How Sound&Sight Affect People

You are watching a dance video, guess what would happen if you click the “no volume” button?

The dancers are so hilarious isn’t it?

While people are watching a video, things except this video became blurred and obscure. It was because the sounds get people’s attention, and people were brought to the “affect zone” unconsciously. This kind of separate them from the surrounding environment and creates a specific space for them. No matter what physical place people was in, classroom, park or sofa, as long as the sound starts to play people are affected in the same way.

However, the intensity of affect on people various from site to site. For example, people could have different experience of watching the same film in cinema and at home. Many people pay a lot for a live concert ticket simply for the more intense affect there. If people put on earplugs, they are even more likely to get themselves involved in this “affect zone”.

This is the link of the TED speaker Julian Treasure talking about “The 4 ways sound affects us”: https://www.ted.com/talks/julian_treasure_the_4_ways_sound_affects_us?language=en#t-1226

The changes of sound, such as an unpredictable silence, or a sudden rise of the volume, are pretty effective to fluctuate people’s feelings and emotions. For example, in Gasland, there was first a silence at the beginning, and suddenly the music came in. Not only sounds, the quick switch from one scene to another will also provoke contrast feelings. For example, the scenes jumping back and forth between natural environment and the congress conference in Gasland made politics’s promise seem unreliable. In Food Inc. as the camera turned its shots from the beautifully captured foods in store, to the actual hidden factory line, it provided a fade of color and increase of photo noise and thus divided the beautiful fake and the genuine reality by changing the quality of the pictures.

When I was watching Fragments on Machines, I clicked “unmute” for a while. And immediately I found I got myself out of the “affect zone”. Although my eyes were still on screen, I wasn’t able to be moved by the video anymore and scenes became plain and tasteless. 

I was amazed by how powerful it is when the sound combined with the motion pictures. Together they could have strong and dynamic affect on people through challenging people’s senses of hearing and vision. The misuse of either of them would cause a failure in affecting people.

Of all three videos, Salton Sea, Gasland, and Food Inc., I noticed that there was always a “directing voice” leading audiences to a certain direction.Although in Greetings From the Salton Sea, the leading voice didn’t really state its position, but the editor successfully used the local residents’ praising voice, together with film cuts of dead Salton Sea, to create the same contrast impression in audiences’ minds. Everything that directors wanted to show us was arranged in certain order.

I start to think, what kind of feelings or emotions do I want them to experience? What do I want my audience to take away from my video? My audiences would not be only my classmates but international residents whoever have access to Internet. I definitely don’t want them walking away simply with “The pictures are beautiful”.

My shots will be PATH station, but my video will be about the people who live here. I want my audiences to know about the place of Newport and people who live here. Who are they? Why they come here? What are their passions? I hope after watching my video audiences can have some ideas about the real life of outsiders who live in New Jersey but work in New York.

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~ by shereenkong on October 24, 2016.

3 Responses to “How Sound&Sight Affect People”

  1. This was the most (pop) culturally relevant … I love how you bring in the SNL gif as well as the TED talk. I think the talk was really interesting and though it is from 2009, I would say its relevant because people have been circulating TED talks more. Great way to increase engagement with your post! 🙂 – Roche

  2. First, I didn’t know you were doing your project on Newport! Newport is one of my absolute favorite places, and I’m excited to see how your project turns out! I agree with Roche that the SNL gif was awesome, so funny. It brought the blog post to life and caught my attention from the beginning. Really enjoyed reading this! -Jenn C

  3. Best evidence: I thought that the gif and TED talk you pulled in were really great to help prove your point.

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