As usual in my house yesterday I had NPR Radio on in the background. The show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me had a segment with Baltimore filmmaker John Waters as guest.

PETER SAGAL: In April 2011, we talked to a man who’s made some of our favorite movies ““ John Waters, who went to the city he made famous, Baltimore, Maryland, and we’re surprised to discover he didn’t actually grow up in Baltimore, Maryland.

JOHN WATERS: No, I grew up in suburbia, which I ran from as quickly as I could.


SAGAL: Yeah.

WATERS: I wanted to come downtown and be a beatnik.


SAGAL: What drew you to downtown Baltimore, to the city?

WATERS: Well, I first came downtown, and I saw beatniks, and I saw people that didn’t fit in. I saw outsiders that didn’t even fit in with their own minority. And that’s always been my people, really.


SAGAL: Right. People who are so outside, even the outsiders don’t know what to make of them.

WATERS: Yes. But as you know – if you spend even another 24 hours in Baltimore – everyone thinks they’re normal here, but they’re insane.

There you go. I got busy with something else, but the closing song caught my attention- it was the musical upbeat everything about life is wonderful theme song to Water’s movie Hairspray— “Hello Baltimore”

And there it was.

In the spirit of the pre-ds106 ds106 with a theme of The Wire, I thought that some sort of mashup between the trailer for Hairspray and scenes from The Wire were in order. I quite enjoyed the side by side juxtaposition I did earlier in the week, so approached this one the same way using iMovie.

Clips were downloaded form YouTube using the browser extension #BestDownloaderEver

The Hairspray trailer went to the main track. To match the opening credits, I downloaded the intro from the first episode of season 1 of The Wire, and dropped that into the overlay track (the default setting is cutaway, but you just switch the toggle to Side By Side). For clips from The Wire, I highlight the clip and use Mute Clip from the Modify menu to suppress its sound (I want to use just the sound from the Hairspray clip).

hello bmore timeline

With a little bit of jogging of the opening mark (which is so much easier to do in the Mavericks version of iMovie). I got a nice line up of the wiretap order from the Wire hitting at the same point as the shot of the Baltimore Sun headline in Hairspray

wire papers

It also took some experimenting with the Clipping dimension to make it so the credits from The Wire fit well on the left side of the side by side screen


The fun part is seeing where things line up where you did not expect to, like when Tracy’s alarm clock goes off in the Hairspray sound track, and The Wire’s opening screen fixes on a sheet of wiretap notes labeled “TIME”


The rest of The Wire’s track came from a brutal clip from season 3 : The Stanfield vs Barksdale War. Like this part where Tracy is leaving the front of her house side by side with a street war character sitting on a similar Baltimore stoop

baltimore stoops

I only jiggled this second clip enough for the closing part of Tracy singing lines up with some expressions of perhaps one of the most intense characters in The Wire, Snoop:

snoop tracy


I’m having a ton of fun playing with the side by side juxtapositions and these two very different depictions of the city of Baltimore n much different eras and cultures.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as

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