The Mashup

The Mash-up Assignment (see “Note” below)

Due: Friday, Dec. 5


One of the key concepts we will interrogate this semester is the impact of digital media on culture. Creating a mash-up will help complicate that concept. It will also allow you to explore your creativity.

The idea is to take things that already exist 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 combine them in i-Movie, etc.)

Your finished product should be about 90 seconds to 2 minutes long.

Here is a program that can pull video off YouTube:



Your mashup needs to take existing copyrighted material and make something new. There are many different ways to do that and I leave the creative choices up to you. We will watch many examples and you can choose to model yours after one of those or come up with a completely new idea.

Here are a few guidelines to get you started.


  • Your final product should have at least a dozen cuts. In other words don’t just run the sound from one over the video of another. Make a cohesive, new work.
  • Your final product must be in a shareable form (for example, uploaded on YouTube or Vimeo)


We will assess your piece based on:


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

Technical competence

  • Does your piece show some mastery of digital tools?
  • Does your piece mix a number of different elements?

Note: I take this assignment very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that the top 3 mashups as chosen by a panel of Communication Studies judges will be awarded a coveted “COMmie” award. The award includes a 3-D printed statuette, which will probably be a collector’s item some day.


Here is the ballot from last year: The COMmies Ballot






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