Stockholm Crash (NYT Video Critique)

April 7th, 2017 marked the day of the Stockholm Crash. At least three people were killed in this accident. Although the event may be seen as an accident to many, New York Times believes that the ‘accident’ was a terror attack. The video title suggests that with, “‘Everything Indicates’ Terror Attack in Stockholm.” The quote is taken from the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven.

Most of the video is raw footage from many residents of the area who heard and saw the crash happen. Words fade in as videos run, slowly giving the audience time to take in the horrors of the terror attack. The raw footage accentuates the accident and makes it even more real than it should be for the audience. The words that appear do not seem to be biased and is rather neutral, simply stating the facts.

The video transitions are very abrupt and go from one scene to another. The video also adds in the lower thirds rule for mentioning names. Above the name is the direct translation. Even though I find that this is a nice strategy, I also find this set up technique also kind of blocky and condensed. The name title and the translation are a bit too close to each other, but where else is one going to put it?

The first few seconds of the video that show the raw footage does not seem to have a lot of sound. However, when the residents are running into a shop and the train goes by, the audience can hear that the train sounds and volume gets progressively higher. The train sounds runs over the next raw footage a little bit, but as the video progresses, the ambulance is the only sound that is much more prominent than the rest, giving the viewers a sense of urgency and anticipation. I like the strategy that the producer has made, making the ambulance siren sound louder than anything else. Ambulances give mostly everyone a sense of anticipation and apprehension, which drives up the fear and anxiety in the video. Fear and anxiety will work well with the video and make the viewers a little more empathetic and distressed. Therefore, the viewers will be much more likely to share the video, thus gaining more views.

After the ambulance siren scene, the video switches to an aerial view of a town or city in Sweden where the attack has occurred. The first scene shows the area of the attack and then transitions into a more detailed and precise version of where the vehicle crashed. The transition between the two scenes is important and subtle at the same time. The transition is a fade in, suggesting a passage of time. The ambulance sirens can still be heard in the background, which again, increases anticipation, fear, anxiety, and apprehension.  

The video abruptly transitions into the next scene of the Prime Minister of Sweden talking and then prominently to the outside, where residents and police are gathered. The people in the video are obviously curious and distressed. The video then ends abruptly as the police is answering one of the curious bystanders. The ending of the video makes the viewers wonder what happened in the aftermath of the crash. 


Pollution Photo Series Critique

On February 28th, 2017, Anmar Frangoul posted ten pictures of the damage of pollution around the world.

In an overall view, most of the pictures are wide or medium shots, with barely any (if at all) creative shots to surprise the viewers. However, the images do show a variety in its subject. The photo series does tell a story, but could be much more detailed if in depth captions are written. 

Anmar Frangoul decided to capture some photos with an animal as the main subject changing the human emotion from careless to empathetic. One example of empathy in action can be found here. 

In Bangladesh, pollution takes over the mountains of trash and dirt. The kids are playing on top of the trash and seem to be malnourished as well. This photo is evidently a nice wide shot of both the kids and the background.

India shows a little bit more of a variety than the previous image, as the shot is now from the waist up. The background is hazed (and that’s not even on purpose!). The runners are the main focus and the colors of their shirts is the first thing that jumps out at the viewer. This is a good photo with contrasts.

Vietnam shows a close medium shot of motorists during morning rush hour. Viewers can see that many natives have a cloth over their mouths. This is most likely the result of the pollution in the air. This image is particularly boring, but busy.

With Pakistan, the photographer goes back to the a wide shot of uniformed schoolboys with a caption that merely states what is happening in the photo.

Indonesia has a wide shot as well, but the picture is intriguing. The passage near the shops is filled with dirty water and trash. The gloomy ambience of the photo brings a certain sadness to the photo and the lives of these Indonesian people.

Brazil sports a dead sea turtle washed ashore on the beach of Ipojuca in January 2017.  The close up shot of the dead sea turtle may startle viewers. The amount of plastic can be reduced by humans, and seeing the sea turtle killed by plastic wrapped around its neck does not make the guilt any less distinguished.

Waste continues to land on the beaches of Troon, Scotland. A picture of balled up plastic is shown in a close up view, making the colorful plastic the main event. The caption for this particular photo is decent, since the caption shows statistics of plastic on the effects of amphipods.

China seems to be the most problematic with pollution, but the Chinese do not seem to be bothered, as the photo shows. The image is once again a wide shot, but still focuses on the couple in the foreground. The picture creates a nice contrast by showing dancers (a relatively happy sport) in a thick cloud of smog.

In Nigeria, a resident shows the dirt and soot from the air on his car. The photo is a medium shot and shows the background. The contrast between the color of the sky, the residents’ skin, and the soot is shocking. All factors are completely different, but the eyes are immediately drawn to the soot on the hand of the resident since it contrasts completely with the sky.

Chinese buildings are covered in smog. The viewers can barely see the buildings themselves…just the outline.