Thursday, June 18, 2009

Remixes & Mashups - It all started with a cover song...

With the ease of creating content on the intertubes, it becomes increasingly difficult to create truly original work. This has led to the growing trend of remixing content and mashing up content. Educators can lead their students to vast collections of Creative Commons licensed audio clips, videos and photos, and these resources can be combined to create original content, even though they didn't necessarily create all of the pieces on their own. Mashing up data and remixing content is definitely one of the trends that we should all be aware of as we access content on the internet.

However, this is not a brand new phenomenon. Bands have been remixing content and mashing up multimedia for years. Think back to some of your favourite cover songs. That's what they're all about - remixes and mashups. The best cover songs are the ones where bands add their own twist to the original song to make it truly unique and set it apart from the original, rather than trying to replicate the original tune.

All this to say that I got to catch The Watchmen performing in front of their hometown supporters a couple nights ago. I grew up feasting on Watchmen shows and was sad to see them call it quits several years ago. However, when they announced that they were playing a couple of shows again these days, my spirits rose. And after hearing Danny Greaves, the lead singer, mention that they were in the studio last week, I was elated. They put on a really tight show here in Winnipeg this week, which included a couple of brand new tunes. I am hopeful that this is just a sign of what's to come :-)

I recorded a few tunes and shot some pics. And with all this talk of cover songs here's The Watchmen's take on Billy Bragg's 'A New England':

Also here, for your viewing pleasure, are a few photos that I shot during The Watchmen's set at the Red River Ex in Winnipeg on June 16th, 2009:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

i Type, therefore i Animate

I've been playing around a bit with Xtranormal, a cool new online application that allows you to create really cool animated videos simply by typing in your script. This application allows you to customize your characters and backgrounds, add actions and sound effects to your videos.

Xtranormal is extremely simple to work with, and it takes all of the production time out of creating animated videos, and I can think of many students who would love to get their hands on this tool :-)

While anyone can use an e-mail address to sign up for a free account, there are some benefits that come with upgrading to one of the premium account options. Not only can anyone view your videos on the Xtranormal website, you can also embed your published videos on websites, blogs and wikis. They also have a feature that enables you to instantly post your videos to a YouTube account...

I just created the following video in 30 minutes using my free Xtranormal account: