Visual Rhetoric – nobinaryneeded

0:01 – There’s a person, their knuckles placed firmly on a table. It looks like it’s a bathroom. We’re outside the door looking in, while the word “Listen” rests on the frame. Their elbows look tense, like they’re tightening them as if they were working out, but clearly isn’t. The person looks young based on their outfit, and the smoothness of their skin, from what we can see.

We’re watching from an outsider’s point of view, third person. From outside the bathroom, where we are, it’s blurry. Inside the bathroom with the person, it’s in focus, letting us know that they are what we should be focused on in this shot.

0:02 – A hand is on screen, sweeping a powdery substance around with the thumb. We can assume the person is the girl from the first frame of the video, taking in the delicacy of the hands and the seemingly similar bathroom sink. Again there’s the powdery substance that’s resting on the bathroom sink. Due to the title of the video, it’s safe to assume the substance is cocaine. You can see a vein protruding from the person’s hand, maybe signifying that they are tense or stressed.

The word “Listen” is still in the frame, except this time is blurry, though it most likely means that the word is fading out. Could that be because no one is listening?

0:03 – There is a character with long hair walking out of her house, standing in the door frame as a silhouette. There’s a man out on the porch, holding his hand out but we can’t see what he’s holding, but he is holding something. There’s a few cars outside: a blue one by the house the character is coming out of and then a silver one across the street at another house. It’s safe to assume the person is headed towards the car, as she storms out of their house for some reason, unknown at the moment.

0:05 – We don’t see the main character but we see a man, older age, standing in front of the house, his lips turned into a frown. This man is most likely the character’s father, the character storming out of the house. He looks afraid, and disappointed, but also sad all at the same time. Whether this character is his child or not, he seems like he’s lost all control as a parent, not knowing how to help his kid anymore.

The word “Change” flashes across the screen, signifying that the man’s child needs a chance and that the father has attempted to help them change their dangerous ways.

0:07 – The character has turned around, revealing it to be a teenage boy, maybe early twenties. He’s angry, his fists clenched, his muscles flexing, a piece of clothing tight between his fingers. He’s turned around looking at the man, again most likely his father. He’s yelling at the man out of anger, storming towards the blue car, as he’s most likely about to storm away even further.

0:08 – Another character, a male, scruffy beard, is piling into the passenger seat of the blue car, so he was most likely the getaway driver from the last frame we were in. The word “Problem” fades onto the screen, letting us, the viewers, know that there is a serious problem here in this video.

0:09 – Two hands, in the hands, an alleged bag of cocaine. The hands are fussing with it. We can see a blue shirt behind his hands, so that signifies that this is the same man, the father, from a few frames back.

The word “Problem” is on the screen, more prominent though. Drugs are obviously the problem in this video.

0:12 – It’s night time, we see the boy from earlier arguing with a girl on a sidewalk. They’re most likely arguing about drugs. This girl might be his girlfriend, or just a friend, and it doesn’t seem that she’s happy with the way he’s living his life.

0:14 – It’s the girl the boy was arguing with, arguing back at him. She looks concerned, but also like she’s about to leave the boy because of his issues with the drugs. On the screen, the words “Help” repeat each other one after another. This is a signal for the viewers that the boy needs help or he risks losing everyone he loves.

0:15-0:17 – It starts off with the boy, tears running down his face on the phone, sat at a bench with his father. Assuming he’s on the phone with help, his father is there, supporting his son in this tough time. It’s day time this frame instead of nighttime like the last frame, showing that things are brightening it up for the boy and his father.

0:18-0:20 – The boy sits in a circle in what looks like a school gymnasium with other people in some cold metal chairs. In one frame he’s holding a book. From the words on it, all that can be seen is “DER” which could be disorder or something else similar to that. It seems to be some sort of support group.

The word “Problem” fades onto the screen before dissolving else, showing that the boy is addressing this problem with the drugs.

0:21-0:24 – The boy looks happy, or content at the least, leaving a building and waving goodbye to what seems like his friends. The day has turned brighter than it was in the beginning of the video, signifying events lightening up. The boy runs over to his parents, the dad from earlier, and gives his father a hug before moving onto his mother who we’re meeting for the first time.

As he hugs his mother, the word “Change” shows up on the screen, showing us that things are changing, looking up for the young man.

0:25 – The camera has faded up to the trees above the hugging family, and the word “Listen” is shown. It’s telling viewers to listen to their kids if they need help with addiction with drugs or whatever they’re addicted to. It’s shown with a logo from the company making the video.

0:27-0:30 – The final message of the video still resides in front of the trees. It says “Go to for tips and tools to help turn addiction around” to give the viewer the chance to turn their lives around if need be, or someone they love.

About Shiloh Vasko

Hi. My name is Shiloh Vasko. I'm a 24-year-old writer from South Jersey, and I hope you can find something here. My goal with this blog is to take the hard times in life and turn them into something useful or helpful for others to take out into their world.
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1 Response to Visual Rhetoric – nobinaryneeded

  1. davidbdale says:

    This is strong work, NoBinary, and it’s been covered by your classmate JohnSanchez as well, in case you want to compare versions and learn from overheard feedback. I shared these notes with your classmate about the first couple of seconds:

    The age of that bathroom is immediately telegraphed by the color and style of the tile. That flower is an orchid, a highly aspirational houseplant. Its presence says a lot about the resident. You say we’re looking at a woman, but you don’t indicate how we know that from what little we can see of “her.” What might be the purpose for our “child-height” point of view? Dirty bathroom? Clean? Other fixtures? Is the flower on the counter, putting it in the way of sink business? Or on the windowsill, conveniently out of the way? What do you make of that rocking motion? When she first uses her right thumb to crush a pill, then sweeps the crumbs and powder with her left hand, what does that say about how she’ll use the powder? Don’t people just take pills whole?

    Provisional Grade at Blackboard

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