Still frame from “The Cell”

A New Kind of Mashup

(For me anyway…)

Recently, I put the finishing touches on a personal project that’s been lingering on for almost two years. It certainly wasn’t two years worth of work, just something I would fiddle with occasionally when I had some extraneous creative energy.

The format is quite simple really. I wanted to pair an already existing film with an already existing song to create a new video that can be looked on as a unique piece in and of itself. I’ve always dreamed of being able to work on music videos for big names, or my favorite musicians, but have never really had the opportunity. So, I basically said screw it and created something on my own.

Hey, DJ’s who make remixes are still artists, right? Take Girl Talk for example. This guy made a name for himself remixing all sorts of pop songs into one new unique mix and some of it is damn good! Anyway, I had an idea, and I thought it had legs, so I wanted to make it.

Tarsem Singh

At the time I started this project, I recently watch The Cell directed by Tarsem Singh (several years after the original debut). For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s a must watch! Truly astounding production design and cinematography. Tarsem, without a doubt, has a unique aesthetic — which is visually stunning, surreal, dark, and sometimes psychedelic. I thought footage/visuals from The Cell would be perfect to pull from; However, there was a catch. I wanted to avoid showing lead actress Jennifer Lopez as much as possible. She is so incredibly famous I felt that J-Lo would be distracting and take people out of the moment.

Side note: For those of you who don’t know, Tarsem directed the iconic “Losing My Religion” music video for R.E.M. If you watch The Cell and Losing My Religion, it is easy to see that Tarsem has a very distinct visual style, and the two pieces are unmistakably similar.

Gold Panda

Also when I started the project, I was listening to a lot of IDM/chill electronic music. I’m a big fan of artists like Tycho and Boards of Canada, but in this case I chose to go with Gold Panda. There were a few tracks I thought would pair really well with video/found footage. The first was “You (Seams Remix)” and the other was “Police”. I was looking for something with a strong, driving beat… something repetitive and slightly progressive. I decided to go with “Police” because it is a little more dark and psychedelic, a perfect match for Tarsem!

Withouth further ado: Gold Panda vs. Tarsem Singh — mashup by Jordan Schmelzer

What do you think? What footage and song would you like to see next? I would like to make more videos like these and I’m definitely open to thoughts, ideas, opinions, etc.

This specific video/edit is rather cut and dry, meaning I simply chopped up one film to one song, selecting the best clips matching it to the beat. I didn’t alter the music or footage whatsoever. Next time, I would like to make it more original by incorporating visual and sound effects, manipulating footage, adding layers — substance that will really separate it from the original. Perhaps I’ll use a song/score that is much more dynamic and less repetitive, or even multiple songs, films, or videos.

In the end, I wanted to try something different, and I did. It took a while to complete, and I’m happy with the end result, but honestly I’m more proud of the fact I was able to complete it. Sometimes creative projects like these are difficult to complete for one reason or another, and finishing something I initially started two years ago leaves me feeling gratified.