TAKE THIS LOLLIPOP:
With an innocent blue lollipop dangling in the middle of the screen, and the words ‘I DARE YOU’ written underneath, this website automatically raises your suspicions. From childhood, Hollywood horror blockbusters have taught me that something bad ALWAYS happens when the characters are at their happiest. Usually this means that characters get killed off when they are mid way through a joke or about to get laid.
Aware that nothing is what it seems, I hesitantly click on the lollipop, all the while fearing that a mangled head will pop up and start screaming at me. Being traumatised by these gags in high school, I’m relieved when a simple Facebook pop-up appears. Asking for access to my basic personal information, I accept like any other Facebook app i’ve used.
Yet, what follows this is truly disturbing. Walking through an abandoned house, you stumble across a creepy man sitting at his computer. As you get closer to him, your Facebook page and pictures become more visible. He is stalking you. Compared to most scare tactics I’ve seen about cyber-safety, this one is far superior. It has no cheesy dialogue, moral message, or annoying catchphrase .Instead it lets the visuals do the talking. The quality of the film is excellent, and definitely encapsulates the stereotypical ‘stalker/murderer’. Although effective, one has to acknowledge that most sexual predators and stalkers don’t sit in abandoned, dirty houses covered in sweat. In reality, they sit in their everyday houses …..maybe even with their family. They could even be our neighbours. So although this video may not be effective in identifying the characteristics of an online predator, it successfully highlights the vulnerability of ones identity online. Above all else, it makes you question how easy you are to accept a simple Facebook access request. As a mode of digital storytelling, I think it is a very adventurous and effective development. By not allowing the user to interact with the story, or determine their own fate, the website renders its viewers helpless.Also, As nothing is explicitly explained, the story relies on its viewers to make certain assumptions about the main protaginist. Subsequently, the website lets the viewers fill in the dots, relying heavily on our semantic judgements and sterotyping.
Have a look for yourself :here
This short film is truly remarkable. It utilises the portable and easy functions of the iphone to create an engaging and thrilling short film. Divided into different segments, one has to download a specific app to continue following the story. Unfortunately, it is this aspect of the film that I thought was least effective. Like most viewers, I want instantaneous satisfaction when I watch a film. Quite simply, I don’t have the time or patience to download compartmentalised segments or clips. In contrast to this, the greatest advantage of this film, in comparison to other footage shot on an Iphone, is its use of sound. Overall it minimises the use of natural sound, due to its poor quality and replaces it with sound effects and music. The small sound threshold on most phones, usually makes the captured noises sound distorted. By minimising this limitation, and with the use of interesting angles and panning shots, this film escapes the typical perceptions of ‘phone footage’.
Shot completely on an iphone, not only does this film highlight the progression of filming technology but also the producers themselves. Due to its wide accessibility, the Iphone has allowed the ‘average man’ to produce a film comparable to a Hollywood blockbuster. By broadening this field, new forms of digital storytelling will become accessible to a wider range of people.This creates new possibilities of untold stories which may have never been told if it wasn’t for this technological development.
Check it out here
HISTORY OF THE WORLD:
This sweet stop-motion video follows a truly imaginative storyline in the ‘apparent’ creation and history of earth. With simplistic caricatures and a constantly revolving world, this video is extremely easy to follow and is quite fast paced. With dragons and robots, this history is anything but accurate and I wouldn’t suggest it for any history class! Yet within this limitation is a great advantage; creativity and imagination. It escapes the realms of historical facts and instead relies on creativity.
Personally, i feel this form of digital storytelling is great for children. Unlike this video, it could be used for educational purposes, especially in assisting visual learners.As stop motion videos are also shot on cameras, viewers themselves can also quickly create the story. This interaction, can sometimes be important in retaining new information.