When I commenced my profile remix, I struggled choosing between my dad and my grandma. Both have been life rafts for me and I owe so much to each of them. My dad fought for my sister and I in a five year custody battle-thousands in legal bills and heaps of stress never rattled him. My grandma, Meme, was a safe haven and my best friend growing up. I lived with her for over half my life and she really assumed the role of a mother for my sister and I. I ultimately selected Meme. I picked her because not only is she an integral part of my life, but she is now 95 and I thought making her a video would be a kind gesture to show her how much she means to me. I am also named after her and I mystically believe that being bestowed with the name “Suzanne” makes us closer than her and my sister or cousins. Unlike my self-portrait, I began in iMovie and stayed there. I sectioned the video into two parts: WAVES and Meme. The video is titled “Suzanne Stephens: Before & After.” The before section of the title refers to the part of her life devoted to marriage and raising children; the after part begins around when I was born because I was the first grandchild to call her Meme. I filmed old photographs of her from the 40s for the WAVES portion. I also discovered a film of WAVES in WWII and spliced it with Meme’s personal photographs. I then set it to Betty Hutton’s, The Navy Song (Join The Navy). I chose to dedicate a section of the video to Meme’s stint in the Navy because I feel it represents her selflessness early on in her life. Today, she is volunteering royalty, but I wanted to display her characteristic of benevolence from her twenties. In the opening shot, her official Navy portrait swells on the screen as the question, “Why did you join the Navy?” At the conclusion of the WAVES half, I put her answer, “I just wanted to help.” This sums Meme up quite accurately and forms a harmonious transition into the Meme section of the film. The second half, Meme, incorporates quotes that tie to Meme’s favorite things. The screen switches off from quote to a video clip throughout the portion. A theme in this half of the movie is also Meme’s love for helping others. In the film, a News on 6 clip presents Meme in her element: The Knittin’ Kittens of Tulsa. The Knittin’ Kittens are a group derived from the RSVP, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. Their job is to knit scarves, hats, and blankets for children in Tulsa’s poorest areas and the newborn babies at surrounding hospitals. I hope to convey Meme’s volunteering heart in my remix. The background music is simple and joyful, just like Meme. This project will be in my portfolio and I plan to exhibit it to my grandma soon.
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Suzanne Stephens & Friend. Personal photograph by author. N.d.
Suzanne Stephens & Friends. Personal photograph by author. N.d.
Suzanne Stephens in Uniform. Personal photograph by author. N.d.
Suzanne Stephens Official Navy Photo. Personal photograph by author. N.d.