Visual Rewrite – Sunflower

0:01: The commercial opens up in a dark room which we can assume is a bar given the wall of alcohol bottles behind a wooden bar. The room is dark with soft lighting coming from the small lamps and fake candles on the bar. The room is crowded but the camera is focused on and slowly moving towards a young African American man who seems to be in his late twenties and is casually dressed in a flannel and white shirt. He is turning away from the bar with a small glass with brown liquid in his hand. In front of the African American man are two other blurred men having a conversation with each other, they each have a glass in their hand as well however it is too dark to determine what color the liquid in the glasses is. Despite the amount of people at the bar it seems that the African American man is there alone but seems to be looking to meet some people. Right away the fact that he is drinking and seems to be alone makes you think this may be a commercial about driving under the influence. Given the darkness and the amount of people around it is most likely nighttime. The bar is a pretty typical one, it is not fancy however it also does not seem like a dump there for it is probably the type of bar that most working-class people go to have a good time on the weekends or after work.

0:02-0:03: The African American man is smirking, giving the impression that he is happy to be there and is having a good time. He then abruptly looks down at the drink in his hand.

0:04: The scene changes to a backyard where multiple people are gathered for a barbeque. This barbeque seems like it might be a gathering of friends rather than family because there are no kids around. The camera is focused on a young Caucasian man also dressed casually in a light-colored flannel, navy blue shirt and tan pants. He looks like he could be the youngest one there and may have recently turned twenty-one. He is holding a red solo cup as he speaks to a man who has his back to us as he barbecues. He does not seem to be at the barbecue with a partner or his family as there is nobody directly around him besides the man barbecuing who is assumed to be the host. To the young man’s right three people are talking and preparing an outdoor table to eat at. The table is a dark metal glass table with a red umbrella. On the table sits various red solo cups, bowls, and plates of food. The scene as well as the character are easy to relate to and the situation easily feels familiar.

0:05-0:06: The young man smiles at the man who was barbecuing as they end their conversation. He goes to take another drink from his red solo cup before abruptly stopping halfway to his mouth. He looks down into the cup and his mood instantly changes from joyous to contemplative. The young man seems to contemplate whether or not he should be drinking the rest of what he is drink. His change in mood stands out among the other people in the background who are all laughing and having a good time.

0:07-0:08: The scene switches again to another Caucasian young man at a tailgate. It is hard to distinguish exactly where he is since the background is blurred however, he is sitting on the tailgate of a white truck and is dressed casually in an orange and white long sleeve shirt and jeans. The man is friendly with the people around him making it easy to assume they are all friends tailgating before a sports game. They also are all supporting the same team because they are all wearing some form of blue and orange. It is impossible to determine exactly what kind of sporting event they are tailgating for. The main character of this scene is holding a light blue disposable cup. He is speaking to a woman who has her back towards us, and she is leaning on a folding table. The table is filled with beer bottles, chips in a bowl, sliced watermelon on a plate and empty cups. Given the amount of beer and liquor bottles it is assumed that the disposable cups are also holding some sort of alcohol. There is another woman to the left of the screen who is smiling and at the women the main guy is talking to, and she is also holding a plastic cup. To the right of the screen behind another table holding beer bottles and paper towels are a man and a woman animatedly talking to each other. This looks like a typical American tailgate and instantly makes me think of college kids tailgating before a football game.

0:09-0:10: The scene switches back to the first African American man at the bar. The camera is now much closer to him, and we have a better view of the bar itself. You can now see there are empty glasses on the bar. You can also see his drink much clearer; it is about halfway full with a black stirring stick in it. He looks concerned as he digs around in the front pocket of his jeans looking for something. He is still holding the drink from before, but it does not look like he has taken a sip of it.

0:11-0:13: The scene flips back to the barbecue and the camera is now very close and right in front of the young man. Everyone else is blurred out which instantly draws your attention to him and what he is doing. behind him you can see a blurred man playing frisbee and you can clearly see a beer bottle on the stone wall further showing that people are drinking at this barbeque. The young man is looking down and he reaches into his jean pocket. He pulls out what looks to be his car keys and holds them in the open palm of his hand. He looks down at them and looks concerned. He is likely deciding if he would be able to drive after he has been drinking and is wondering how he will get home. The camera continues to zoom in slowly.

0:14: The scene then changes back to the tailgate party. The camera is now at a different angle and closer so that you can only see the young man sitting on the tailgate. Someone off camera throws a set of car keys at the man and he catches them with one hand while he holds his drink with the other. You can now prominently see an open cooler of beer behind him in the bed of the truck. He looks at the keys with a concerned look on his face. As he flips the keys in his hands it seems like he is strongly considering whether or not he should be driving.

0:15-0:17: The scene is back in the bar where the young African American man is still looking at his keys. We can no longer see if he is holding a drink. He closes his hand around the keys and lets his arm drop to his side as he looks up. He is looking slightly to the right of the camera and looks as if he has made a decision. Given the slightly perplexed look on his face it seems he has made the decision not to drive and now has to find a way home.

0:18-0:19: The scene switches again to the barbecue where we are now solely focused on the young man. We are significantly closer to him now and can only see the top half of him. The background is blurred. He is looking towards the left of the camera and smiles. It is clear that he is proud of himself and the decision that he just made to not drive home after drinking at the barbecue.

0:20: The scene switches back to the bar but the camera angle is now from behind the right shoulder of the young man looking down. He has his right hand held out and open with his car keys in the palm of his hand. You can see the lock and unlock button on the key fob. This angle clearly gives the audience the ability to see that these keys are indeed car keys and starts to confirm what this video is about. In the same second the camera angle changes to the side of the young man, and you can clearly see him pocket his keys. It is assumed that he makes the decision not to drive home from the bar that night.

0:21: The scene switches to a navy-blue backpack on a bench. The background indicates that we are back at the barbecue. You can see the young man’s hand as he too decides not to drive home after drinking and is seen putting the keys in the side of his bag. Also, in this second the scene changes to a close up of the man at the tailgate. He makes the decision not to drive after drinking and is seen tossing the keys back to the person off screen. He has a resolute expression on his face.

0:22: The young man from the tailgate party is seen getting in the back seat of a black SUV. The SUV has its window rolled down so we can still see the man. The car is most likely a friend that he had called to pick him up or some sort of ride share such as uber.

0:23-0:26: As the man buckles himself in the words “Plan Ahead. Catch A Sober Ride.” come up across the screen. The words are in a bolded print and are white. They are also in all caps. It insinuates that when you are going somewhere you plan to drink you should make sure you have somebody who will be sober and able to drive you home safely. It makes you think that all three men did not originally plan to get a ride however they all made the right decision in the end and found a ride home.

0:27-0:30: The man is still buckling himself in, but the words change to “Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving”. The words are in all caps and are a bold white across the screen. The words confirm that the three men had to think when they were making the decision not to drive because they were not drunk, they were simply buzzed. The man sits back after buckling himself in and has a satisfied smiles on his face. He speaks to someone off screen in the front of the car. In the end I think the character and places as well as the situations the characters found themselves in were chosen specifically because they are easy to relate to. I think the three young men where specifically chosen because buzzed driving is a bigger problem in young college aged men. This situation seems like it could be common and makes it easy to understand and take the message of not driving buzzed to heart. Using characters that are easily relatable also helps show that this situation could happen to anyone.

This entry was posted in Portfolio Sunflower, Sunflower, Visual Rewrite. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Visual Rewrite – Sunflower

  1. sunflower0311 says:

    I really would like feedback specifically on the rhetoric portion of this assignment. I am not sure if I did the best on that, and I would like to know where I should add more or how I can fix it.


  2. davidbdale says:

    The difference between the Visual and the Rhetorical halves of the assignment, Sunflower, is that we can accurately describe what we’re seeing, but we HAVE TO GUESS about WHY the directors made the choices they made.

    Fortunately, our brains help us in both assignments. It recognizes people, objects, and settings in enough detail for us to tell our readers WHAT WE SEE. And it’s ALWAYS DRAWING JUDGMENTS from what it sees, based on context. Whatever our brains GUESS about WHY the filmmakers are using a visual is what we want to communicate in the Rhetoric portion of the assignment.

    0:01: The commercial opens up in a dark room with soft lighting.

    Big room or small? Empty or full of furniture and fixtures? Any indication of day or night? Occupied or not occupied. Soft lighting like a fireplace in the corner, or like muted Christmas light strings, or like several small lamps or sconces? A generally comforting atmosphere, or dark with danger and menace?

    The camera is focused on and slowly moving towards a young African American man casually dressed in a flannel and white shirt.

    Every character, whatever their other purposes, is cast for their age, body type, race, gender, social status, and attractiveness. You’ve identified age, race, perhaps social status. You haven’t mentioned others. Is the subject here by himself? Are there others nearby? Is he with them? Is he alone by choice? Does he have a wingman offscreen? Is he waiting for friends? Did he come straight from work, or change in between? Does he work? At what? Does he want to go home alone? Would he prefer a woman or a man to take home?

    He is turning away from a bar with a drink in his hand.

    A drink is vague. Is it a bottle of beer? A glass? A rocks glass with rocks and liquor? A mixed drink with a straw? A red Solo cup? What’s in it? Is it his first? Any indication it will be his last? Of course you can’t BE SURE. You’re being given hints. What do the hints tell you?

    Behind him a bartender is blurred and there are multiple liquor bottles behind the bartender.

    Upscale place or neighborhood dive or something in between? If it’s in-between, the TYPE of bar might not be important. If it’s pricey-looking or cheap-beer looking, the TYPE of bar might be very significant.

    In front of the African American man are two other blurred men having a conversation with each other, they each have a drink in their hand as well.

    Are the blurred men also African-American? Does our Subject interact with them? Deliberately avoid them? Try but fail to connect? And, does the isolation from others I’m sensing here happen deliberately or accidentally? (Answer: Nothing is accidental in these videos. That’s the rule.) Are we supposed to think of this character as social, anti-social, socially awkward, lonely and hopeful, or is the only important relationship him and his “drink”?

    I think this character and place were chosen to relate to what people tend to do on a Friday or Saturday night.

    Sure, but for various reasons. There will be a MESSAGE to any visual narrative that shows up on your device. Will this one be about people’s interactions with one another or their interactions with their drinks? Your GUESS can’t be WRONG unless the filmmakers completely FAILED YOU. They try to put thoughts in your head; your job is to communicate to us what thoughts you had.

    Many people have the same experience as this man and spend time at a bar to have fun.

    Yes, they do, and that could easily be the case with your Subject. Is that the primary impression you’re given by the first second or two?

    Is that helpful, Sunflower? Please Reply, and put your work back into Feedback Please following substantial improvements. You’ll need to enhance your work throughout, not just the first second, to justify further feedback. Hope to hear from you.


  3. sunflower0311 says:

    I believe I have made substantial improvements to this piece and would like a regrade.


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