Recently, I worked with a friend in my GHEnglish class to create this video short satirizing school censorship of the book Huckleberry Fin. Included here, below the video is a brief essay, describing why I chose to make this project and how I went about doing it.
Evan and I chose to work on a satirical video short. We decided to satirize the American censorship of the book Huckleberry Fin by creating a dialog between two characters. One character informs the other about the book and comments on how their school censors the book. He then attempts to convince the other character to read the book and find out what their school is hiding. After a bit of persuasion, the other character finally agrees to try out the book and maybe change his outlook on society. The video contains gimmicky video effects to add additional humor to the dialog and keep the viewers engaged. Overall, the short attempts to open up a dialog about the ethicality of censorship of American history to students, seen through the censorship of the book Huckleberry Fin.
The video started as a voice acting recording. Eventually, Evan and I decided that we could combine voice acting with puppeteering and video editing for a more cohesive product. Evan and I worked together on a script and I voice acted out the script in my studio, creating a single file containing the dialog. I sent this file to Evan and he made puppets and recorded a video of the puppets in front of a green-screen. He sent me the footage and I synced up the original audio sample with Evan’s video and chroma-keyed out the green background ad began adding effects. Three hours of video editing later, and I had a final product.
I chose this project because it seemed like a simple recipe for success without so many restrictions as other alternatives. The video is clearly about Huckleberry Fin, but the format is not locked down, such that I would be unable to add modern elements. I think that the video short walks a fine line between a school project, and a sort of animated meme. If faced with a similar literary project opportunity and a partner (as the workload is nothing to scoff at) I would likely choose this format again. The ease of planning, and my familiarity with the creative tools used, made me relatively able to create a complete and cohesive project that I can be proud of.
Throughout this project, I was able to advance my skills in Apple’s Final Cut Pro X, and Adobe’s Audition CC. Additionally, working with Evan gave me the experience of following through the creation of video content in a relatively short amount of time. Working together on the script and for about a week, having no idea where I wanted to take the project. However, once we figured out what we were doing, I had a much me better idea of my strongpoints and how I would schedule the various steps of production, should I ever take up a similar project again. As far as Huckleberry Fin is concerned, the project gave me a greater sense of privilege, having been able to read the book in the first place and not have it censored like it was in the scenario Evan and I portrayed.
It would be my hope that my audience (Sir Garreth’s period 6/7 GHEnglish Class) would have a similar realization regarding the situation we’re in relative to that of other school districts where the book is censored, or removed entirely from the curriculum. In addition to that, I would also hope that students appreciate the work that went into the project and maybe show that appreciation by laughing at some of the (albeit rather edgy) humor provided through the video medium.