By Ethan Marshall
This non-broadcast video on CNN’s website examines how a border wall between the US and Mexico can be built, using special effects and animations to help the viewer better understand the information being provided to them by correspondent Jason Carroll.
The sequencing, edits, shot composition, and sound are combined throughout this video in order to maintain the viewers’ interest and make it easy for them to understand what’s being told to them.
The video usually uses wide and extreme wide shots of the Carroll talking to the viewer so that the body of water separating the US and Mexico can be seen by the viewers. Using a shot of that includes the body of water as a border rather than a fence makes the viewer realize that Trump’s wall wouldn’t just be running along the middle of nowhere. There are natural obstacles that need to be taken into account in building the wall too.
The editing of the video includes animations showing where the wall would go through, how a strong and stable wall can be made, and the cost of the wall. By providing a visual aid, the viewer is able to better understand what is being discussed than if the shots consisted only of Carroll standing in front of the body of water.
The composition of the shot of Carroll standing in front of the border helps to make the viewers realize just how much distance there is separating the US from Mexico in that area. While Carroll states that the body of water only separates the US from Mexico by 100 miles, the extreme wide shot makes Carroll look dwarfed by the natural border behind him.
The loud volume in which Carroll speaks to the viewer throughout the video keeps the viewer drawn into his voice. Carroll’s voice isn’t annoying enough to push potential viewers away, nor is it monotone enough to bore viewers. He is able to sound as though he is intrigued by the details he is providing to the viewers.
In my opinion, this video is able to be successful for, among other reasons, the smart and creative ways the sequencing, edits, shot composition, and sound is used. One of the main points Carroll is trying to make to the viewer is that while it is possible in theory for the wall to be built, it would be a long and arduous process for it to be done. Carroll finishes the video with a humorous stat about how much the wall would cost: nothing, because Mexico is going to pay for it. It’s a way of him saying how ridiculous this idea is in the first place.