In June Stephen Colbert viewed McCain's delivery of a speech in front of a green screen as a request for mashup artists and remixers to "make McCain exciting." (A green screen for those of you less tech- savvy is a mashup-makers dream come true, allowing artists to add a backdrop of nearly anything they can dream up, or rather "mash up.") The result was a collection of funny, poignant, and often critical videos drawing attention to how out of touch McCain is with online culture. It is no surprise then that remixers have risen to the challenge of remixing the Republican National Convention, which took place almost entirely in front of a green screen.
John McCain Gets BarackRoll'd
This video edits John McCain's acceptance speech and adds the concept of rickrolling, but instead of the traditional Rick Astley rickroll, the Obama remix rickroll plays behind him. McCain is edited to appear as though he is standing by awkwardly, waiting for the video to end, while Obama steals the show. This shows the inherent difference between the two campaigns in their savviness of social media and web trends -- Obama's campaign has used the web in new and innovative ways, while McCain's campaign has only claimed to be "aware of the internet." Showing Obama upstage McCain in a way that is unique to the internet is a brilliant way to demonstrate this concept.
Pray for Rain -- RNC Edition
This video mashes up footage from Stuart Shepard's video calling for Christians to pray for rain during the DNC with news coverage of Hurricane Gustav during the RNC..
Remixes like this show the vital importance of Fair Use as a part of civic engagement online. Remixers depend on the ability to quote copyrighted material in order to comment upon and contribute to political discourse on the Internet. The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video is an essential document for media makers to understand their rights in quoting copyrighted material.
Not all political online video is pro-Obama. The above example is Nobama Girl. Nobama Girl references Obama Girl, and rewrites the song "I've Got a Crush on Obama" to argue against the validity of the democratic candidate. The existence of this video shows that the conservative voice is present in online video, but is derivative of videos already made popular by democratic media makers, and is generally technologically inferior.
For more political mashups, remixes, and original videos, check out RemixAmerica.org.