When I first heard about this project, I was very excited. I was excited for the chance to work on video editing software and I was excited for the chance to be creative and change the genre of a movie. Also, I thought that this assignment would be relatively easy. Once I began working on the project and I picked out my movie, Thor, I had the hardest time figuring out what genre I was going to change this sci-fi, action movie into. The main plot of this movie is the hero, Thor, must save his kingdom. Running parallel to this, however, is a slightly less direct plot of romance. Although a romance is already in the original movie I thought it would be interesting to base the plot solely on this romance and add a touch of humor. I must have gone back and forth ten times with this. Finally, I decided I was going to change it into a romantic comedy. To best do this I decided I would use an existing romantic comedy trailer, 40 Days and 40 Nights, as the audio track. This way all I would have to do is find scenes in the original Thor that would best fit the audio. Sounds easy, right? Wrong!
There were so many times during this project that I just hit a wall. I had no clue what scene I would use in particular places. What made this even harder was that because I used a previously existing audio track, I had to do my best to match up the actions and, worst of all, words of the video with what was being said in the audio. I have seen other trailer mash-ups where the audio and video weren’t synced up at all. I think this looks sloppy and tried my best with every scene to match it up as much as possible. Other than just the logistical difficulties I, myself, had with this project, I did not encounter any other problems. Luckily, I was one of the lucky ones that did not have any audio trouble or computer malfunction while I was editing my movie. I was extra cautious during this time to actively save and export my file whenever I could. Last thing I wanted to happen was to lose all my work. If I had to give advice to a student who is assigned this task in the future, it would be to give yourself plenty of time, don’t get stressed, and save, baby, save!
Now, let’s connect this trailer remix with the context of this media course. Almost all video productions utilize the effects of signifiers and camera angles to enhance the visual message to the viewer. As Bernard Dick mentions, “how we see the image, and how much of it we see, are the result of the filmmaker’s choice of shot.” The positioning of the camera can make a world of difference in a film. For example, in soft, romantic scenes, there is often a close-up camera shot to the actor/actress or activity being performed. In my particular movie trailer remix, there is a scene where Thor and Jane are sitting by a bonfire and talking. This is one of the first times that these two really feel the connection. Almost entirely throughout this long scene, the camera is in a close-up angle. This allows the viewer to really see and feel the emotion of the characters. At one point, you see Jane’s eyes swelling up with emotion as she looks at Thor. This signifier of love would have been lost if the camera was too far away and the viewer could not see her eyes. I purposely used this scene in the trailer to show the bonding of these two characters. It worked well, I believe. In the short seconds that it appears in the trailer, the viewer is automatically able to see and feel the emotions.
Another signifier that appears in both the original Thor and my trailer remix is the actor Chris Hemsworth who plays Thor. Here is this good looking, muscular man who is a walking, talking, breathing signifier of toughness and virility. I know that there are many women who fell in love with Chris after they saw this movie. This is exactly what Chuck Klosterman discusses in his paper “This is Emo”. Women do not fall in love with Chris Hemsworth, women fall in love with Thor. it is the character of Thor that personifies this tough, brawny actor, not the actor who gives live to the character. In many ways, Hollywood and film has created this false reality that is based off everything that is false. The majority of the American population of men does not look like Thor in this movie yet often times this is what is considered normal. When women see this guy on the screen they automatically wish their boyfriend or husband would look like that. Truth is, it is most likely not going to happen. Films and movies have created this image or “normality” that so much of our everyday lives are based on and yet chances are we will not meet many of these expectations. Thanks a lot, Chris!
One of the main points that I learned while doing this project is how easily media can be manipulated. In this remix, I made this tough, macho super hero look soft and sensitive. This falls right into Jean Baudrillard’s theory on reality. He claims that places such as Disneyland are created to be specifically imaginary. But it is this imaginary world, Baudrillard argues, that is the actual reality that is concealing the truth about the “real” world we live in. This is exactly what movies do; they create a world of fiction that the viewer can escape into. We know that movies are fiction yet we cannot help but think of them and connect them with our own world. This fictional world of movies actually ends up becoming the basis of normalcy for reality. Why is it that we constantly base our lives on something we know is not real?