How did reading that feel? What did you think was happening?
Chances are good that the above passage did not give you warm fuzzy feelings. Chances are also good that you may have felt confused and frightened. But to what degree did you feel these things? Reading the above passage may have given you a passing idea of what it feels like to lose all sense of self and slowly turn into the walking undead, but it probably didn’t fully immerse you nor did it give you the best understanding of this process…not like a visual story does.
“Too Late” is the story of one man and his short two minute journey into the depths of zombification, but with a slight, darkly humorous twist. Before you get freaked out by the very thought of witnessing a first-person account of changing into a zombie, remember this: it’s just make-believe. Everything you see is made possible through Hollywood special effects. So go ahead, give it a shot. Then check out my critique below using Jason Ohler’s assessment traits.
|Economy||Was the information presented through the story sifted, prioritized and told without bird walking or detours, as described in Part III?||The story takes off right away with a sense of urgency and mystery as we see a young man running frantically. It isn’t for long that we realize he is running home to treat a mysterious wound. The story progresses quickly with his physical appearance transforming over a series of choppy imagery. Instantly we see that this is a story of zombification. The mystery of the story reappears once the answering machine audio turns on, and we begin to wonder more about this man who has changed into a zombie. Within seconds, our previous perspective gets flipped upside down once we realize he’s no zombie, he’s just dressed in zombie makeup. Each scene of this story has been carefully selected and crafted to confuse, intrigue, and frighten the viewer. The flow of these scenes is presented choppily in order to keep the story moving at a rapid pace – the same pace that matches the frantic mood of our subject. The climax of the story ends in the same flurry of confusion, intrigue, and fright until the resolution of the story finally dawns on the viewer. The story never stops to answer questions for very long, but in this strategy succeeds in prioritizing scenes in the story to make it cohesive and understandable. 10/10|
|Execution||Student used images to creatively tell the story behind the words. Student uses his or her natural speaking voice, as well as music (optional) and effects (optional) to support (without taking away from) the meaning of his or her story.||The images in this story are unique in this story in that they show what appears to be a first-person perspective into zombie transformation. As previously stated, the flurry of imagery matches the frantic tone of the story helping the viewer to understand the desperation of the subject. The sound effects of the dripping sink, fast footsteps, and the subject’s desperate sighs help to solidify this same sense of urgency. On top of all of that is a layer of electrical, buzzing music that heightens the tension of the entire story until the exaggerated break at the climactic moment. During the great reveal of the story, the answering machine voice helps to reset the tone of the whole story, providing us with the much needed context of this story. 10/10|
|Content understanding||How well did the student meet the academic goals of the assignment and convey an understanding of the material addressed?||For all of the same reasons mentioned, the story meets the goal of effectively communicating what zombification is like. The creators demonstrate a solid understanding of how to make their viewers feel the full effects of this transformation through unsetting imagery and sounds. At the same time, the creators demonstrate that the viewers are in need of much needed relief from the intensity and horror of these gruesome scenes by bringing some comedic relief at the end. 10/10|
The traits that I selected for this critique were based on the fact that this story relies heavily on imagery, sound effects, and choppy storytelling to build the much needed tension in this story. The above traits hep to analyze these particular storytelling elements and their effect on this tale.
This is the first digital story that I have reviewed that I don’t believe needs any modifications. The imagery, sound effects, and story all come together to communicate the perfect amount of tension, mystery, and humor. At the same time we are also provided with enough context through each scene to keep the viewer moving forward, asking questions, and getting their questions answered. Overall this is a 10/10 story as a result.