What’s In A Title?

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Back when I was studying communications at the local community college, we were given an assignment to pick a film and re-edit it. We were limited to a few minutes in length, I don't recall how many, but it had to make sense. In other words, we did not have to adhere to what the movie was about, but it had to make some sort of narrative or artistic sense. We were not allowed to just slap together images in any haphazard way.

I can only recall two of the finished products, mine and a that of a classmate whose name escapes me. I was reminded of this project by a video that was put up on YouTube. It is a clip that clocks in under four minutes in length and has a clear vision of what it is. What I do not have is a clue as to why it was done.

Before we get to the video at hand, allow me to reminisce, if just a little. It was my second year in college, my inaugural campaign was an utter failure, in nearly every sense of the word. I was an engineering student who was ill-suited to the work that I thought I wanted to do. So, that long summer gave me time to rethink what I wanted to do. That is when I discovered Communications, and more specifically the audio/video arm. So, there I was, grades were up, enthusiasm was up, and we had one of our early assignments in editing.

I chose to edit together the animated portions of Monty Python and the Holy Grail; the end result was pretty good, perhaps not as inventive as it could have been, but it did work and resulted in a good grade. The other one I remember was much more inventive and clever. My fellow classmate had chosen to mash two films together, resulting in something that was as disturbing as it was hilarious. The two films were Predator and…  wait for it… Care Bears: The Movie. That is correct, and if you aren't already chuckling to yourself, there must be something wrong.

He had set it up to appear as if Arnie, Bill Duke, and crew were waging an attack on the cloud city of the Bears. He had shots of of Duke firing his chain gun crossed with shots of the clouds shaking and the Bears in a panic. He even crossed the dialogue — I have vivid memories of a Bear turning to the camera and saying "We're gonna need more body bags." It was hilarious. I really wish I had copies of these to upload.

Back to the video at hand, it is a video that consists of the title cards of movies. That's right — all it is is a list of the names of movies edited together in a fascinating array of type faces and colors. There are classic films, not so classic films, and everything in between. They move at a blinding speed that I was unable to keep up with, but I paid attention and was able to pick up many of the titles, especially the ones I had seen before. I wonder just how many he has and how long it took to compile all of them. They are accompanied by looped techno style music, adding to the frenetic pace of the quickly passing title cards. It is mesmerizing to watch.

It brought me back to my college days. This may seem simple, but it is a daunting task to even consider grabbing these hundreds of cards, aligning them in alphabetical order and timing them out in such a manner. nealebryan, I salute you, this is a fantastic video.

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