0:01. The video starts with a middle-aged woman outside in cloudy weather. The serious expression and cloudy weather are suggesting maybe something serious or gloomy. Though the main focus is the woman since the background is out of focus while the woman is in perfect focus, being able to see every shadow and wrinkle in her apparel. So the focus on the woman is possibly hinting that she is going to give a message. The expression on her face is as though she is pondering something. Her head is tilted down a little bit looking towards the left.
The video has the woman’s name and occupation in the text. Her name is Teresa Barber and she was a U.S. Navy Military Intelligence. I’m assuming she isn’t in the Navy anymore because she is outdoors doing an activity. If she were still in the navy, then she would probably be at the base or in her uniform. Even so, maybe her attire is to lean away from the fact that she is not just part of the military. Even her hair and makeup look presentable suggesting that she has a healthy lifestyle.
Another thing about her appearance is that she has a tattoo on her left arm towards the top of her wrist. The tattoo looks kind of like a line on a heart-beat monitor that goes up and down. The tattoo is possibly being shown on purpose because she is wearing a long sleeve button-up shirt and has that sleeve rolled up. This could relate to what the video is about or to the fact that she is just outside fishing and doesn’t want to get her sleeves wet. It’s hard to tell because I can only see from her sternum and up. Her other arm is not visible below the shoulder.
The clothes she is wearing are good quality and it seems as though she is going hunting or fishing. She is wearing some kind of overalls so I’m assuming they are waders for fishing. This pushes the idea that she is not with the military anymore or that the military has less importance in her purpose for being in the video.
0:02-0:05. The next few seconds show a picture of a woman posing in a military uniform carrying an assault rifle that is pointed towards the ground. The woman is most likely Barber when she was younger because they introduced her as part of the U.S. Navy military.
In the picture, Barber is posing by herself in the middle of this construction site or some kind of electrical plant. The ground she is standing on is all dirt and rock, and there are concrete structures behind her to the right. To her left is machinery that is fenced in with barbed wire.
The fact that she is by herself posing on the job is suggesting that she is not under any threat, and her job might have been to guard the area that she is posted in. Her uniform is not dirty which can indicate that she hasn’t seen any action which helps support the idea that she is posted in an area.
The expression on her face is a casual look. It doesn’t look happy or sad. Makes it seem like it was just another day at work.
0:06. The video transitions back to the place where Barber was in the beginning. This time she is sitting on a rock next to a river or lake. The river is out of focus behind Barber while she is front and center on a rock with fishing gear. It is clear that she is wearing waders and has other fishing tools. We can see her other arm which also has the sleeve rolled up a little bit showing the apple watch on her left wrist.
In the background are just a thick tree line on the other side of the river and a mountain further behind the tree line suggesting no sign of human civilization nearby. So it emphasizes the fact that she is alone and by herself.
During this time Barber is talking about something. It is not something that is funny because there is no indication of a smile or happiness.
0:07-0:09. Now the video switches to a picture of Barber in her U.S. Navy uniform. It suggests that it is her because of the similarities in the face and the last name badge on her uniform indicating that her last name is Barber.
It is most likely when she was younger and first got into the Navy. The picture is like those pictures people take when they graduate from college. She has her hands on her hips and a smile on her face.
0:10. Now the video transitions back to the more current time, and shows a pair of hands unlocking a small black box. The hands are assumed to be Barbers because of the apple watch on the left wrist. The action happening in this second is just the turning of a key unlocking the black case.
0:11-0:12. Then the video changes perspective to the right side of Barber’s hands unlocking the box to reveal a pistol. This is indicating that the point of the gun has great relevance to the main objective of the video. We can assume this because of the disconnect between fishing and the gun in the back of the car. The pace at which she opens the case is very nonchalant. It is slow and controlled which supports the focus on the gun.
Along with the introduction of the gun is the ammo clip that she is now holding in her left hand as she opens the box with both hands. The ammo clip in her hand suggests that she is going to use the gun which leaves the audience wondering what she is going to use the gun for. The fact that she is alone in the wilderness opening a gun case with no urgency could only suggest self-harm. There is no reason to shoot the fish so it does not leave much to the imagination of the gun’s purpose.
0:13-0:15. The camera is back to filming Barber in front of the water. We can assume she is still sitting on the rock from earlier. The background is very similar, and her shoulders are in a relaxed position like the sitting position from before.
This time the camera angle is showing her from the chest up and has the background out of focus so it is focusing on what Barber is talking about in these few seconds. The producer isn’t using outside forces to hint at anything.
0:16-0:17. In this second the video goes to Barber hooking a fish a little bit out of the water. It is a close-up of the fish and the video is slowed down a bit showing the movement of the fish as it splashes as it is caught. The slow pace approach of the fish being caught is trying to add to the tone of the video as a whole. So we can assume that the video is serious or gloomy, not upbeat and energetic.
0:18. The video transitions back to the same positioning in the sixth second of the video with her sitting on the rock. This second of her saying something doesn’t add much to the information that has been already displayed. Now it is just focusing on her message. That her message is her story whether it be about her experience in life or her connection with the military.
0:19. The video zooms in on Barber’s face and she is looking down at something to the right of the screen. She looks like she is thinking about something. She is wearing the fishing hat from earlier, so she can be looking at two important factors that have been shown. She can be looking at either the fish or the gun.
The expression on her face really speaks of sadness. The main facial features that are visible are her eyes, eyebrows, cheek, and nose. Her eyes have no light shining in them and the eyebrows and cheeks indicate that she is not smiling or frowning. The producer is pushing the fact that she is thinking about something serious.
0:20-0:21. The video then switches to Barber taking the hook out of a fish while still in the water. The transition supposes that she was looking down at the fish and not the gun because the fish is to the right of her head in this frame.
0:22. The video switches back to Barber sitting on the rock again as she is talking. Obviously going back to the repetitive idea that the video is her message and her point of view.
0:23-0:24. Now the video reverts back to the trunk of the SUV where Barber’s hands opened the gun case. Her hands are now closing the case slowly and the ammo clip that was in her hand while opening the case is now set aside and the gun is clearly seen as the case is closed.
The case is closed with the ammo set aside suggesting that the gun was not used and that Barber has changed her mind about the reason for opening the case in the first place.
0:25-0:26. The video finally reverts back to Barber sitting on the rock again as she finishes her message. The last images of her are of her talking while sitting down, so it suggests that the actions performed in the video are rather secondary in importance to what she was talking about.
0:27-0:30. The last few seconds of the video are just a black background with the words “Service Never Stops.” are slowly faded into existence with the website EndFamilyFire.org.
This suggests that Barber was doing something just as important as serving in the military to get the same recognition as the “Service” that is associated with serving the country.
The website’s name suggests that the Barber’s story/message has something to do with her family. Because if the video is telling a story and the website is connected to this story then the message that is clear in the title of the website should relate to Barber’s story. So from the title, we can assume that Barber had a problem that occurred in her family. This helps shed light on the reason behind the gloomy mood of the video.
Post-Listening Analysis: The beginning of the video connects the visuals with Barber’s voice. We know it’s her because it is s a voice-over that talks in first-person. She introduced herself as her name is placed on the screen. As she goes on to say that she served in the United States Navy the image instantly switches to the image where she is in her uniform with a gun. With the image still in view, Barber continues to say that she served overseas in Africa. Then as the picture switches to Barber sitting on the rock, we finally know why she is always talking to the camera on the rock. The whole time Barber is talking is during the time at which she is being filmed sitting on the rock.
The next step taken in the audio is the introduction of the reason behind the gun. As the video shows Barber opening the gun case, her voiceover talks of her Navy Commander training her in suicide prevention techniques. She continues to say that the day after the commander gave the training, he committed suicide. But the audio provides suspense as it switches to Barber talking on the rock to put emphasis on Barber describing this experience in person. From here, Barber gives a statistic stating ninety percent of suicide attempts involving a gun are fatal, and says that we don’t know what is going on in someone’s head.
Finally, we reach the main purpose of the video, when Barber says, “Store your guns securely, help stop suicide.” And as she is saying this we can see her hands closing the gun case and locking it.
The reason that the producer had Barber talking on the rock was to move back and forth between images to always move back to Barber talking when saying key words like “he took his own life” and “help stop suicide.” The director does this to make things more personal with the audience.
Did the visuals enhance the audio: The introduction of Barber is clear. The images clearly show that she was in the military and such and that the picture of her when she was younger connected to the story of the message. The main message of keeping guns stored safely is not easily portrayed without the audio. There are only two images of the gun and without the audio, the audience is left wondering what the gun is for and why it is being brought out and put away with no other context. The constant switching to Barber talking on the rock does point to the video talking about her story and it is her telling a message. The images of her fishing don’t really help the viewer distinguish what the video is about. Though the slow-motion bits here and there and the cloudy sky did help think of more of a gloomy atmosphere with did match up with the true intentions of the video. I think the focus of visuals on Baber takes away from the gun being kept stored safely. The audio most definitely enhances the visuals and not the other way around because without the specific words that are lined up with the pictures as Baber speaks, the viewer is a little lost when it comes to why the gun is in the video.
I was wondering if I should separate the analysis from the descriptions. I don’t really know if they are good together. Also would like assistance in condensing or omitting certain information because I feel like its not condensed enough.
Before I begin reading, I’m of the opinion that the Visual and the Rhetorical Analyses can be done simultaneously with one caution: We don’t always know the full Rhetorical impact of the creator’s choices until we’ve seen the entire video so sometimes you’ll create additional work for yourself (useful work, but extra) to analyze the impact DURING viewing and AFTER viewing.
Now that I’ve read your analysis and viewed the video (with sound!) I see how difficult this particular selection must have been for you, Mocha. The effectiveness of the video depends heavily on the narrative, which you could only guess at.
You’ve done beautiful work, but it can’t be considered complete in this case until you now complete your analysis with a comparison study.
Judging from the quality of your work on this part, there’s a A waiting for you when you’ve listened to the audio and revised your analysis (either second-by-second if you prefer or all in a block at the end) with a discussion of how well or poorly the audio enhances the video and the video enhances the audio. They’re not necessarily successful at both, these ads. It’s up to you to evaluate yours convincingly.
I’m going to withhold your grade completely until you’ve made that big revision. Put this post back into Feedback Please when you finish.
I appreciate the feedback and I will try and revise it and repost
I added the post-listening analysis and was wondering if you could grade it.
Thoughtful and thorough. I agree the video enhances the audio, but the story is certainly lost without hearing the voiceover. I’ve heard the radio version, and it works fine without the visuals.
Always eligible for revisions and a regrade.