Visual Rewrite: Blue
0:00-0:01: In the first second, the screen fades in from black to reveal a night in shining armor. The armor has some elements of chainmail and metal, and it reflects the golden sunlight. We are viewing him from the front, but the knight’s helmet completely covers his face. All we can see is the eye slit that is filled with darkness. A horse’s ears and fur are visible in the bottom right of the screen and it can be inferred that the knight is on horseback.
In the background’s immediate vicinity, there are dirt and white poles that have been stained brown from either rust or mud. It looks a lot like a very normal place where horses are kept to graze. In the distant background, there are many trees. However, these trees are not bright green as would be expected, but rather a yellowish-brown or light green. You can also see in the background brilliant orange and yellow mountains that are reminiscent of the grand canyon, and a bright blue clear sky with almost no clouds. This video was likely filmed in Arizona or New Mexico.
0:02-0:03: An instant transition changes the view to a different knight. The viewer is able to notice that this is a different knight because the markings on the helmet and the eye slits are shaped differently. There is also a much better view of the knight’s horse, which is wearing golden battle armor. In this one-second frame, the knight raises something up, but it moves too fast for the viewer to visualize it at this moment in time. The background is relatively similar, except the mountains that were in view in the last frame are not in view in this frame. Because of this, it can be inferred that the two knights are facing one another. There are also power lines in the background, which can be shown that this was not supposed to be an exact historical reenactment of medieval warfare. It is not a festival or anything similar as their is no audience. The only two people included in this video are the jousters themselves.
0:04-0:06: The camera changes view and shows the torso of the second knight, from a side angle. It shows the chainmail that covers his joints and reveals that with one hand, he holds the horse’s lead. On the other hand, he wields a very large metal sword. There is also a modern-looking house that is sort of visible, but otherwise, the same brownish trees and dirt from before dominate the background. This knight secures his grip on his sword and readies himself for what is to come.
0:07-0:08: The camera cuts to the ground with the horse kicking up dirt with its hoof. There is a dust cloud that forms because of this. This action is commonly seen when someone or an animal is getting ready to run.
0:09-0:10: There are very fast cuts between each of the knight’s helmets, with a front-facing view. The feeling that this gives is quite tense like something is about to happen. Both knights are at the ready and seem to oppose each other.
0:11-0:12: There is a quick cut to a top-down view of the first knight. There are some new details revealed about the first knight’s clothing, as it is accented by a dark blue. The horse’s lead is blue, and the helmet’s straps and the knight’s underclothing are blue. The second knight’s armor is accented by gold as seen before. However, this knight is holding a modern cellphone with a touch screen. He is texting with the contact “Princess,” and they are sending sappy love messages in old English. It is clear that the blue rider will be distracted during whatever is to come. From what can be seen, the blue rider does not have a sword, but rather a phone.
0:12: There is a quick cut to show the bottom of the gold rider’s horse. It is draped in a black and gold cloth, very similar to the flashy armor and outfits that jousters would typically wear. This is when the viewer will make the assumption that this is indeed a jousting match, and with prior information, will assume that the blue jouster is texting while riding the horse and will not be paying proper attention to what is in front of him.
0:13-0:14: There are quick cuts to show that each of the jousters has begun riding forwards toward each other on their horses. We can also see a similar cloth that was shown previously on the second jouster, on the first one as well. This one is striped in blue and white. There is adequate information to understand at this point that there are two jousters, one that is colored blue and white and another that is colored in black and gold.
0:15-0:16: There is a wide view of both horses in the frame going toward each other at a very fast pace.
0:17-0:19: There are very rapid cuts between each horse and its rider. The black and gold jouster is prepared, alert, sword raised, and at the ready. The blue and white rider is completely distracted, looking at his phone. Then there is a cut to black. Even though it is not shown, it is very easy to infer who won this joust, the black and gold rider.
0:20-End: The screen cuts to black after the joust ends, with bright white text that reads “Don’t Text and Ride.” Then, the word “drive” comes down from the top and replaces the word “Ride.” Then the video cuts again and shows new text that says “It’s joust not worth it.”
The viewer relates this to their own experience while doing an everyday activity that can be just as dangerous as jousting: driving. The director of the video wants the viewer to take after the black and gold knight, alert and at the ready, rather than the unprepared and distracted blue knight. In jousting, losing means horrible injury or death, so the jouster must always be ready. Driving can also result in injury or death if you are distracted driving, just as the jouster was, which is how the two are related to one another.
Source “It’s Joust Not Worth It” – Ad Council
There’s a lot of detail here, blue:
What’s missing is any indication of why the creator of this piece might have made these specific choices. Is she trying to trick the viewer into thinking this is a bit of historical footage depicting an actual knight? Or can we tell immediately (how can we tell?) that this is a contemporary piece of video? You declare that it was shot in the American West, but what’s a knight doing in Arizona? Is this a Medieval Festival? Are we about to be treated to silly reenactments for a cheering crowd? As discussed often in class, we immediately start to form judgments from the first second of video, and a good director takes advantage of our prejudices. So what’s the rhetorical value of what you’re seeing? Continue to respond to that question with every new time-stamped segment.