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Blog Exercises: Mashups

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.One of my favorite odd-ball mashups is the movie Moulin Rouge! Released in 2001, the movie features Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, and an outstanding cast of top notch actors singing their way through a Bollywood-style production set in a 1899 France cabaret. There are few original songs in the film. Instead they used pop songs and mixed and mashed them up into new versions to fit the storyline. It took director Baz Luhrmann over two years to gain rights to all the popular music from the past 30 years.

The Elephant Love Medley incorporates more than 12 songs into a single piece, a love duet between the two lovers in the form of a dialog suing classic lines from “Love is Like Oxygen” by Sweet, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing” by Sammy Fain, “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles, “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2, and “Silly Love Songs” by Wings and Paul McCartney. I love it when lyrics from “Heroes” by David Bowie, “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton, and “Your Song” by Elton John slip in.

In a fun alternative mashup, “Good Old FshnLoverBoy” put together a YouTube mashup using a few of the lyrics from the film’s version of that song along with the actual originals of the popular songs – as if they were written by all those performers and composers.

[Please note that YouTube has made some of these videos not directly playable from this site. I've used images wrapped in links for those. Click through to watch the video on YouTube. Sorry for the inconvenience.]

Moulin Rouge Mashup Video of original songs from the Elephant Medley.

A mashup is an article, video, audio file, or other web app that uses content from more than one source to recreate a new production. Medleys are often considered a form of mashup. Consider a mashup a collage of words, sights, and sounds. YouTube is filled with examples of mashups, and the television show “Glee” features music mashups on a regular basis, often as homework assignments for the kids, mixing opposite concepts together as a challenge.

In 2010, a colorful flash mob was organized on behalf of the City of Seattle to bring awareness to traffic and pedestrian accidents performed the Glee show mashup with the original choreography featuring umbrellas, Singing in the Rain/Umbrella. A fun mashup of city government education and social phenomena.

Flash mob dances to Glee mashup of Singing in the Rain and Umbrella in downtown Seattle - watch on YouTube.

In September 2010, YouTube released their video mashup stats with the announcement that they’d passed their 500th mashup, for those who counted such trends. The article also referenced over 2,000 Google Maps mashups, 550 Flickr mashups, and many other online mashup types, proof that mashups come in many forms.

There are artists who specialize in creating video and audio mashups, blending together two or more songs or media clips into beautiful art pieces. Dj Earworm gained much attention and fame with his innovative video mashups, attracting the attention of the world. This example, “United State of Pop 2011,” features popular music videos and bestsellers from 2011, a video representing our cultural history and commentary for that year. He did it again for 2012 and other past years, creating popular singles of other people’s work presented in an original way.

Fans create many mashups of their favorite music, films, books, television shows, and celebrities. This is a Star Trek mashup of the original series featuring the characters partying to the tune of mover 2 million views of the funny mashup of “Star Trek: Tik Tok.”

Fans from around the world have been enjoying the hype around the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. One of the most popular fan trailers for the anniversary is a mashup of all the Doctors and powerful clips from the BBC television show, telling the story about the “First Question,” the “first question that must never be answered, the oldest question in the universe hidden in plain site, the question you’ve been running from your whole life…it always begins with the same two words…” With almost 2 million views, VG934 has struck a cord with fans.

Another Doctor Who fan example comes from LastWhovianTrailers. This is a personal favorite as it highlights so many of the powerful moments in the Doctor Who story over the 50 years of episodes, celebrating each doctor in a way that makes you see the similarities as well as the differences between the actors’ portrayals of The Doctor.

Some of these fan-generated trailers and mashups are more emotional and creative than the corporately created versions. Luckily, most media corporations have come to appreciate these “Copyright Fair Use” projects as crowd sourced publicity and enthusiasm, allowing the fans to participate in their fandom with screencaps and clips from the episodes.

Such fan-based creations require specific skills and talents. You do not have to be very technically skilled to create your mashup. Owen Grzywinski created his first video as a piano performance mashup of Themes from Doctor Who and Sherlock by pointing the video camera at his fingers on the piano and playing his heart out with his mashup compositon.

VordhosbnSome people are serious fans of mashups, becoming fans in their own right of the art of mashup. Reddit features a Mashups challlenge with some amazing examples of mashup artistry. deviantART features many unique mashups by their artists. Flickr: The Mashup Pool is a group on Flickr of artists displaying and sharing their mashup images.

I’m mostly included video examples, but you can create a word mashup as well, using a variety of sources to create something new.

In “A Virtual Interview With Lorelle About Guest Blogging,” Jan of Circular Communication showcases a fabulous technique of interviewing someone without ever talking to them, using their published content and information on the web to respond to interview questions.

I write many articles about blogging and WordPress news using quotes from other sources in a mashup review, using the words of others to tell a fresh perspective of the story. Examples include “Evaluating What Makes a Shopping Cart Work Best” and “WordPress Stats and Numbers: Breaking Their Own Records.”

Wordle, calling itself an online tool to make “Beautiful Word Clouds,” is a word mashup-style tool. I used it as inspiration to create the header art for Lorelle Teaches and for some post featured images. Paste in a link to your site, a web page, or type in words and generate your own word mashup with Wordle.

A mashup is whatever you make it. You can use any media, any form, just let your imagination run free as you use elements from others sources to create your own piece of artwork.

Blog Exercise Task from Lorelle on WordPress.Your blog exercise today is to create a mashup. It may be video, audio, words, whatever you wish.

As always, respect the copyrights of the original authors and designers. If they do not permit usage of their media for any purpose, don’t risk it. Use something use by someone who understands how Copyright Fair Use works. In general, if you use a small snippet, a part of the original that does not negate its value or harm the original author, and give appropriate credit, you should be safe from copyright infringement.

This is your chance to be creative. You may use the tools you have on your computer such as graphics or video editors, or explore the many mashup tools available online.

Here is a list of the most popular music, video, image, and other types of mashups people recommend to serve as inspiration.

Remember to include a hat tip link back to this post to create a trackback, or leave a properly formed link in the comments so participants can check out your blog exercise task.

You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles.


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12 Comments

  1. Posted September 13, 2013 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    Well done! This post is really quite full of fine examples of mashups and collages.

    It seems that we have something else in common, as SoundEagle also loves the music in the movie Moulin Rouge. Here is a small exercise or question: in what way is the movie related to SoundEagle’s post?

    As for “Beautiful Word Clouds”, SoundEagle would like to add one more example.

    • Posted September 13, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Good examples. Thank you. Are you going to do a new one in keeping with the purpose of these blog exercises? With your experience, how would you step your game up?

      Thanks.

    • Posted September 13, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Hi Lorelle,

      I would if I could, and I have already given you the reasons in another post.

      I have many posts in arrears that I wish to have the time and energy to write, but circumstances and duties in my life intervene. Please understand my predicaments. Even just finding time to read and respond to other people’s posts and pages is at a premium.

      I am taking the rest of the week more easily after doing a lot of work lately. Yesterday, for example, required SoundEagle to photograph and also to video the spectacular orchid show of the Queensland Orchid Society, which is scheduled on 13th to 15th of September 2013.

    • Posted September 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      I understand, as my own time is at a premium. Thank you for your contributions to the conversation.

  2. Posted September 13, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Here’s one mashup for fans of Dr Who.

    • Posted September 13, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Cute example. I’ve seen many more Doctor Who mashups of the theme songs over the years that are as good as any professional could do. I love the talent that is out there! Thanks for the example.

  3. Posted September 13, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Am I the only one who senses that Lorelle has had a change of heart lately on these Exercises? Lorelle has been doing quite a bit of singing and dancing. Should I start worrying about Lorelle’s sanity on these Exercises? What’s next? Beijing opera? Shaolin Kung-fu?

    You mentioned the song Love is a Many-Splendored Thing. This is based on the Eurasian writer HAN Suyin’s book, A Many Splendoured Thing. She was a medical doctor in Johor Bahru, the city where I was born in Malaysia (previously Malaya). HAN Suyin was known as Doctor Chow by the local people in the south of Malaysia, and she lived in my hometown for about 10 years since around 1952. This novel was later made into an award winning film, starring Jennifer Jones and William Holden, in 1955.

    I wrote a post about her early this year: Where was HAN Suyin in Malaya in the 1950s?.

    • Posted September 13, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Trust you to find some vague connection within my blog exercises! I love it! Well done.

      I was thinking about how you could do a mashup, Janet. Then I realized that you are a mashup. I mean it kindly. Your writing mashes up the worlds between Asia and the UK, as well as the rest of the world outside of China-dominated society. Your entire site is one giant mashup, melting together diverse cultures into one blended perfectly in you and your beautiful writing.

      Not sure exactly how you could create a single mashup example per this exercise, but you are testimony to the beautiful art of mashup in all that you do. Thank you.

    • Posted September 13, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Hi Janet,

      Yes, I agree with you about Lorelle’s “singing and dancing”.

      Thank you for providing the background information on Han Suyin. I have always had a special fondness for both the movie and song “Love is a Many-Splendoured Thing”, and had physically performed the music on my musical instruments. The last scene on the hill with the yellow butterfly is so touching and tears are welling up in me as I type now.

      As far as I know, the only other time when Jennifer Jones and William Holden are together in a movie is in “The Towering Inferno” of 1975.

  4. Posted September 13, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I thought I’ve completely messed up, not mushup!

    Thank you — you are simply the best.

  5. Posted September 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, SoundEagle.

    To be honest, I don’t know much about the film and the actors. If you are keen to find out more about Han Suyin, here is a wonderful post by Peggy Loh, Remembering Han Suyin. Ms Loh attended an event early this year dedicated to the memory of Han Suyin, organised by the Rotary Club of Johor Bahru in Malaysia.

  6. SEPTATECH
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I LIKE IT!!!


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  1. […] Lorelle surprises me with her trivial pursuits as revealed in Mashups, Blog Your Favorite Song, and The Daily Social […]

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