- What is yourinquiry question? What initially drew you to this question? Did your question stay the same, or did it change overtime? Why?
This year for ZIP, I researched the impact of visual aids on the connotations of text. I am choosing to research this concept because I am very passionate about videography and have enjoyed filming skits and music videos since I was a kid. I rarely have time to create videos, so I am extremely motivated to pursue this project as it gives me a reason to film and edit. Although my end goal remained the same throughout my project, I was introduced to many new aspects of my question through my research. As I began looking for information about my project, I found that there is very little accessible information about how visual aid impacts the connotations of text. As a result, I was forced to research many topics surrounding my question and then later synthesize it to infer the answer to my inquiry question. This made my question a little bit more focused on the psychology behind visual perception and later in my research I focused on the strategies that cinematographers use to manipulate their audience’s emotions.
- What skillshave you expanded on / learned during the inquiry process? How are these skills applicable to your success as a student?
After completing my research, I feel as though I have a solid grasp on the ways that cinematographers invoke emotions in their viewers by changing a variety of different variables. I have researched the ways that colours, lighting, scenery and architecture, human natural instincts, post-production editing, and the distance and angle of camera impact the way that viewers feel when they watch a video. Having a solid idea of how these concepts interact and work together was crucial in understanding how to use visual aids to manipulate the connotations of text. I have also practiced my filming and editing skills throughout this presentation and have learned how to overlay text onto videos. Learning the way that different colours and scenery impact viewers’ emotions is helpful in many different contexts. In marketing, for example, it is crucial to understand how to manipulate people’s emotions through portraying specific tones through advertisements and product/packaging design. These skills are also important in graphic novel design, where you need to use characters and scenery to portray certain emotions and influence how the reader perceives the text. These skills are also crucial for screenwriting and directing films. Additionally, learning how lighting and scenery impact human emotion and perception is important for photography or any form of art (drawing, painting, sculpting, etc.). Furthermore, learning about human natural instincts and natural mirroring can be important while studying certain areas of psychology. Last, learning how to properly film and edit short videos could be useful in various settings, such as presenting a project.
- What did you learn about /what is your answer to this inquiry question? Remember to be specific and provide direct evidence from your research.
Here are some pictures of my notes:
Throughout this project I researched how cinematographers, architects, and psychologists have learned to manipulate people’s emotions. After conducting my research I have found that is involves changing a variety of different variables: colours, lighting, setting, post-production editing, distance, and angles.
I learned that contrasting colours are associated with boldness and chaos whereas groups of similar colours are said to be harmonious and pleasant. Red can symbolize both aggression and love. Orange can represent warmth and transformation. Additionally, in Confucianism orange is seen as a colour that represents transformation. Bright yellow can indicate happiness and relaxation or jealousy and betrayal, whereas muted yellow can show danger or judgement. Green overtones could represent dreariness or lifelessness, but green objects and scenery means new beginnings and life. Blue tends to represent faithfulness, loyalty, and childlike wonder. Purple can indicate both ambiguity or extravagance and royalty. Pink portrays innocence or childlike romance, and lastly magenta shows romantic love and passion.
I learned that the hardness or softness of light also impacts mood. An example of hard lighting would be shadows cast on a sunny day with sharp, defined angles. An example of soft lighting is shadows on a cloudy day with blurred and undefined lines. Hard lighting sets a more intense mood, whereas soft lighting is more calming and tranquil. I learned that more light creates more intensity and that backlight instills drama. I found that the use of silhouettes creates a much darker and dramatic mood that tends to have sad or negative connotations. Last, I learned that blue light is more energetic whereas natural light creates a happier feeling.
I learned that natural settings such as forests decreases stress. Additionally, filming calm or slowly moving water can create a feeling of calmness, whereas wavy or stormy water instills tension and stress. I also learned that certain types of buildings can create certain emotions. For example, libraries tend to be a serious space that create an aura of dignity and respect. Studies have shown that complex and interesting buildings create positive feelings whereas simple and monotonous buildings tend to create more negative feelings. Additionally, buildings with high ceilings lead to creative thinking whereas buildings with low ceilings lead to focused and critical thinking.
I learned that post-production editing can significantly impact the way viewers feel when watching a film. For example, short and choppy clips create a suspenseful and uneasy atmosphere whereas long, smooth clips are calming and serene. Furthermore, close-up shots of the subject of the film convey heightened emotions. Wide shots establish the space and scenery that a subject is in and gives context to the scene. If a subject starts far away and moves closer to the camera or vice versa it can expose their inner emotions, wants, and fears.
I also learned that camerawork significantly impacts the mood portrayed in films. For example, low angle shots make the subject seem towering, sinister, or empowered. On the other hand, high angled shots make the subject seem weak or vulnerable. Shaky camerawork creates an unsettling realistic tone, such as in The Blaire With Project. If the camera zooms into the subject’s space, it makes the viewer feel as though they are entering into the subject’s mind frame. That being said, if the camera zooms in quickly, it can be quite jarring for the audience. If the camera zooms out from a subject, the viewer may sense the subject’s vulnerability, or they may see how big the subject’s obstacle is. Last, if the camera tilts mid-shot it creates an other-worldly or dizzy feelings.
I also learned about human genetics and how people’s natural instincts help them relate to subjects in films. One concept I learned about is called the mirror effect, which is when humans naturally mimic the people they see or interact with because our brain thinks its right to mime the visual input we see. This means that when an actor smiles, we smile, or when an actor shows sadness, we feel sad. It also extends into the idea that when an object flies towards the screen, we duck automatically.
- In what ways does your final learning artefact demonstrate your learning / answer to your inquiry question? How does it connect to your chosen curricular competencies? Consider listing your competencies and including images, links, or excerpts from your work to demonstrate this.
In order to demonstrate my learning, I have created three short films made up of video clips that I chose to create a specific tone. I have played a poem or passage from a piece of literature over each video. Here is a copy of my video planning work:
My goal was to use my findings to portray how the tone of the visuals impacts how the viewer perceives the meaning of the text. This relates to my three curricular competencies in many ways:
- Access information for diverse purposes and from a variety of sources to inform writing:
- As mentioned above, I had to use a variety of different sources with a variety of different purposes to synthesis all the information I needed to complete my final learning artifact.
- Recognize and appreciate how different forms, formats, structures, and features of texts enhance and shape meaning and impact:
- My final learning artifact is demonstrating how different colours, lightings, scenery, and styles of cinematography enhance and shape the meaning and impact of text
- Use writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create engaging and meaningful texts for a variety of purposes and audiences
- I will present my research and the work from my planning process with my final learning artifact to show that I planned and designed each video with a specific purpose to portray a certain emotion.
- Whatresourcesdid you find useful during your inquiry and why were they useful? (Cite at least four resources you consulted, with links, and write a brief 50-100 response as to was important to your learning).
Impact of colours on emotions:
This website was incredibly helpful when researching how colours can be used to manipulate the tone of a film. It used multiple examples from a variety of films, and explained how colours can have very different meanings depending on the context of the film.
Impact of lighting on emotions:
The video and article posted on this website where incredible helpful in learning how the colour, quality, contrast, and direction of light impact the emotions portrayed in film. It also provides specific examples of how to adjust the lighting in a video to make viewers feel certain emotions.
Impact of scenery on emotions:
This article uses evidence from a variety of different studies to show how different styles of architecture impact people’s moods. It includes quotes from many different psychologists and architects who are studying the different aspects of architecture and how they affect mood.
Impact of camerawork on emotions:
This website was extremely useful when researching how different angles of filming impact the emotional connotations of text. It also explained how zooming in and out of subject will change the way a viewer relates to a character and judges their emotions.
Psychology behind visual perception:
This website delves into several different theories about how people register visual information. The theories explained are very interesting, and are written about in a way that is very understandable for people with limited background in psychology.
- What new questions do you have about your inquiry? What motivates you or excites you about these questions?
Throughout this project, my research has been solely based on answering smaller inquiry questions to gather information that will consolidate to create a solid foundation that I can use to create inferences that will allow me to answer my final inquiry question. As a result, I have thought of many new questions. For example, I wonder the addition of different sensory experiences, such as audio, would impact the connotations of text further? Another reason why I have considered many new questions is because in creating my videos I must ensure that the only variable that is changing is the video playing behind the text. This has forced me to consider many different aspects of presentation that may also impact the meaning of words, such as the size, font, and colour of text. I have always been interested in both cinematography and psychology so all of the questions that arise through my research are very interesting to me. I may use these questions in future research assignments if the opportunity arises.