Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Analysis of 2 DS videos

The first video I watched was a Silence Speaks video by Christina. It began with a Native American chant played over an image of a beautiful mountain with an English translation fading in over the mountain.

The audio element compliments the whole clip not only with the Voice Over, but with sound effects as well. For instance, the distant clanging of windchimes can be heard as she's recalling fond memories associated with the wind. She personified it as a friend who ran and laughed with her. But then, as the mood changed, the wind was now different. It represented a dark spirit and was associated with unspeakable trials that plagued her heritage. The clammering of gentle chimes, is now replaced with a blistery gust that would send chills down your spine.

The Voice Over we assume is Christina. She retells her family's past with a slow pace, a solemn tone, and takes effective dramatic pauses. This overall feel fits perfect with the stories of abuse, neglect, rape, and abandonment she experiences.

The overall flow is very good as well as the format. The intro gives you a taste of Native American culture through the tribal music playing and mountain range pictured. This is a good attention grabbing device to lure viewers and get them interested in your digital short. The middle section describes the tribulations that the women in her family suffered, and was accompanied by solemn black-and-white photos of her family through the years.

The Conclusion brings us back to the colorful pictures of plains and mountain with a fade out tag of the tribal chant. It resolves by giving us a glimmer of hope with her prayer to the winds to protect her grandchildren from the world's evils, transforming the wind back into a peaceful reminder.

The second video I watched was called "What U'll Never See." Its about a young girl, Nicola, who discovers that a close friend of hers has started cutting herself. The Voice Over is paced a little fast, but has a solemn tone with a young girl's tamber. This givers the viewer a sense of credibility with the narrator, assuming that they have witnessed and endured the angst and hardships that comes with being a coming-of-age youth. Having little to no sound effects or bed music underlying the Voice Over, it helps to not draw attention away from the actual words the narrator is saying. I don't think that music or sounds would be fitting for the subject matter of the video.
The beginning of the video we're told of the friend and how she displayed signs of depression and self mutilation, but denies it and suggests the scratches on her arms were from a cat. As the story progresses, her friend breaks down under intense emotional stress and confides in her, revealing the truth about the origins of her scars. A new conflict arises with the narrator as to whether or not she should inform someone and betray the trust of her friend, or risk her friend's life by keeping the dark secret. She continues to explain how she supported her friend and eventually discovered that her friend wanted help and is aided by her mom.
The conclusion wraps up the story with a collage of inspirational words Nicola wanted to highlight, such as trust, friendship, talk, life, and smile. She concludes with last words of advice when trying to help a friend with similar problems and fades the video out to a song with the lyrics of "...everything's gonna be alright."
Throughout the clip we see still images of scarred wrists and arms which is a very morbid and disturbing image to picture. It is also spliced with common images we would recognize as a highschool setting, but lacked lustre. They had a grim and grisly essence to them that painted a dull and painful tone to subject matter.

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