“My Name Is Earn” – 360 Video By Compassion Australia
In this post I will be discussing a 360 video “My name is Earn” by Compassion Australia which uses empathy to portray an idea and analyse how they have done this.
I will also be discussing how the video relates to narrative with references, along with how this piece has personally affected me.
The post will conclude with my own analysis and thoughts of the text and how my results may be useful in the future
This VR / 360 video was primarily designed as a Virtual Reality Experience. The goal of the experience is to immerse you in Earn’s word and see the hardship she faced without help. The experience is shaped to provide an emphatic response, to make the user feel as if they really need to help other children like Earn.
The piece has done this primarily through the style in which this media has been produced, allowing it to be very factual and realistic plus showing this true story as it really is. The 360 immersion adds a sense of trust to the content because you can ideally see behind the scenes and come to your own conclusion about its realism.
The use of colour grading, background audio and the voice over help guide and shape the experience through the emotional highs and lows.
* 360 Video, Watch in full screen
The Book Communication, Cultural and MediaStudies by Hartley, J.2004 states that “Narrative is continuous story” and that the “Plot tends to move between an opening equilibrium that is
disrupted, precipitating the action that goes through the usual tribulations, towards a new or restored equilibrium.” Earns plot follows this same structure.”
The piece uses a property stereotype to define earn, this is used to express her hardship in her day to day life. It also highlights cultural differences between Taiwanese living conditions and our own.
The narrative takes us on a guided journey through Earns life experiences, these include her having to work to support her family at a very young age for next to no money. Her shack style living conditions, and how her experiences change when the compassion project enters her life.
Definition of Narrative – (Communication, Cultural and Media Studies by Hartley, J. 2004 )
Narrative is continuous story. It has two facets. The first is the chain or
plot. Plot tends to move between an opening equilibrium that is
disrupted, precipitating the action that goes through the usual
tribulations, towards a new or restored equilibrium. Or, as the old
Three-Act Play had it: Act One: Get a man up a tree; Act Two: Throw
stones at him; Act Three: Get him down again. The second facet of
narrative involves choice or presentation – the way the story is realised
or told. It is this facet, and the devices and surprises chosen in it, that
are often the focus of textual analysis.
Narratives are understood to reveal the work of ideology and
discourse in both plot and presentation; chain and choice. In the
former, narrative is driven by a series of questions and answers in the
movement between opening and closing equilibrium. Which
character or discourse underpins these questions is often referred to
as the point of view that leads to a preferred reading of the text. The
resolution of these questions will often involve putting forward
dominant cultural beliefs.
In the presentation of a narrative, what types of individuals are
chosen as heroes, victims, villains or innocents may reproduce
common cultural assumptions about such individuals. Accusations of
stereotypes arise in analysis of narrative presentation, especially in
relation to raced or gendered characters. It is narrative’s use of shared
cultural assumptions that leads to the suggestion that all narratives are
Narrative analysis is applicable to more than traditional film
practices. It is a central function in photographic images and print
advertising, where the reader of an image is invited to make sense of
what happened before the image was captured and what will happen
Narrative is also applicable to non-fictional genres such as television
news. In a similar way to soap operas, news does not explicitly begin
with a stable situation, but rather assumes there has been one. The
nightly news broadcast can be thought of as presenting the ongoing
disruptions to this presumed equilibrium through the representation of
question and answers. Like other narratives the techniques used in
television news are ‘meaningful because they are conventional rather
than natural’ (Taylor and Willis, 1999: 67). Attention to the narratives
of news reporting reveals that they negotiate cultural values and beliefs
in a way that is directly comparable to fictional narrative.
See also: Discourse, Genre, Myth, Representation, Structuralism
Further reading: Bordwell and Thompson (2001)
Online PDF Link
This video has affected my views in the sense that it opened my eyes to the other side of Thailand. Mainstream media generally portrays Thailand as a beautiful tourist destination.
This video was the first video I have seen in regards to the poverty and the living conditions that are present in some areas of their country.
The world they live in is very different to our own, we would generally never see this level of poverty here in Australia due to its strong established economy and government assistance which are available to all citizens. Through this Experience you soon realise that even a small amount of contribution can go a long way to helping out the kids in need.
My thoughts on this video are that it makes great use of invoking an empathetic response in the audience. The use of dramatic scenes throughout the project definitely portray the empathy that the producer desired.
The conclusion to the piece is also nicely portrayed, as the end defines a hero style characteristic in regards to the Compassion Project saved this poor girl and gave her back the life every child deserves.
This is achieved through the combination of narrative, plot, colour corrections, the increase in colour vibrancy over time and the Thai voice over.
All of these help change the feel of the video and portray the intended experience.
This video is a strong representation of how empathy can be used to influence someones point of view on a topic. It contains a lot of thought striking content which makes the viewer hopefully see things in a different way.
The experience is shaped by the narrative, plot, using dull grungy colours and a voice over which the general population would assimilate to a nice, genuine, grateful, young person in need.
Using the same techniques it would be possible to recreate a similar experience.