This week on Girls Write Now Digital Remix Portfolio Adventure . . .
GWNer Sade remixes an original poem about meeting her big brother for the first time, and Linda remixes a poem of her own. This post is part of the ongoing GWN Digital Remix Portfolio series, which follows GWN mentees as they remix written work–their own, their peers’, or work submitted by our very own Figgies–and use images, animation, photographs, sound, and video to tell stories in a whole new way. Stay tuned all spring for more GWN Digital Remix Portfolio!
This week’s GWN Remixers
Meet GWN mentee Sade: Sade is a junior in high school from Washington Heights, NYC. Sade is an avid reader and writer of poetry, although journalism is her aspiration. Of her digital identity, Sade says, “I am a dynamic well rounded illustration of words and pictures trying to tell a story. I don’t look to impress anyone, I don’t look to change anything, I simply look to influence the views, inspire the thoughts and help discover. I like when people read my things or see my pictures and assume I’m one way and then get completely surprised when I turn out different, exceed expectations.”
Meet GWN mentor Linda: Linda is an experienced journalist who, having written about business and economics for newspapers, magazines and other media, now writes on related topics for management consulting firms, nonprofits, and the occasional financial institution. When asked to describe her digital self, Linda said, “My digital self is episodic, sporadic, reluctant, skeptical, and a little intrigued. If being digital is a screenful of blips, I am one blip that flashes infrequently.”
See how they Remix
For the past few months, Sade has been working with her poem “My Big Brother” as the source for her remixes. “This piece came about from meeting my brother for the first time. I didn’t know about him at all until August of 2011. I was so excited to meet him, and the emotions that came with this were unexplainable,” says the author.
She was excited to dive into the video remix, especially. “Having actual footage of our first encounter really helped with the process and made it that much more exciting and a memory that I would have forever.” Sade played around with the tools in iMovie, using effects to translate what she was feeling at the time to the screen. “I really loved using slow motion in my piece to emphasize and capture that beautiful point in time.”
At the same time, Linda was working with a different piece of writing as her remix inspiration. “I loved going out into the neighborhood to gather footage. I felt we were on a scavenger hunt,” Linda recalls.
Linda was surprised by the wealth of images around her that spoke to her remix piece. “I found graffiti everywhere–on garbage cans, walls, etc.–that would be perfect for conveying the psychedelic/drug-permeated world that the main character in my remix piece lived in. I also found a parked motorcycle that I could use to suggest the character’s vagrant life, which at one stage centered on motorcycles. We also found people who seemed to regularly hang out in Washington Square Park who might be the sort my character was likely to have hung with, and they were intrigued by the story of my character and what we were doing.”
It seems remixing doesn’t always take place behind the lens or at a computer.
From the page to the Big Screen: This is the Remix
Sade makes it look easy, but video editing is not for the faint of heart! “Editing has been the hardest thing to do because patience is all that will carry you through,” Sade remembers. “Working on a piece that means the world to me really got me enthusiastic about all the workshops. Reliving that moment every time I worked on the video was what really kept me going.”
Linda, too, found working in new mediums to be trying, at times, “first because of the challenges of learning to use the technology, and then because I did not have the time to devote to it.”
But, Sade and Linda both agree, it’s worth it. Sade explains, “It takes so much time and effort to get something as precise as you want it, but the feeling afterwards is so rewarding.”
What’s next for this remix pair? Animation, audio production . . . the world!
Last month, on GWN Digital Remix Adventure . . .
Remember remixers Georgia and Karen? When we last checked in with them they were hard at work on their video remix of Georgia’s “Entangled in Darkness.” Since then, Georgia and Karen have been messing around with animation. Check out their animation project created in response to Figment’s own Rhina Matsuda’s “Stairway to Heaven.“