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.