Creativity is essential: By Adam Sparks

When I joined Remixing Rural Texas this past summer, I was given creative freedom on day one.  Dr. Carter, and the team, allowed me to have freedom piecing “A Clear Channel” together.  I was then able to create a video that I saw would encompass the emotions that were prevalent nationally and locally.  By doing this, we were able to create a prototype that gave the viewer a product that informed along with expressing emotion.  The emotional aspect of the events is essential to understand and study the issue in its entirety.

Watching the video, of course someone on the outside would not understand what was going through the minds of Joe Tave, Belford Page, John Carlos, or other local leaders without tying in the national emotion of the time, along with the local emotion.  Creativity in the video allowed us to tell the story more clearly.  One example of this was an idea that I had to use of the three gunshots just after the video of the JFK motorcade, along with the gunshots later on in the video.  Three shots were fired at President John F. Kennedy.  With the pictures of the Civil Rights Movement during each shot, we were able to express the emotional impact that the African American society felt, as hope was shattered by gunfire.  Later on in the video, the three gunshots abruptly erupt and stuns the peaceful music playing prior to it.  The three pictures are of the most infamous Civil Rights leaders of the 1960s (MLK, Malcolm X, and RFK) who were assassinated after JFK.

Creativity persists throughout the video from transitions, song choices, pans and zooms, along with locational choices of images and videos.  The art behind this video is only successful if it tells the story.  With that, the emotions have to be expressed, and we must look at the subject from different vantage points.  The national story of the 1960s was both tragic and renewing, violent and peaceful.  Those tensions occurred in all parts of the nation, along with ETSU.  By looking at the local story, along with the national story, one is able to fully understand the national impact on the local.  There are millions upon millions of local stories out there that need to be heard, and beg for attention… yet all too often we generalize and attempt to just focus on the big picture without giving credence to the foundation of that big picture.  Looking at local history builds that foundation.

My contributions was incorporating my background as a former Radio/Television student.  With my Bachelors in Radio/Television and earning a Masters in History, I feel that I fit in this project well.  To create a well rounded story, and a well rounded study, it is essential to work with various departments and backgrounds to find truth.  Even in building a video, I am not the only one who had input on the creative aspects of the video.  The collaboration of this project is what will allow Remixing Rural Texas to thrive.

Best,

Adam Sparks

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