straight and rapid, making the audience feel nervous. I used two titles that told the basic plot of the movie and had them fade out to black and fade in from the film. Other than those transitions I kept the cuts choppy and quick to heighten the emotions that the viewer felt.

While making the video I gained a lot of respect for those in this industry, it took me hours to make something that was a minute and a half, how long does a movie take to cut and  edit? Despite it originally being difficult and frustrating to learn the way premiere worked, I still had a lot of fun and in the end was happy with my final project. I was lucky to have the help of some classmates and others lingering in the lab, without their help it would have taken much longer to complete the final product. A piece of advice to future students: start as early as possible! And SAVE YOUR WORK IN MANY DIFFERENT FILES!!

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About akervella92

Student Athlete at Trinity University
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