What would happen if you try to mix some movies? Well there would be a mess.
A video mashup (also written as video mash-up) is the combination of multiple sources of video—which usually have no relevance with each other—into a derivative work often lampooning its component sources, or another text. Many mashup videos are humorous movie trailer parodies. They are one of the latest genre of mashups, and are gaining popularity.
First there were music mashups, where two or more tracks are combined, often with one a cappella track by one artist over a second backing track by another.
The same principle is then brought to the Web 2.0 world, in the form of software mashups in which two or more sets of data are combined over the Internet to create a new entity. An example is overlaying houses for sale over a Google Map.
More recently, the video mashup has come of age thanks to the likes of YouTube. (“Where there’s smoke, they pinch back.”) This is where videos from multiple sources are edited together into a new video. Video mashup gains its popularity by the emerging of Web 2.0 model which provides simplification in acquiring source materials and for distributing the derivative videos, where user-generated digital video seen on sites such as Google Video and YouTube provides a large pool of digital video content source which can be used as base works for new mixes and remixes. To date, many of these video mashups have been parodies, but even music mashups are being integrated to make combined audio-visual mashups. (Examples of video mashups can be seen at the external links section.)
Mashup films can be broken down into several predominant styles and tropes. Most of the Mashups found on the internet fall into one category and more or less obey the unwritten rules of that class of film. These categories, are: word associated mashups, which like DJ Danger Mouse’s Grey Album unite two disparate source materials by a pun or joke found in the name; transgressive mashups which transgress the sexual norms put forth in a film, often subverting hetero-normative portrayals; and overdubbing mashups, which use the images from a film and replaces the soundtrack with new dialogue or dialogue from another work, which undermines the original narrative. This style incorporates many lines from television shows and internet memes.
Mashups based on word associations speak more than just for the wit of the appropriator. In principle, these mashups, when executed well, express some of the central creative tenets of modern found footage filmmaking:
1. Narrative film consistently follows the same filmic grammar and rarely diverts from it, making it easy to unify disparate films because of their similarities;
2. The formulas inherent in narrative film are so well known by audiences that a few stylistic cues (which have been imitated to the point of cliché) can easily alert an audience to the nature of what they are watching.
Using these two principles, mashups are highly successful at parodying more than just the films they chose to amalgamate, but also at critiquing and revealing the tools of narrative filmmaking.