The project I chose to critique was Sam Dillon’s kinetic typography video. I selected this project because I feel like it relates to many different topics we have read about and discussed in class this semester. Also, I picked it because I enjoyed watching it and I thought it was really well done and creative. The way the text appears and moves really goes along with the beat of the song. Also the images that he uses in the background during the song really fit well with what it is saying.

This artifact is a good example of new media. Over time, the way media has been produced has changed dramatically. According to the authors of the reading entitled New Media: a critical introduction, “in an age of trans-mediality we now see the migration of content and intellectual property across media forms.” (Lister et al 9) Originally if one was to make a music video, they would need to take an expensive camera to shoot some scenes and edit them all together with the music. Today, however, anyone can use their computer and create a kinetic typography video, such as Sam’s. Lister also states that “we have seen a shift from ‘audiences’ to ‘users’, and from ‘consumers’ to ‘producers’.” When Sam created his typography video, he was no longer just a member of an audience. He became a user of the music to create something unique. He became a producer of something new, based off of something old. The fact that it is so easy for people to create videos of this type forces “all media producers to be aware of and collaborate with others.” (Lister et al 9)

The first topic that comes to mind when the topic of collaboration is brought up is remixing. Sam used the song Save the World by Swedish House Mafia and created something new around it. According to Lessig in Remix, “Using the tools of digital technology… anyone can begin to “write” using images, or music, or video. And using the facilities of a free digital network, anyone can share that writing with anyone else. “ (Lessig 69) Current technology allows people to create things that they were never able to before. This means that someone can take something that is already in existence and add to it, change it, or use parts of it to make something of their own. Although the song in the video remains completely unchanged, the video itself is completely different from the song itself or even the original music video.   Using the program Adobe After Effects, Sam was able to “write” something new using text and images that went along to the rhythm of the song. Also, he was able to share it with a much larger audience than ever possible in the past due to video streaming websites, such as YouTube.

Lastly, I believe that this video is a really good example of fandom. In choosing this song, Sam demonstrated that he enjoyed this group’s music. However, he felt that just hearing the song wasn’t enough. According to Jenkins, “popular narratives often fail to satisfy [so] fans must struggle with them, to try to articulate to themselves and others unrealized possibilities within the works.” (Jenkins 23) Sam saw potential for the song beyond just listening to it. He wanted more from it, and realized he had to make it himself. When people create their own media artifacts based off of original works, they “cease to be simply an audience for popular texts; instead they become active participants in the construction and circulation of textual meaning.” (Jenkins 24)When people make videos such as this one, people push media created by the original artist in the direction that they want it to go. By making his own version of the song in the video, he creates his own meaning and allows others to see it from his perspective as well.

Overall I think Sam did a great job making this video. He created a new media artifact by using new technology to create something unique. He remixed a good song to create a great typography video that I feel enhanced the original feel of the song. Lastly, he showed how much he liked the group by creating something based off of one of their works. He says in his blog post that he presented the text in a way to evoke emotion, and I feel as though he is quite successful in fulfilling this goal.

Works Cited

Jenkins, Henry. “”Get a Life!”: Fans, Poachers, and Nomads.” Textual Poachers. London: Routledge, 1992. 23-24. Print.

Lessig, Lawrence. “RW, Revived.” Remix. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2008. 69. Print.

Lister, Martin. “New Media and New Technologies.” New Media: A Critical Introduction. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2009. 9. Print.