Sunday, November 13, 2011

The right to "copy"

For this project I decided to create a nostalgic video about National Parks in America using found footage of the National Parks. I wanted to critique the way in which people abuse the parks, such as Yellowstone, which now comes with a built-in grocery store, but I wanted to do it in a way that wasn't too obvious. I decided to use the color palette of the videos that I found to create an unnatural, slightly nostalgic view of the parks. I also used juxtapositions and overlapped images with the keyer and luma keyer tools to create scenes that to me felt very unnatural...two waterfalls running at once, one of them backwards, a butterfly flying through the desert, a setting sun in an underground cavern. I also used found sound (a "Romanze for Viola and Piano" by Vaughan Williams, a clip of a guy saying "mountains" over and over again, and rain sounds) and editing to help create nostalgia and a feeling of uneasiness.

I decided to interpret the copyright laws and fair use factors by making sure that the new feeling of my video was a very different feeling than the original video. By mixing different shots together you can create a whole new composition and tone, and this is what I tried to accomplish. In the article by Negativland they talk about how folk music is all based off of sampling and reworking already existing melodies, so, that's what I tried to do...make a new song out of old tunes. I felt like this was the best way to avoid any kind of copyright infringement. When it comes down to it, I really just think you have to be tasteful when sampling others' work, and your final product has to be as artful or more artful than the original work to be taken seriously.


  1. I really like the transmission you did in this video because it looks so natural and comfortable. The overlapping effect makes me feel like suddenly jumping to another place before realizing it. But I do not have any nostalgic feeling. Maybe you can do another video showing what the Yellowstone looks like now and compare to this video.

  2. I really appreciated the subtlety of your message in this video. It was very tastefully done, and I definitely got a sense of that nostalgic feeling - and not PSA/propaganda. The videos you overlapped contrasted well together. I also liked the music, especially at the beginning - it helped with the nostalgic feeling, especially when paired with the nature sounds of running water etc. You definitely transformed the Vaughan Williams into something else entirely!

  3. You transformed the clips and created a dreamworld around imagery of land formations and open spaces.