As I worked on this visual essay, I first outlined the sections of my argument and message to fit the five minute time limit. I thought about it similar to an essay or article–then visualized each section to create a kind of flow and build a narrative arc.
I’ve found myself caught up in seeking happiness, and buying into the notion that there is a “right” way to be living life with the way things have been represented in media. Through all I’ve read and researched, I’ve learned a lot about what happiness really is and what truly makes life meaningful.
Our obsession for happiness is what drove this piece, and I definitely wanted to take on a more visually poetic approach–keeping the voice-overs more minimal and letting the footage speak for itself. I found that I also focused a lot on the mood/tone being influenced by sound design and the music. I wanted to create a more cinematic undertone, and use music as an ambient tool to color the mood of the visual essay without overpowering the message itself.
Overall, I sought to provoke others to redefine what makes life meaningful and what happiness really means. With a more minimal approach, I felt less voice-overs with quotes fit the idea of “less is more”–and the visuals allowed my audience to create their own meaning with how I’ve presented my message. The more poetic visual arc helped in also conveying the more contemplative, philosophical, and solemn topic of how we can make the best with our lives while orchestrating a cohesive narrative.