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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Trend: User-Created:Video Mash-Ups

In keeping with the REMIX/MASH-UP AUDIO TREND of the past few years, the ubiquity of video edit software such as Final Cut Pro is fueling a surge in VIDEO MASH-UPS. As with audio (what is a Mash-Up? DJ's may put a Blondie vocal over a Pharrell beat, or the ever-quoted example of Dangermouse's JayZ Black Album vocals placed on Beatles White Album beats), one takes disparate elements of video and re-edits it to a new soundtrack to change the context.

here are some hot ones to peep...



AKI COMMENT: So...consider the impacts that cheap Japanese electronic turntables, Casio sampler keyboards and Dr Rhythm beat machines made on music in the late 70s and early 80s - particularly archive music libraries. Hip hop and the remix lifestyle single-handedly rescued mass interest in Blue Note's libraries from obscurity, or recall Aerosmith was saved by Run DMC's hip repurposing, and James Brown (appropriated by damn near EVERYBODY and saved from oldies reunion show hell). Or now with Electroclash, consider the uptick of interest in former discount bin classics like Kraftwerk and Yes. Nothing makes a crate of oldies suddenly hot and profitable again like a good ol' grassroots repurposing.

But consider what effects Video Mash-Ups could have on, say, old studio movie retreads? Instead of movie studio execs bitching every year about not selling tickets to their lame blockbusters, they should develop a collaborative platform for remixing the classics and gleening a new relevance. Recall the grassroots model of the Wizard of Oz vs Pink Floyd/Dark Side o' The Moon (you know you lit one up with the fellas and tested this urban myth). This phenomenon tapped new markets as college kids rolled a spliff and explored a new film-music juxtaposition that was hardly intended by the original authors. Imagine if the studios re-released Reservoir Dogs with a new Dr Dre soundtrack? Or Star Wars mashed up with Squarepusher flipping the knobs (remember how lame the cantina music was?)? 2001:A Space Odessey as soundtracked by Boards of Canada? Or The Blues Brothers with new voiceover commentary by hot new comedians (just like watching the movies with your favorite comics!)?. Hell, you could take the same movie and repurpose and reissue it ad infinitum with different DJ reinterpretations (think Back To Mine or DJ Kicks for movies). How many additional versions could you now sell with this Mash-Up formula? How many versions could you be convinced to buy for your personal library just by having the soundtrack mashed-up by new artists/DJs? Seems my mash-up movie method would be cheaper even than the standard movie remake model which says shoot a whole new lame movie at inflated prices, and then bitch when it fails to exceed expectations and the kids prefer to get stoned at home and watch Teletubbies while blasting some NWA anyway.

Recall, too, how remixing created whole new cottage industries for musicians, new vertical revenue sources ie instrumental versions, accapella versions, club remixes, scratch mixes with only the freshest loops collected for your sampling pleasure.

Could (would) Hollywood develop new digital interfaces (and new rights standards) to easily manipulate their old footage for public sampling and remixing? It is likely these scenarios are not an "if" but a "when" next week-ish (with or without studio permissions). But more likely, Hollywood will respond to the trend with a cease-and-desist order on the next industrious kid who edits Darth Maul lightsaber battles to Ghostface Killa beats (and a cease-and-desist, too, for the websites who showcase these clips to thousands globally). Recall that it took the music industry 10 years to catch on to the imperitive of standardizing the music rights so everybody can just get paid off youthful remixing of otherwise dusty (and unprofitable) tracks, and not wholey discourage usage altogether. Recall, too, they shut down Napster, their model for a digital future (which Apple quietly mimicked and legitimized for them).

Maybe Video Mash-Ups are in the master plan for Apple as Steve Jobs infiltrates Disney - there lies the holy vault of dusty classics that could use some repurposing (like this kid's Tron Mash-Up).

1 comment:

magnus said...

On the subject of mash-ups, this one is absolutely fucking brilliant: