Critical Review Final

Critical Review Final - (Frank) Xiao Zhu 21W.034 Cynthia...

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(Frank) Xiao Zhu 21W.034 Cynthia Taft “Nova Science Now: SLEEP” and “ABC Australia: Eyes Wide Open”: A Critical Review In an enticing way, video documentaries have become a widespread method to reach the greater populace. In appealing to a general audience, a producer must be both succinct and exciting to create an engaging video presentation with the production time allotted to him or her. In turn, he or she must also be careful to filter unnecessary information that may take away from the intended theme or attitude of a video. If this is not possible, a lay audience may be overwhelmed by the data available and cease to take any understanding away from the entire experience. At least, the audience may walk away from the confusing experience with a mixture of what they did understand and what they could not. With this in mind, a producer must be careful as to what he or she should show in the video in order to allow viewers to successfully digest the information. Although this engaging method of video presentation is necessary to build the foundation of most videos, producers may still have different goals in mind for creating their respective videos. Therefore, a producer must structure his or her video in a distinctive way in order to create a desired aim. This ultimate goal can be manifested in the general tone of the overall video or the viewer’s attitude toward the subject after watching the video. Specifically, the NOVA Science Now and ABC Australia videos on sleep aptly display the producers’ ability to manipulate the factual data of scientific research and create their desired effect in the viewers’ minds. Though both videos focus on the importance of sleep, Julia Cort produced the NOVA
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(Frank) Xiao Zhu 21W.034 Cynthia Taft documentary to inform audiences, whereas Stuart Goodman created his “Eyes Wide Open” documentary to alter viewers’ mindsets on sleep. Primarily, these goals are manifested through the specific visual and auditory effects of each respective video. The Nova video starts with a montage of strange arches, fruit flies in suits, dancing mice, and jazzy music in the background (0:00-0:39). However, the ABC video begins with a menacing voice whispering “I can’t get no sleep,” while displaying camera shots of sleeping commuters on buses and subways (0:00-1:02). All this time, an ominous clock “ticks” throughout the narrator’s introduction. Both videos begin with mysterious images that are overlaid with strange music; however, the tones of the videos differ. In Cort’s video, the jazzy music produces a relaxed atmosphere and the arbitrary animal images create a tinge of amusement. Conversely, Goodman promptly disturbs readers to an almost frightening degree with his use of shifting camera shots and chilling voices. In describing scientific experiments, the videos also have different auditory and visual
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Critical Review Final - (Frank) Xiao Zhu 21W.034 Cynthia...

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