Mash-Up Assignment

(300-word proposal on your google doc by class on April, 14)

The Mash-up Assignment

Due: Monday, April 28 (everyone will present Monday or Wednesday). Your mash-up should be uploaded to YouTube (even if it’s a song, just find an image(s) and turn it into a movie file). That YouTube url should be posted on your reading notes under a bolded title so I can find it. Make sure you have an accessible copy as well (on your computer, a thumb drive) in case YouTube takes your video down.


Image from

One of the key concepts we are interrogating this semester is the impact of digital media on culture and law. Copyright and user-generated content are important parts of this discussion. The objective of the mash-up assignment is to make something that helps illustrate this discussion.

The idea is to take cultural artifacts that already exist – like songs and movies – and make them into something new. You aren’t supposed to know how to do this already, so part of this assignment may entail learning new skills (how to edit video or audio, how to rip content from the Web and combine them in i-Movie, etc.)

Your finished product should be 2 to 4 minutes long.

The style or genre is up to you. Here are some options (you can also come up with your own):

• A Girl Talk style “music collage” that combines pieces of several songs to create a new song.

• Bad Lip Reading. Substitute your own dialogue for dialogue from a movie or television show clip.

• PSA-style or (“The Point”) Mash-up


• Movie trailer.

You may need to pull video or audio off of YouTube. Here are a couple of converters:

For video clips on YouTube etc.:

Extracting audio from a YouTube video:

Places to get help:

• You can make an appointment at The Writing Center to get help with Audacity, i-Movie, etc. Go here.


• Your final product must be in a shareable form (for example, uploaded on YouTube or Vimeo) and must acknowledge in the notes of your YouTube or Vimeo post where you got the content you are using. You should also make a brief argument for fair use in the notes.

The final product is up to you. Discovering and creating new forms is what this is about, so you can model your mash up on something current (like Bad Lip Reading’s, Honest Trailer’s “Frozen” or a Girl Talk song) or come up with a new idea.

We will assess your piece based on:


• Did you create something new out of things that already existed?

• Is your piece a coherent whole with a beginning middle and an end (rather than just a bunch of clips thrown together)?

Technical competence

• Does your piece show some mastery of digital tools?

• How are your transitions?

• Is the audio and video clear?


• Do you have bumpers? (text in the beginning and end with a title, credits etc. The credits at the end should tell us what you used. So if you are using a piece of Cinderella, gove credit to Disney.)

• Did you make an argument (briefly) for fair use in your YouTube post.


The Commies

The top three mash-ups in both of my 201 classes combined (as voted on by you in the class) will be awarded with the prestigious COMmie, an award that would spruce up anyone’s resumé.


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