The Mission of Semester 106

a digital storytelling adventure

Tag: MashupAssignments

3 movies 1 poster

My final mashup of the week was the Mashup Those Movies mashup for 3 1/2 stars. For this assignment you needed to take 3 different films and put them together in a believable movie poster. At first I started by just looking up spy movie posters to see what the general trends were and how I would approach it. While I did that I came across the poster for the Spy Game.the spy game poster

The cool thing about this poster is it had that middle divided part with the film title and primary actors. It gave me an idea what if I imitated the style of this poster keeping the middle division and used two different close ups of different spy film posters. By keeping the name of the one film and it’s actors it was kind of a joke to see how much people pay attention. I ended up selection two posters that both had similarly dark color schemes and blue tones, because I wanted the images to have enough connection that they looked feasibly similar not just purely randomly thrown together.  I used a poster from the Bond film Casino Royale and the poster for the film Tinker Tailor Solider Spy.






I decided to use the top half of each image focusing on the face shots to mirror the way faces worked in the original poster. I brought all the images into GIMP to put them together. I had to scale down the images to make them fit naturally and well into the top and bottom sections. I also had to cut out the middle section of the Spy Game poster to place between the two images. I am pretty happy with how the final product came out. I think at first glance it looks like it all belongs together. The brightness of the red starts to give it away a bit but it still helped create  a strong dividing line on the poster.

3 spy films

How to combine video

Tutorial Time! This is a tutorial for the mashup assignment Two Movies, One Line. I am going to go step by step with images to explain one way to tackle this assignment. (Fully acknowledging that there are other programs and options at your disposal.) I am also using a Mac for this tutorial so my video editing software is iMovie a Mac specific program. (If you attend UMW on the Fredericksburg campus iMovie is available for free on the computers in the Hurley Convergence Center.)

This first step in this assignment is to find and download the video clips you plan on combining. I will not be going into detail on downloading from youtube or other sites in this tutorial but there are different options available to you such as ClipConverter.ccFile2HD4K Video Downloader, or KeepVid.

Once you have downloaded your video it is time to cut out the lines you want to mash together. To do this I recommend the software MPEG Streamclip, it is free to download and works on Mac and PC. After downloading open up the program.

Editing in MPEG Streamclip

Step 1- In the top menu bar go to File, then choose “Open Files”. A window will then pop up where you can select your video file once selected click “Open” to open the file.

open files


Step 2- To select where you want your clip to start move the cursor in MPEG Streamclip to where your line starts. (If you need to get fine detail you can use your arrow keys to move frame by frame.)

Step 3- To select the start of your line go to Edit and choose “Select In” (shortcut is simply clicking I on your keyboard.)


Step 4- Now move the cursor to where the line ends. From here go to Edit and choose “Select Out” to cut your frame. (Shortcut is “O” the letter on the keyboard.)


Step 5- Now that you have your clip selected go to Edit then choose “Trim.” This will cut your video down to just the line you need.


Step 6- Now that you have your completed clip go to File and choose “Save As.”


Step 7- I would suggest saving the file with the line from your clip to help remember it. When you are done click “Save”


Step 8- Repeat this whole process for the other clips you want to combine.


Putting clips together in iMovie

Now that you have your video clips it is time to put them together. You’ll need to open iMovie. Once iMovie is open you need to create a new movie.

Step 1- Click the plus and select Movie to create a new Movie.


Step 2- Click one of the two down arrows to upload the clips we made.


Step 3- In the import screen select those clips you made and click “Import Selected.”

import selected

Step 4- Now you clips should appear in the upload area of iMovie, if not go back and re-upload the clip.


Step 5- Now it is time to bring the clips into the bottom section where the clips go.


Step 6- Drag and drop all the clips you plan on using for your mashup.


Step 7- To export your video go to the top corner and click the export button.


There are several options on how you choose to export your clip I will be exporting it straight to Youtube because it tends to load faster.



Step 8- When you upload to Youtube change the file name, and summary from the default. Then click “Next” to export it.


In the top right corner of iMovie a little circle will appear when the circle completely turns white it means that the movie is fully exported.


Step 9- Check to make sure your video has properly uploaded to iMovie to Youtube.


Step 10- Grab your Youtube video url and paste it into your blog! Do your assignment write up and you are done!


Now you should have all the steps you need to go through the Mashup assignment Two Movies, One Line. The same basic skills in iMovie and MPEG Streamclip are also usefully in many other DS106 assignments.



A mission bond mashup

One of the mashups I took on this week was the Two Movies, One Line for 3 1/2 stars. I was excited by this one because it had a cool premise about combining different films. (Also I knew the person who originally put out the assignment so I thought it’d be fun to try it out.) While working through this assignment I thought it was a good example of different editing tools so I decided to go back and recreate the assignment when I was done and create a tutorial on it.

One of the harder parts of this assignment is deciding what you want to do for it! I decided what I needed to do was just go out and watch a bunch of youtube trailers for spy films to get inspiration. (Also wanted to stay on the class theme.) I went through and listened and tried to find interesting phrases by different characters. Whenever I found a phrase I thought could be useful I would download the video. Trailers can be hard because they only give you short bursts of dialogue (especially for action packed spy films) so I had to find moments where the trailers had dialogue and quiet backgrounds. Another part of my aim was to make sure the two lines really felt like they could flow off each other and that there was not over powering noise to distract from that.

Ultimately I went from a clip from  the first  Mission Impossible trailer and from the James Bond film Skyfall. (Mission Impossible is like a sub-theme for this weeks assignments.) I wanted to pull out the line “it’d much worse than you think” from Mission Impossible and “you must be joking” from Skyfall. I felt like these phrases went well together and actually regardless of placement could create different connotations in dialogue. It could either end in an exasperation of Bond or the smug look of Hunt. I actually decided to make both versions to show how context of dialogue really can change the perception of story. Who we think is in charge of a conversation or how we perceive dynamics often has a lot to do with the exchange of dialogue and body language.

To create the clips I downloaded the trailers off Youtube and then used the program MPEG Streamclip to trim the videos down to just the lines I wanted to use. After I had the lines down I brought both clips into iMovie to combine it. In iMovie I combined the two clips to make sure they went together well before I uploaded them to youtube. The clips were a little short in the end but that works in terms of the pacing of a conversation and also into the fair use of copyright material. (Since videos are supposed to be less then 5 secs borrowed when possible.) After that I was pretty much done doing both versions of the dialogue. I think the two scenes both try to capture frustration that occurs in a lot of spy films. Where agents are left in the dark or brought into unforeseen issues.


Disaster and Impossible

For 4 stars I did the Ready for my close up mash up. I’ve been going real strong this week with keeping assignments on theme for the class so I wanted to continue with that trend.

So I know that this picture has been used a lot since it turned into a meme but I wanted to use the so called disaster girl photo as my reference for a close up. The picture is well known because of her expression which looks menacing and made people assume she started the fire. (She didn’t the photo has an article all about the image’s context and history.)

So even though it has been referenced by different people I thought I could do something pretty cool with it so I decided to. I brought this image into GIMP and cut out the girl then erased around her any left over pixels so she stood alone. Here I was cleaning up the pixels in the process of editing it.

I next thought about what to put behind her. I wanted something spy themed again to stay on topic with how close I have been doing this week. I also wanted something explosion related because it connected back to the origin of the original image but twisted it in a new way. I decided to go with an explosion scene from the 3rd Mission Impossible film. (Yes I have used mission impossible films a few times over the course of this semester but so far I have tried to avoid repeats since there are 5 films.) I went with this dramatic image.

Next I brought the image into GIMP I cropped out the black lines and rescaled the image so that it fit better into the way I was setting it all up. I also had to figure out where to put the girl. I decided to scale her down and keep her in the bottom right corner so that she seemed to be behind the car. This way she would be theoretically kinda shielded by the car and able to actually be turning back not looking as concerned as she should have been. It also didn’t break up the scene as much and left the context of the explosion.

So with this image I decided that the story behind it was that the young girl had played a role in the explosion being set off.  Getting out of another car out of frame but on the road she was looking to admire her part in the explosion and turned around to get away from the impending chaos.

disaster-girl mission


Magnifying Bond

I took on the assignment This Doesn’t Belong here mashup worth 4 stars.

So at first I read this assignment wrong so I did a totally different assignment. I thought it said combine an iconic film scene with something that does belong subtly. (Not combine two iconic scenes.) So I did that instead at first. So here is my first version of this assignment! I decided that I wanted to work with a James Bond scene because it would be on theme with the class and I’ve been avoiding doing bond before now because it felt too easy. I wanted to take the famous gun angle scene and edit it so it was a magnifying glass in the gun barrel. I took both images from wikimedia commons, and mashed them up together. I brought both images into GIMP (which is a software I use whenever I image edit on my personal computer. I prefer Photoshop when I can use a university computer.)

into gimp

It was pretty simple I just put the image on top and lined up the magnifying glass. Then I cropped the image to  make it look all nice. Except it went so well so quickly and I wanted to get max stars out of it so I decided to push it forward. I thought about how I could slightly change the perspective of the image but still keep the original context and meaning. After trying out some ideas I decided what if the perspective changed? What if instead of being in the middle of the frame Bond was off center? So I made it a reality. I used the clone stamp tool in GIMP to copy the pixels of Bond and duplicate him.


Next I had to get rid of my extra Bond. So I used the clone stamp tool again this time using the white background as the reference to effectively erase him out. I could have just erased him but I am a real stickler for pixels and I hate how erasing changes the colors of pixels and it looks too unnatural to me.

After that it still didn’t feel like it was done so I started messing with different tools to try and get different looks. I decided to use the dodge tool to lighten up Bond and create a little more visual interest. While I was at it I experimented with a few other tools to mess around but did not like any of my changes, until I decided to smudge the magnifying glass. By smudging the rim of the glass it helped it to better fit into the background of the gun barrel. I tried to smudge it so that it followed the curve of the gun but not smudge it so much that it was still recognizable. This was my final product.

magnify bond smudge

Of course when I went to write up the corresponding blog post I realized I had done it wrong so I had to do a take two. But I decided to include my first version because I still think it came out cool, and mistakes are 100% part of the progress to success.

Now I had to do something that stayed more to the nature of the actual assignment. I decided to go with another Bond image but a new one to change things up. I decided to mash things up by adding in Bourne to the mix for my other iconic figure. I selected an image of Bourne running to add into Bond in front of a car. Again I used GIMP to do my image editing because I started this project in GIMP and was determined to finish it in GIMP. I brought the images into GIMP and cut out the image of Jason Bourne so I had just him running. Next I erased out any extra pixels left around him so that layer was just him running. I ended up with this.

shrinking bourne

I was playing around next on how to blend him into the background and make it as subtle as possible I thought about skewing the image but it just made him look goofy.


So instead I kept it the correct way and changed the sizes of the image. By making Bourne smaller and placing him farther back on the road he blended back into the image better. It also helped that his color palette was similar to the colors in Bond’s clothes which helped it seem more connected rather then inserting something colorfully bright. I am happy with how it came out and think it worked out better second time around.

mini bourne