The New York Times had an article last week on Sony's plan to make new versions of old shows like Charlie's Angels. Sony is apparently editing the shows down to a bite-sized three to five minutes. These "minisodes" will be offered through the online "Minisode Network." Sony and other corporations are interested in creating new products like the minisodes in order to make more money off of already owned materials, and making minisodes is cheap:
Given that creating minisodes is so easy and given that it creates new and interestingly reduced narratives, an interesting project would be to reduce other works to a snack size and to see what can be done with such drastic editing. Imagine games played in 15 minutes that give the game narrative and a bit of the game play, or films redone in just a few minutes (YouTube has many examples), and more. The idea of minisodes most appeals to me because so many forms have gotten so much longer--100+ hours of gameplay and three hour feature films. Better editing, and an appreciation for better editing through works like minisodes could be very beneficial given the length and mis-pacing of so many works. What types of assignments could be to make minisode like forms? And what types of assignments themselves could be made into minisodes?
I'd like to see students summarize their educational experiences through a minisode-style essay (what do they remember, what mattered, what was bad in 200 words or less, and make it sound fun). Or perhaps to create a narrative of their favorite animated film in under three minutes, or a fairytale in under a minute. It'd be interesting to see what they include and leave out and why, as well as how they construct their narratives from existing works.