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.]
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.
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.
Some 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.
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.
- 5 Impressive Mashups of Twitter and Flickr – Mashable
- Photojojo’s Favorite Flickr Add-ons and Mashups | Photojojo
- Google Maps: 100+ Best Tools and Mashups – Mashable
- 500 YouTube Mashups
- Meerkat: The Best Mashups Out There (that I’ve come across)
- The 25 Best Mash-Ups – Pigeons & Planes | Pigeons & Planes
- The 100 Greatest Mash Up’s of All Time |Scooter McGavin’s 9th Green
- 10 Video Mashups To Help You Remember 2012 – SocialTimes
- The 10 Best Disney-Rap Mashups – College Humor
- The 13 Best Movie Mash-Ups The Internet Has To Offer (2010)
- 10 of the Best Mash Ups Ever | Longhorn Leads, LLC
- /r/mashups – The Home of Mashups on Reddit
- The Top 5 Best Song Mashups Ever – Mindhut – SparkNotes
- The 10 Greatest Jay-Z Mashups Of All Time | Music News + Gossip | VH1 Tuner
- The 100 Greatest Mash-Ups of All Time [Selected By UphoYaax] – YouTube
- Dj Earworm Mashup Artist – YouTube Channel
- Top Ten Mashups Of All-Time | Yet Another Opinion