00:01: “The Awkward Silence Presents” appears in bright yellow font on the screen. Behind the text is a clean fish tank placed on a stack of books. Worn files are organized horizantally next to the fish tank. Video cassessets are stacked on top of the files.
00:02: The camera zooms out and you no can see a gentleman sitting in an arm chair in what appears to be the corner of a room in a home. He is sitting cross-legged and is an adult caucasion. He has brown hair and is wearing a clean brown turtle kneck, khakis, and pristine white sneakers. “How to continu” in the same yellow font from before begins to form a sentence on the screen as the man reads along.
00:03: “How to continue talking to your friend about their;” about their what?
00:04: “How to continue talking to your friend about their mental health” Ok.
00:05: “How to continue talking to your friend about their mental health after you asked about how;” about how what? The suspense continues.
00:06: “How to continue talkign to your friend abotu their mental health after you asked about how they were feeling” Ok.
00:007 The frame is centered on a young woman, from the top of her shoulders to her knees. She is wearing jean-overalls, with a white tee shirt underneath; her hair is long and blonde. The girl is sitting on a green couch inside what we can perceive to be her parents home, based on how comfortable she seems; her left side is resting on a vintage, paisley pillow. There also seems to be a decorative duck on the end table next to her, which millennials most likely would not choose to decorate their home with. From all of this, we can conclude the girl is most likely a teen to young adult.
00:08: She seems to either be texting, or typing in elsewhere on her Iphone, based on how both her hands are gripping the phone: both thumbs on the screen.
00:10: The frame is now zoomed out and we can see what is now clear to be a living room. The house is very lived in; books stacked on the coffee table (with another miniature duck sculpture) and a coffee cup paired with an empty plate sitting on the opposite end table from where the blonde is sitting. On the opposite side we can now also see a second girl, sitting to the right of the blonde (her elbow is now resting on the left arm of the chair, as she continues to text.) There is a large space on the couch between the two girls, perhaps indicating to us their emotional detachment from one another, as they are not paying any attention to each other. The new girl on frame does not look comfortable at all, as she is looking down, but not at her phone. Her hair is curly,full, and brunette. She has on a pink sweater and light skinny jeans with speckled white paint; for aesthetic. An embarrassed/regretful look is on her face and she seems to be hugging her body. Her legs are crossed, while the blonde girls legs are relaxed and has an emotionless look on her face, almost in a zombie like state on her phone. We can conclude from all this that the two girls know each other somehow and are most likely not on the greatest terms.
00:11: The blonde looks up from her phone, with her eyes slightly veering towards her right. Her mouth seems clenched. She is suddenly annoyed, like she heard the uncomfortable girl sigh to perhaps begin a conversation, which she has no interest in.
00:12: The blonde now slightly turns her head to the right, giving the girl next to her a quick glance; perhaps thinking about giving in to having conversation with the brunette, who still hasn’t moved
.00:13: The blonde is now looking back on her phone, once again, in a zombie like state. The brunette’s eyes are now open, they seem wide; a hint of shock appears on her face. It seems that she knew the blonde was looking at her and is now disappointed that she chose to keep the silence between them. Perhaps we can conclude from this intuition that these girls were once very close, and most likely were until a short time ago from the present moment.
00:14: The blonde looks up from her phone and pouts her lips; she seems regretful. The brunette still seems quite bothered, with her eyes open, staring blankly at nothing. The silence seems hard for them both to endure much longer; we have to be moments away from them reuniting
.00:15: The blonde brings her phone into her chest, still pouting, as her eyes begin to gaze towards the brunette. It seems like this could be the beginning of a reconciliation, but the brunette is now uncomfortable and is looking the opposition direction instead of meeting her estranged friends gaze.
00:16 The blonde seems immediately discouraged, as she is now looking towards the floor and no longer at the girl who she is trying to reach across the couch. The brunette seems to be looking towards the floor as well, her face clearly showing emotional pain; disappointment in herself, perhaps that she missed out on another chance to speak with her friend. We can conclude that the brunette is definitely the vulnerable one in the situation and that we may be witnessing a crisis situation instead of a disagreement.
00:17: The blonde is now hugging the phone to her chest, her eyes are shut, and her face softens. The brunette still has not moved. We can speculate that maybe this whole time the blonde has been trying to reach the brunette via text message, and her efforts have failed.
00:18 The frame is now similar to where it first started, however you can now see half of the blondes face, and her left arm as it reaches towards the end table with her phone, preparing to set it down and give up her efforts. It is clear her friend deserves more effort.
00:19: The phone is down and you can now see the blondes entire face and she is pouting, seeming remorseful. Perhaps she is having trouble mustering the confidence to speak out loud to her friend and that is why she resorted to the phone, though she knew it would not be effective.
00:20: The frame is now beginning to pan out, and the blondes eyes begin to look toward her friend again. It is clear it is up to the blond to reconcile their relationship, whether that being because she is the reason for the brunette being upset or she has to be her savior
00:21: The blondes face is now turned slightly to her friend, seeming upset. Is she unable to comfort her?
00:22 The frame is now just on the brunette, who seems to still have not moved. Her eyes are low and looking down at the floor; her face seems flushed and unnatural. Has her friend given up on her?
00:23: Surprisingly, the brunettes mouth now is beginning to open, but she seems hesitant to use her words.
00:24: The blonde is now completely faced towards the brunette; she had noticed her friends small effort of speech and in result seems more comfortable talking. Her back is leaning towards the left arm of the couch and her legs are curled up with her hands in her lap; she has a slight grin on her face.The brunette is looking back at the blonde with wide eyes, but only with her head turned; she is still feeling vulnerable. Nonetheless, the long waited conversation is about to begin.
00:25: The frame is now just on the blondes face; her eyes seem serious as they are glaring at the brunette. She is happy the conversation was finally going to happy, but she is aware that this is no walk in the park. Her left shoulder is slightly hunched up as she seems to be mustering the confidence to speak herself now.
00:26: Finally, the blonde begins speaking the first words between the two so far. Her eyebrows are raised as she begins to speak, showing genuine intent and seriousness; the way her mouth is only opened slightly shows she is being cautious with her choice of words.
00:27: The frame is on the brunette’s face who is now grinning with a “kermit smile” in reply to the blonde’s words. She seems pleased; suddenly much more at ease.
00:28: The blonde still has the same look of seriousness, but now with a slight smirk, as if she is surprised at the brunette’s reaction.They’re going to figure whatever is going on out, together.
00:29: The frame is now back on the man from the beginning who appears to be in the same room as the girls. He is more than likely than not is the fictional host in the clip. He is still sitting in the arm chair but is now sporting a “thumbs up,” likely referring to the improvement in socialization the girls have made.
00:30: The man is still holding his “thumbs up” pose, with his eyes wide and mouth in a small grin, showing satisfaction. This is just his latest triump.
00:31: The frame is now frozen with yellow text reading “Find out how you can help a friend with their mental health at seize the awkward.org.” Behind the text is a blurred image of both of the girls, same as they were positioned last.
00:34: Old text disappears and new text appears: “Seize the awkward” in a quotation bubble. Ahh!
One thought on “Visual Rewrite–NamasteBean”
You’ve made an odd choice starting at the 8-second mark, NB. The work you do afterwards is fine, but it lacks the context that viewers gain from watching the opening credit and the “host’s” introductory remark, conveyed via the yellow onscreen text.
Maybe you’re hesitant to share that setup with us because it “gives away the story,” but our experience of the scene is completely overshadowed by the opening revelation that we’re looking at two girls who are having an awkward conversation about the brunette’s mental health. The drama of the situation is the same either way, but we no longer have to guess what might explain why they’re so far apart and awkward. You can change your speculation to which of the girls has asked how the other was feeling. Is the blonde avoiding answering the question by pretending to care about her phone? Or is it the other way around?
You miss out on the rich opportunity to judge the effectiveness of this peculiar framing technique. Why is this young man in his casual clothes, sneakers, and no socks “acting like” a public service announcement host from the 1960s in a basement room (we can tell from the height of the windows) his granddad might have furnished with stacks of LPs, VHS tapes, and carved duck decoys?
Does it work? If so, why? If not, why not?
You’ve demonstrated you can handle the descriptions of the visuals. Now critique the Rhetoric of the director’s style choices.