This 5-hour strategy helps students engage in rhetorical invention by exploring a research topic through juxtaposed visual metaphors. Using Adobe Premiere Rush, they will create a 2- to 3-minute video that consists of at least ten Creative Commons images/video clips that are both diverse and united by a single word. You can use this strategy as a standalone project, as a topic-finding step for a larger research project, as an introduction to using open-source media, or as an extension of the "Crafting a Personal Narrative" strategy.
Adobe Premiere Rush’s user-friendly interface and easy-to-use editing tools allow students to quickly create sophisticated videos without feeling overwhelmed by the software, empowering them to experiment with and explore the affordances of multimodal composition. A simplified, beginner-level version of this strategy can be produced using Adobe Spark Video.
Students select a research topic of personal interest and abstract it to one word, using these prompts as a guide. (15 minutes)
Students quickly brainstorm as many meanings that this word could potentially serve across various contexts, media, ideologies, etc. (5 minutes)
Using their brainstormed ideas as a reference point, students locate found footage (e.g., open-source clips, Creative Commons assets, etc.). (90 minutes)
Students consider their juxtaposed visuals and write a 400-word reflection essay. They use these steps to guide their thinking. (60 minutes)
Students record their narration as a voiceover or via captions and apply it, along with a music track, to their video. (30 minutes)
Students share their video and a transcript as directed by their instructor. 10 minutes)
In this 5-hour project, you will select a topic of your choosing and remix it by creating a 2- to 3-minute video in Adobe Premiere Rush that consists of found footage, music, and narration unified by a single word. This exercise will acquaint you with rhetorical invention and help you examine various and surprising dimensions of a topic or idea.
Adobe Premiere Rush is easy to learn and use and allows you to quickly create high quality videos, use experimental editing techniques, and incorporate a range of media into your project.
1. Select a topic of personal interest, especially one that you could investigate for a research project. Consider the following for some inspiration:
Social media posts
Conversations with friends
After locating this topic, try to encapsulate it in one word. You can do this by doing any of the following:
Zoom out. What broader category does my topic belong to?
Zoom in. What piece of a topic could represent the whole?
Describe. What adjective accurately describes the goal or aim of my topic?
Feel. What emotion do I associate with this topic?
Connect. What concept, location, person, or thought do I recall when I consider this topic?
No matter the method for finding your one word, you will need to think abstractly. For example, if you select “climate change activism” as your topic and are especially interested in recent protests and marches, you might choose the word “movement” to include all of those ideas.
If you completed the Crafting a Personal Narrative strategy, consider taking the word you generated from that project and use it for this one. (15 minutes)
2. Giving yourself only five minutes, take that word and brainstorm as many related ideas that come to mind, even random ones. For example, using the word above—movement—we might think of other activist movements (e.g., Black Lives Matter, the Women’s March, March on Washington), corporeal movements (e.g., dancing, waving, falling), emotional movement (e.g., crying, having a change of heart, making a decision), mechanical movements (e.g., robots, spacecrafts, computer processing), etc.
Use bullets, doodles, flowcharts, or whatever brainstorming mechanism best suits your creative process. No matter the method, try to write continuously and rapidly. (5 minutes)
3. Using the ideas you generated in step 2, go online and find visual metaphors—photos and video clips—that illustrate at least ten remixes of your original word. These must be sourced from Creative Commons (CC) content, and they will be the building blocks of your video. To get started, first familiarize yourself with Creative Commons by watching the following short videos:
Once you understand the concept and licenses for CC work, consider searching in the following CC-friendly locations for your footage:
Do a search
Select “Creative Commons” under “Features”
Don’t feel limited to just ten remixes! As you search, you may stumble upon resources that you weren’t aware of. Go with it! The goal is to find and download as many possible perspectives and visual metaphors of your topic as possible, no matter how random. Stretch it as far as it can go. (90 minutes)
4. Open Adobe Premiere Rush and use this guidance to get started. Additionally, view the rubric to understand expectations for your work. After familiarizing yourself with these elements, do the following: (90 minutes)
Import all of your CC footage into a new Premiere Rush project.
Create a title slide that indicates what your one-word theme is.
Assess your footage and begin experimenting with their composition and order. The objective is to visually remix the meanings of your word. Feel free to
rearrange the upload order.
cut up individual clips.
sandwich clips in other clips.
adjust the speed.
add color filters.
loop or return to certain visuals or themes.
PLAY. There’s no one right way to do this.
Find and import a music track that matches the emerging tone (e.g., solemn, upbeat, sad, peaceful) of your remix. You can find music in one of two ways:
Edit down your remix video so that it’s between 2-3 minutes.
5. Once complete, reflect on your creation as a whole. As you ruminate, ask yourself: (60 minutes)
What contexts, environments, patterns, identities, people groups, and/or perspectives do my clips represent?
In their current order, which clips clash? In what ways? (e.g., conflicting ideas or approaches, different production styles, etc.)
Which pieces resonate? Why and how? (e.g., similar action or cause, complementary tone, etc.)
What new meanings emerge when I put clips, especially disparate ones, beside each other? In other words, are there connections between each piece that go beyond my word?
How do these new meanings inform my original understanding of the topic?
Write your reflections in a 400-word script that offers answers to the above and also explains
what your word is and its “original” meaning, according to your perspective.
how you stretched your word and found footage (e.g., search terms, key visual metaphors, etc.).
how you made editing decisions for your video remix (e.g., ordering/timing/cutting clips, etc.).
6. Return to your Rush project and add your script through either a voiceover or captions (i.e. text titles). The goal is to have your reflections playing alongside your visuals. If you do a voiceover, keep your written component handy so that you can submit it as a transcript for your video work.
You can view a completed remix video here for inspiration. (30 minutes)
7. Export your project from Rush and share your remix video and transcript as directed by your instructor. (10 minutes)
Consult the attached rubric to evaluate students' projects.