GUIDE – Composing with Video: the Remix


A remix video conveys an original message using short video clips from a variety of sources, assembled in a way that “repurposes” their original meaning. The most common messages conveyed through remix are social commentaries or political critiques, which is why it’s commonly used in writing and rhetoric classes as well as by activists and advocates. But it can also be used to tell a story, whether a “re-telling” of the story conveyed in the original clips (such as the Queer Remix of Mad Men) or a personal story original to the remix creator.

Technically, remix is probably better classified as an approach to multimedia rather than single-media video, but I’m offering it as an option for your single-media video project for two reasons: (1) to offer creative types who are already familiar with other approaches to video a new challenge; and (2) to give you the chance to experiment with a short remix to see if you might want to use or incorporate this approach into your multimedia story. This is an approach you should become acquainted with first, before you decide to give it a try in a longer project.

A somewhat similar approach that might work for storytelling purposes is to assemble short clips from your own video library, including video footage from “home movies” recorded while you were growing up. This doesn’t quite count as “remix,” largely because the way you’d use the video clips isn’t too far off from their original purpose, but it would at least move in that direction if you applied creative editing techniques to do more than simply present a “video slideshow” of your childhood.