[Week 8]

It appears, relevantly, that the topic of this video-essay can drag the attention of a big group of audience. Even if one do not know about video-essay and do not usually spend time to watch Youtube video, one can easily be attracted by this theme, since Pixar films are well-known emotionally touching. I “evaluate” this choice as smart but yet risky, since the author can easily get negative comments if he does not satisfy audience.

Familiar with video-essays and Pixar’s film, I think I might have harsh opinions, since the first time I saw this video was a year ago, and I was totally impressed. This time, I do not feel the same way. Overall, I think he did a pretty good job on the second half of the video, but not on the first half.

I agree that, in the beginning, he tried to make viewers doubt their assumptions about music in films, and he did it. It just appears that his “way” of doing it did not meet my expectations. He used a high, funny voice tone, with funny images to keep people up-beat and enjoy his video, since, I think, he fully acknowledge that some people might find his first part boring (which talks about music knowledge in general).  His methodology did keep me on track with his work until the very end. However, I did find his introduction too long and boring (maybe because I cannot understand some symbolic images that he used and I find his joke was not funny – which are totally subjective reasons). It was also discomfort following his voice-over and his text on screen at the same time: he did not do it in every frame, but once he did it, I could not concentrate on neither of them.

The second half, on the other hand, impressed me. I might also be a subjective comment, since I am in love with Pixar’s movies (but I did try my best to objectively criticize his video-essay). He chose two films to explain for his arguments: Monster Inc. and Up – which is a good strategy, especially Up – considered by many people as the saddest American animation that they have ever seen. In each film, he picked up the saddest scene and its music, then analyze the impact of the last one, also how it was used through the whole movie, how it connected with other scenes. He did a detailed analysis which deeply argued for his hypothesis. His text-on-screen, this time, surprisingly worked: even if they also appear with his voice-over, the texts themselves are short enough, and are on-screen long enough to not bother audience’s attention. He also used interviewed documentary of Up‘s makers as an example for his statement – which is, in my opinion, a strong argument.

In the end, he criticizes the lack of music in the saddest part of Big Hero 6 and try to state his argument by putting Nemo’s music on. Ideology, I do not agree with him, but I am impressed by his methodology, which, in social science, is called “method of agreement” (I believe it is, please tell me if you do not agree).  He also surprised viewers by not showing the whole scene to avoid audience’s boredom (but he did put in URL link for people who want to see the whole scene).

Overall, maybe Sideways did not do a really good graphic effects for his video-essay, but I believe that he did have a smart strategy with good argument methodologies.