Link: Donate to Food Banks
The video opens with the camera looking at the back of a child. A majority of the frame is taken up by the back of his head, and a blue book-bag he’s wearing. His clothing and hair is neat and well kept, suggesting that his family has enough money to buy him clothes. The background is blurry, but the boy appears to be on a sidewalk walking through a neighborhood. Most details can’t be viewed in the background, which suggest one of two things. The more likely of the the two is that the director wanted the focus to be solely on the child. The less likely is that we are seeing the world the way the child does. The world is blurry because he’s not concerned with it, or cannot focus properly. This is less likely because the camera never shifts to a first person perspective or any other angle that suggest we’re viewing things from his point of view. From his book-bag we can tell he is in either elementary or early middle school. The book-bag also tells us that he is either on his way to school, or on his way home.
The view changes while the camera is still blurry. We are still looking at the back of the child’s head, but we are looking slightly to the left, following the gaze of the child. The child’s view is caught by something as he looks to the left. A blurry pipe or fence edge now takes up a majority of the right side of the frame. Possibly suggesting that the child has arrived at some gated, or fenced off area. The boy is now home. The boy just walks into the fenced area without the need of a key, or lifting any type of latch. This type of fence can be found around suburban homes. Also he doesn’t hesitate when he enters the area, suggesting it’s a place he’s familiar with.
A door opens quickly and we see a pair of legs come walking in. The blue jeans and small gray colored shoes suggest that this is the boy from earlier. The camera is now once again focused on the legs of this boy. From the smooth blueish gray tiled floor we can assume he’s in a house. As he closes the door behind him, we catch a glimpse of the side of the door. We can see paint peeled off of the door. This was intentionally done to create a sense that this house is older. Possibly it could hold some metaphorical weight. Despite how nice things seems, there are some paint peels, some issues going on in the background. This is a bit of a leap in logic and judgement, but an interesting line of thinking of regardless.
The camera panes to a different angle and we see the boy enter the house. The perspective of the camera appears to be from a different room as the boy faces away from the camera still. We have yet to see his face which leads me to believe that this is intentional. The boy may possibly be sad, or happy, but we have no way of indicating this thus far, which leads me to believe that the directors wants it to have an impact once the boy’s expression is revealed for the first time. From the blurry clock in the background (4: 35 PM) we can tell this is well after school gets done in most places in the United States. Meaning that he either had a long walk or had something to do at the school. This could be a part of what is effecting his mood, and why we still haven’t seen his face. The boy is actually framed almost in the center of the frame rather than in the foreground like before. In the foreground, we see a white door on the left and on the right, matching white drawers to an in wall cabinet or storage space. Above that in wall cabinet there is a hand painting of hands, with various colors. Below that is a small bucket filled with colored pencils and other utensils. Suggesting that the boy is artistic, and enjoys drawing. This could be why he came home to later because he was drawing. All these details are present while the boy swings his book-bag off quickly.
The camera zooms in as the boy enters the room, and we can confirm that the boy is in a kitchen. The book-bag lies at his feet. From the checkered pattern floor, the wooden table and chairs, the silver fridge, and silver washing machine we can confirm he’s in a kitchen. His arm is raised towards the fridge so he’s probably attempting to get something to eat or drink. On the wooden table we can partially see what looks like a book and maybe the top to a basket. O n the fridge we see papers hanging up. The wooden table is worn with many chips in the paint. The same is seen in the door and the white cabinets. Suggesting that either the family isn’t very well off, or that the house is old. The fridge opens slowly and almost nothing is in the fridge, save a few sauce cans and Tupper ware containers. We still haven’t seen the boy’s face, his gaze doesn’t leave the empty fridge for a solid moment. He is obviously internalizing about this and feels some type of way about it.
The camera pans between the crack between the door of the fridge and the fridge, and for the first time we are able to see the boys face. He looks into the fridge with a very sad or neutral expression. This could explain why he’s been looking into the fridge for so long. He’s possibly searching for food, and hoped there would be food, but there is none. This could also explain why earlier the scenes were so blurry. Once again it is possible that the scenes were blurry because we the boy was unable to focus which is a symptom of people who haven’t eaten. On the fridge we see a blurry drawing which confirms that the boy likes to draw, but he doesn’t seem to be paying attention to that.
The camera pans out and we are able to see the full frontal view of the fridge. The fridge still has almost nothing in it, but now in frame are a few condiments. On the left side of the fridge we see another picture of a family. it is crudely drawn but this gives insight into the boys age, he is obviously in elementary school rather than middle school. The family looks happy as the male figure waves, while the female figure holds the hand of the smaller figure in the picture. There then appears to be an animal all the way on the end suggesting he has, or had a pet of some kind. The male figure is waving despite the female figure extending a hand towards him. This could be used to infer that maybe the Dad is no longer present in the life of the boy. This could explain why he doesn’t have food in the fridge, and has to walk a long walk home from school. His mother has to work long days just to meet ends meet, so she’s unable to pick him up and can barely provide food. Nonetheless, this boy isn’t eating right now, and that made him visibly distraught.
There’s a small cut in time as there is now a chair beside the fridge and the boy is climbing it. It’s obvious that the boy moved the chair himself but that was left out of the footage. He appears to be climbing it to get to a higher up cabinet or shelf. This once again establishes that he is young and not very tall, meaning he’s in elementary school. The climb is quick which suggest this is something he use to doing. He is possibly checking a pantry for food after seeing an empty fridge.
The boy opens a cabinet and it is immediately confirmed that he is searching for food. Sadly, he is met with an equally empty pantry, spare a few canned goods, and Tupper ware container full of flower. Despite there being “some” food in the pantry and fridge, its obvious that this food is not easily accessible for a child, and is essentially inedible. It’s not likely that most elementary schools students know how to work a can opener, and if they do its very unlikely that they know how to cook whatever is in the can. All of this is suggesting that the boy has nothing to eat, and has no means of getting food for himself.
The camera then cuts to the boys face again. This is the first time the camera has directly looked at the boys face the entire video. He has the same forlorn/neutral expression he had before. These cuts to the boys face were intentional by the director because they wanted the audience to see the disappointment, sadness, or lost look on the boy’s face as he faced with no food. This is meant to stir up emotion as we have been watching this boy scavenge his own for food.
The boy then gets off the chair and walks out of the room with his hands in his pockets. With a clearly defeated look upon his face, he’s given up trying to find food. The same look is on his face as he exits the kitchen. The camera then cuts back the same view it had when the boy entered the kitchen in the beginning. This time as he leaves we are able to see his face the entire time. Once again I believe this was an intentional decision to have the audience see his face for this entire sequence. Its meant to draw up emotions of pity and sadness for the child because he can’t eat. We see his art on the fridge in the background and his hand painting in the foreground, which adds to the sense that he is innocent, young, and doesn’t deserve to go hungry. He simply wants to eat, and we the audience can immediately identify with that basic human need.
The video then cuts to a well dressed woman facing the camera and speaking. She is obviously addressing us, the audience. It most likely has to do with the situation that was just saw with the boy. She has a stern look on her face which indicates she’s speaking about something quite important and serious.
The video closes with the Feeding America logo and a link to their website. The woman before was most likely issuing a call to action about children going hungry, and then we, the audience, are presented with the tools to make sure that no child goes hungry.
One thought on “Visual Rewrite- jokerthefool”
Wow. I love your first entry. I’m going to refrain from looking at the video as I read your text because I don’t want to nitpick about details for you. You’re doing an impressive and thorough job. Instead, if I can address any of the questions you yourself raise in your analysis, I’ll chime in.
One way to indicate whether we are the kid, we’re watching the kid, or we’re walking with the kid is to pay attention to the movement of the camera. If it “walks” behind him, we’re not the kid; he’d never see the back of his head. We’re probably walking with him. Or we’re metaphorically “along for the ride.” If it’s steady as he walks away from us, we’re probably dispassionate, unrelated observers. If the focus shifts to his point-of-view, though, we know we’re supposed to identify with him.
It might well mean he’s home. Does anything about the character of the fence indicate otherwise? Does he need a key? Does he have to lift the latch?
You say we’re “once again” focused on the legs” but also that “we haven’t seen his lower body,” so I’m confused. You call him variously “the boy,” and “this person,” and “they.” Is there any logical explanation for not showing the boy’s face outdoors or even after he enters what we believe is his home?
Isn’t that interesting? You were wondering about his face too. I wanted to check the time on the clock because I so admired your ruminations regarding his late return home, but as I watched I couldn’t help but notice how GREEN is the neighborhood he walks through. As I suspected, it’s 3:35, not 4:35. But bravo to you for drawing other conclusions: that the artwork belongs to THIS child. We have no reason to draw any other conclusion, so the director must have wanted us to think so. And others.
Let me just express admiration from here and invite you to ask me specific questions if there’s anything you’d like me to attend to.
As long as you keep responding, the feedback loop keeps going, Joker. Put the post back into Feedback Please if you want to proceed further, but not without some analysis of your own, or questions.