Here are the full clips of the examples I showed in class, showing how the meaning of a clip can be changed through formal operations (rather than more narrative operations):
Martin Arnold's take on "To Kill a Mockingbird":
A summary of some strategies to change the meaning of the original clips:
Changing the audio -- either by using a different audio source, or by recording your own narration (which is obviously a very controlled way to shape the meaning of a clip).
Juxtaposing sources -- placing shots in different contexts so that they come together to tell a new story. People from one clip can be made to react to events happening in an entirely different clip. A shot of someone smiling, followed by a shot of a happy baby, has a very different effect than the same shot of someone smiling, followed by a shot of a murdered corpse.
Use of text -- the longer film we watched, "Phantom Limb," told the story of the filmmaker's relationship to his younger brother through text inserts.
An effective strategy can be to give objects and characters in a shot a different symbolic meaning than was originally intended. Think of the shots of the collapsing buildings in "Phantom Limb" -- because of the context that was laid out for the viewer, those buildings were stand-ins for the collapsing family, almost as if the building were actors, acting out that part of the story. Giving something a symbolic of a metaphorical dimension is a way to have objects or scenes operate on a level that might not be present in the original footage.