I was at gym the other day and a L’Oreal Men advertisement on TV. I couldn’t hear the audio but I was intrigued with the visuals in terms of how it was framed and edited.
The advertisement aims to tell the audience going for sporty activities like boxing, football and stunt motor biking can result in tired skin. It’s message is further emphasized with videos of Gerald Butler on his bike, and catching a football, but filmed from a low angle, to give the impression of such strength involved in the sports. Furthermore, Gerald is filmed boxing towards the camera, towards the audience, and not against someone else to have a stronger visual effect. The advertisement then presents the product which is said to help skin fatigue when coping with such active lifestyle such as Gerald’s.
There are plenty of shallow depth of field close up and extreme close up shots of Gerald to make their stand as a promotion for a skin product. Gerald is filmed close up against a pitch background so audience only pay attention to his face.
I’m particularly amazed with the editing effects found at 0.18 secs onwards whereby we see snippets of Gerald Butler from different angles when playing poker to driving his car off to his lover, intercut with dissolving black screen. This editing effect gives the impression of a fast movement spatially and timely.
This editing effect brings about the idea of ‘Accelerated Montage’ which I learnt in Histories of Film Theory.
Accelerated montage is defined as the “illusion of the steadily increasing speed of a locomotive without actually using any images of speed… simply by a multiplicity of shots of ever-decreasing length.” (Bazin 1997) The black screen dissolve at 0.18sec onwards in the video is made faster over time and is then contrasted and brought to a slow speed at 0.23sec with an extreme close of Gerald’s face, giving audience (or at least myself) the feeling of awe. The frame then turns to black and white, escalating the atmosphere even further. (makes me want to go out to the store and get the product, for the question is, for who?)
Bazin, Andre 1997, “The Evolution of the Language of Cinema”, Peter Lehman (ed.), Defining Cinema, (p.59-72), RMIT Learning Hub.