Final TikTok Project

We finally made it! I had so much with this project and hope you find it as amusing and informational as I do! Enjoy! Link to “Savage” video featuring me:

Link to “Say So” video featuring my beautiful best friend Emily:

Final Poster

Reflection: Throughout this process I learned how to use edit social media videos and make TikToks. I first started editing Snapchat videos; really just splicing up the videos. I gradually made my way over to TikTok which is so much more advanced that I thought it would be: you can do so much on your phone and really completely change the video. I spent probably a total of 20 hours looking at TikToks trying to pick out the best dances that would be easy enough to learn but also would allow me to superimpose text in the video. This was probably the easiest part of the entire process; all I had to do was scroll through thousands of videos.  I wanted to pair what I thought was the best fitting viral dance/song to the a certain moment in LGBTQ+ history. For example, I think Harvey Milk was a savage, so I paired his history with Megan Thee Stallion’s song “Savage,” I think the song “Boys Ain’t Sh*t” went along perfectly with the history of the Stonewall riots, because policemen had the nerve to breakup a safe place for LGBTQ+ to express themselves so they ain’t sh*t. The next step was to align the text boxes to certain moves; I wanted to have new text align with specific moves so it all looked cohesive. I made six storyboards planning how I would combine the text and movements; this made the process so much easier because I had everything laid out already before I even started recording. Because I was unable to record all six videos, the storyboards act as the final draft of what would have been the video. The most difficult aspect of this project was learning and perfecting the dance.

I practiced dancing and editing with my mom because she was doing some weird thing with her friends in which they all sent each other videos of them dancing so it worked out perfectly. I made my mom learn the “Savage” dance: we practiced in the kitchen for an hour for three days before I felt comfortable enough to record. What I wasn’t anticipating was how difficult it was to make my face look happy. Emily, my other dancer also expressed this challenged. After I recorded my video it was time to record Emily’s. In order to maintain social distancing protocols, I had to record her from a safe distance outside. I knew that because I wouldn’t be able to have as diverse of a group as I initially wanted I was going to have to focus on making two really great examples.

This project was so much fun and also really informative: I exposed myself to a new social media platform, and I learned a lot more about the LGBTQ+ community. I am so grateful for those who came before me, challenging the status quo which now allows me to express myself freely and openly. While I am of course disappointed I couldn’t do everything I set out to, I am happy with the videos I did make and the skills I now possess. Maybe I’ll become a TikTok star now with all this new found technological expertise (just kidding, I  would NEVER succumb anyone to watching me dance ever again.)

2 Replies to “Final TikTok Project”

  1. Congrats on your great project! The poster turned out great too. It looks like your videos are private, so I tried following you which I think would let me see the videos.

    This is the first time I’ve seen anyone develop a digital history project for TikTok. I’m impressed by the ways that you’ve thought through using some of the memes/dances from the platform and thought about how to integrate historical content into them.

    I also appreciate all the work you did to get this to work despite the challenges we all face with this ongoing national emergency. Huge congrats on your persistence and your thoughtfulness for this work.

  2. Like many people in quarantine, I recently joined TikTok. I have seen some history TikToks and they are super fun and a great way to get younger people interested in history. I think that you were really ahead of the game with this project. I really think you should keep up with this!

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