Visual Rhetoric – marinebio

Link to Texting and Driving Video


A not too old, black car drives down what it looks to be a quiet and well off neighborhood. The driver is not shown in the shot as the car drives.

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A young blonde girl, maybe a junior or senior in high school is driving the car. She seems happy and is paying attention to the road ahead of her.She has both hands on the wheel. It can be assumed that she knows how to drive well.

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In the next second after the girl is shown, there is a screen that is showing a new text message. The shot is specifically focused on the fact that the girl got a text message. The screen is extremely zoomed in.

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The blonde girl driving is now looking down, her eyes not on the road. She is most likely looking at the phone somewhere nearby in the car. She looks as if she is contemplating on whether to look at the phone or not.

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The girl then looks back up to the road as she continues to drive forward for a few seconds, ignoring the fact that she has a message on her cell phone.

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The young girl is now reaching for the phone, it appears to be in a cup holder. The focus of the shot is on the cell phone and not the girl. It seems as if the cell phone is empowering everything that is happening.

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The girl is now smiling and looking down. Her eyes are not on the road anymore. Her mind seems to be captured by the looking and replying of the text message shown at the beginning.

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The screen not focused, it seems blurry. The girl has the cell phone in her hand, it is on and there is a keyboard showing. It seems as if the picture is in motion.

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The focus of the shot is on an intersection, it seems as if the viewers are seeing the intersection from the inside of the car. This intersection during this moment does not have any cars. There is a stop sign.

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The view is now from an outsider’s perspective. Now at the intersection has the girls car and another new car. The cars are not too far apart from one another. Within another second the cars look like they can easily crash into each other.

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0:22 The screen reads in “Stop the texts Stop the Wrecks” in all caps. The girl in the video must have crashed into the car in the intersection because she was distracted by a text message.

This entry was posted in A02: Visual Rhetoric and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Visual Rhetoric – marinebio

  1. marinebio18 says:

    feedback was requested.

    Before providing feedback, I’m trying to solve the puzzle of your missing images, marinebio. I was able to locate the first one, which had the name png1, and insert it where I think it belongs. Do you need help figuring out this technique? The sooner the better.

    Feedback provided.


  2. davidbdale says:

    I like your conclusion, drawn from observation of the visual, that the girl is a good, or at least a conscientious, driver. That’s exactly the sort of observation/conclusion that comes from a careful visual analysis.

    What is the condition of the car? What speed would you estimate it’s driving? Does it appear to be moving fast enough to warrant special care by its driver? What could possibly be interesting about a car on a suburban street to keep us looking at the screen for another few seconds? After all, if we stop watching, the ad fails.

    You haven’t mentioned that she’s tapping her thumbs. You say “she seems happy,” but if we’re not watching the video with you, we have no idea how you came to that conclusion. Visual analysis requires that you base your conclusions on things you’ve SEEN. You haven’t mentioned that she is wearing a shoulder belt. You haven’t indicated how you know we’re looking inside the car we’ve seen from the outside. How do you know?

    You failed to mention that before the screen indicating the Text Message, the girl glanced down and to her right. You haven’t mentioned a phone yet, so readers of your analysis don’t know what you mean by the screen showing a text message. What’s the rhetorical purpose of the extreme close-up?

    You haven’t mentioned the new camera angle. What’s its purpose?

    You haven’t exactly said what is obvious to viewers, that the girl deliberately positioned the phone in the car to be able to see its screen while driving. Surely that’s important to communicate.

    You haven’t said what the reader surely needs to know, that the car is still in motion. We know that from what we can see, but the reader needs to be told.

    You’ve completely skimmed over two very important seconds of the message. The completely black screen at 0:14 and 0:15 is crucial.

    You really drop the ball at this point, marinebio. The quick cuts, black screens, split-second shots of what appear to be very high-speed driving taken from the driver’s seat, all go by very quickly, but they amount to an essential section of the visual rhetoric of this message.
    You can name the individual seconds if you like, or you can describe in detail what occurs over the course of a few seconds with a time stamp like this one, for example:

    What happens at 20 is crucial too. You indicate that the cars are likely to crash, but you miss telling readers that the stripe in the street indicates the car is approaching a stop sign, too fast to stop. You neglect to mention the screen in which the girl’s eyes are closed, that she opens them and blinks in surprise, then screams . . . etc.

    You’ve done well with what you’ve done so far, marinebio, and you clearly understand the nature of the assignment, but you haven’t done a thorough job yet.

    Useful advice? Annoying? Think I should have been clearer in the assignment or the models/samples offered? Reply, please.


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