Visual Rewrite- Flowers3399

End Family Fire

0:00-0:01- The ad starts with a children’s cartoon on tv of a train and its conductor traveling out of a tunnel on the tracks. The train seems to be carrying wood. As the train travels down the track it is blowing smoke. The cartoon is intended for children.

0:02- The camera pans out to show the rec room and dining room. The tv is still playing the cartoon. In the rec room, there are toys that lay on the floor underneath the table as well as on top of the table. The toys being all over the place suggest that the child lives at the house full time. Pillows are on the ground and a blanket is draped over a chair. The room gives off an appearance of a cozy and comfortable home. There is a child laying on a carpet on his stomach in the middle of the floor in pajamas. The child looks to be asleep or in a daze. An older man in a casual blue long sleeve button-up shirt, jeans, and work boots appear in the scene. The outfit suggests that he could be a working man. The man is presumingly the child’s father and is holding onto the child’s sides. There is a possibility that the father and son are enjoying a Sunday morning. There is no sign of a mother which could suggest that the father and she are divorced or there is no mother at all. 

0:03-0:05- The father is still kneeling down at the son’s side. The father begins to tickle his son. The son flips over to his back in a fit of laughter. The father begins to laugh with his son. This shows they have a close father-son relationship.

0:05-0:07- The father stops tickling his son and begins to walk away into another room.

0:07-0:09- The father is out of the scene and the son remains to lie on the floor. The camera is zoomed in on the son with the background blurred. He is laying on his back and looking up at possibly the ceiling. His hands are resting on his chest. He is

0:09-0:10- The scene is still zoomed in on the son. He remains to lie on his back with his hands resting on his chest. He turns his head to watch his dad walk into the other room. He is still grinning from his dad tickling him.

0:10-0:12- The scene has now moved to the kitchen. The background of the kitchen is blurred out. The father is walking into the kitchen and his back is facing the child. The main focus is the countertop. On the countertop, there is a glass of water and two bowls stacked together. The bowls could be from breakfast that the father and son had together.

0:12-0:13- The background of the kitchen is in focus. A doorway in the kitchen leading to another room can now be seen. There is a coffee pot, the sink, and dish soap. There are coffee mugs that surround the coffee pot. The father walks over to the sink and is rolling up the sleeves of his shirt.

0:13-0:15- The father is still walking to the sink. He continues to roll up his sleeves. One of his hands is reaching for something, possibly a coffee mug. The father starts to turn around to look at his son who could be talking to him or asking him a question. The father seems interested in what his son is saying.  

0:15-0:17- The scene pans back to the son. The son is now standing in the middle of the floor with a door behind him. He looks as if he has something to say to his dad. He begins to talk to his father. He says something quickly. The look on his face as he is talking suggests that he is curious about what his dad will say back.    

0:17-0:21- The sentence “8 kids a day are accidentally killed or injured by FAMILY FIRE” pans across the screen with a black background.

0:21-0:25- The sentence “FAMILY FIRE is a shooting involving an improperly stored gun” pans across the screen with a black background.

0:25-0:30- The screen has a black background providing a website about making homes safer.

This 30-second advertisement does a bad job of sending their message to the viewers. The ad is supposed to show viewers that kids die from family guns not being stored correctly. They want viewers to know the importance of locking up house guns properly and safely. This message can only be understood in the 2-minute version. In this version, the viewer can see a father and son having a conversation about guns and how it would be easy for the child to reach the gun if he stumbled upon it. After the first minute and forty seconds, it is clear that the child has died from messing with the gun and the dad is reminiscing on the conversation they had. In the end, these last two phrases “8 kids a day are accidentally killed or injured by FAMILY FIRE”  and “FAMILY FIRE is a shooting involving an improperly stored gun” pan across the screen in a more effective and lasting way.

2 thoughts on “Visual Rewrite- Flowers3399”

  1. Flowers, you’ve done a fair job of describing the visual elements of the scene, although several of your classmates have chosen the same video, and by now we have a wide range of things noticed and not noticed by several analysts. I’ve been asking similar questions of them: Where’s mom? Is this a child of divorce? A single dad? Does the skateboard leaning against the wall suggest that the child lives here or is visiting?

    You say he’s watching the cartoon, but clearly he isn’t. It’s more likely he’s asleep. Alert viewers might even wonder if he’s unconscious.

    By now maybe you’ve followed the link from our class Agenda to this advice for adding the RHETORICAL analysis to your Visual RHETORIC assignment.

    More important than the mere reporting of visual elements is your analysis of WHAT THEY MEAN. The director made deliberate choices for every aspect of the visual presentation. Why did she make those choices?

    Once you have worked your way through the 30 seconds of silent analysis, of course you’ll watch with sound. Then you’ll be better able to JUDGE whether the visuals were effective in delivering the message the director intended.

    I haven’t watched with sound myself, and I admit I’m mystified what the message is supposed to be. Without knowing what the child asks, I can’t begin to understand how the scene has anything to say about in-home gun violence.

    But it’s your job, not mine, to critique whether or not the visuals contribute to a successful holistic argument comprised of both audio and video elements. Now that you know the argument, when you watch again without the sound, do you have a different appreciation for the choices the director made? Or is the ad unsuccessful?

    Your Rewrite should tackle those questions.


  2. To do a really thorough job, you’ll probably have to watch the 2-minute version as well. It popped up in the sidebar while I was watching the 30-second spot.

    I still don’t know what the conversation sounds like, but the implication that the kid dies is really obvious from the visuals in THAT version.

    NOW how do we analyze the effectiveness of the short version? It’s not fair to the director to judge the first 15 seconds if the spot was supposed to run 2 minutes. Did the Ad Council make a mistake releasing the shorter spot? Or is it supposed to be a reminder to viewers who have seen the longer version?

    All interesting questions that would enrich your Visual Rewrite.


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