Justice Frimpong - Retell Me a Story

Made by jfrimpon

Take an existing story and spin it in my own way to tell a different story.

Created: November 5th, 2015



I'm using clips from "The Fault in Our Stars" so there are spoilers if anyone cares.


Intention and Product

Write about the big ideas behind your project? What are the goals? Why did you make it? What are your motivations?

My original intention was to retell the story of the song Luxury, by Jon Bellion (if you like this song, I encourage you to look him up on YouTube and listen to more of his songs). When I first heard it, I thought it was a type of love song because of the verses, but it turns out that it's actually not a love song (as you can see from the actual music video and a commenter's interpretation of it below). So, I wanted to retell the story from Love's perspective. I used clips from "The Fault in Our Stars" to make a music video for this song. Along the way, I remembered that I also had a wrong prediction of the movie when I first watched it. *Spoilers* I thought that even though Hazel was the protagonist, she would die and Gus would live. But it was the opposite. So this project transformed from me just retelling the story of Luxury, to me retelling the stories of both Luxury and The Fault in Our Stars from my first the perspective of my first interpretation of the two.

Hazel & Gus || Luxury
IIRainSupremeII - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lan1x1n-hE4


What informed your outcome? Situate your outcome relative to other work.

In class we mentioned how music was a powerful form of storytelling and famous songs that incorporate well written plots typically have accompanying music videos to visually share this story. So I immediately knew that I wanted to retell a story of a song. My first two ideas were to retell the story of Ludacris's Runaway Love, and then Eminem's When I'm Gone.

Ludacris - Runaway Love ft. Mary J. Blige
LudacrisVEVO - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISvMS6s41vY
Eminem - When I'm Gone
EminemVEVO - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wYNFfgrXTI


Describe how you arrived out the outcome. Show iterations and refinements. Document design decisions and challenges encountered.

The problem with the first two ideas I had was that the songs didn't really leave any room for remixing in order to tell a story. Each and every lyric went towards telling the same story so it wasn't too open to interpretation. I tried cutting parts of the songs and merging other parts but in the end they just didn't make any sense and I couldn't find a visual to match what I wanted to do. But as I was walking to another class, Luxury was dequeued from my 'up next' Queue and it was love at first sight. I knew it was the one. So I played around with it in Audacity and I realized that only the chorus takes away from my interpretation because everything else can have multiple meanings. So (mind you I just downloaded Audacity) I tried cutting the chorus and merging the other parts to make the transition 'as seamless as possible', but this was really tough and so because of my lack of audio editing skills, I couldn't make it perfect unfortunately. 

And along the way I realized 'the perfect love story' to match this was obviously Twilight. 

No, I thought of 'The Fault in Our Stars'. At first, I was going to go through the entire movie and find clips that matched the lyrics that I kept in the song. But that would've been a pain and people had already done that on YouTube for other songs. So I took a couple of theirs and found clips that were exhaustive enough for me. It was easy enough to split the clips and put them in the right places and either speed up or slow down the individual clips, but it was annoying using iMovie because you can't do as much there as you can with something like Sony Vegas so it was challenging to make it at least viewable in my eyes.



What does your inner critic say about this work? What did you learn? What would you do differently? 

I thought the outcome was ok. It was really annoying that the music doesn't sync up perfectly and that I no longer have Sony Vegas to use to edit videos so I don't think the quality of my retelling isn't as great as I'd like it to be. I learned the basics of Audacity and I learned that if you ever need a retelling of something (especially a movie), it's probably on YouTube. But I think I retold the stories quite well. I tried to match up what the lyrics meant to me with the visuals from the movie. (For example, when Jon sings about a plane leaving soon, I showed Hazel bawling in bed to try to show that the plane Jon was singing about was the plane taking her away from this Earth, or her cancer. I tried matching up "Pray with me, Lay with me, Conversate with me" to visuals depicting those, and then I also opened with Hazel opening her eyes and closed with her closing her eyes to show she's gone in the end [coupled with her being rushed to the hospital and Gus standing with the worst look of sadness in his eyes], and then there were some other things).

I'd definitely try to learn Audacity some more before actually diving into this work and then I'd pay for the latest Sony Vegas in order to put this thing together.



Reference any sources or materials used in the documentation or composition.

Audacity and iMovie were used. Audacity to cut out the chorus singing about money in Luxury, and iMovie to rearrange/edit the clips and merge the audio plus the visuals.

Hazel & Gus || Not about Angels - This is where I got the clips from. So I basically retold a retelling of a film that was based from a book. Yeah.
vconversev - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bmy6MBlgkIA
Jon Bellion - Luxury - Overall Great Song by a Great Artist
Jon Bellion - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiycuuUwJVE
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Take an existing story and spin it in my own way to tell a different story.