The Manipulation To Form A Negative Opinion Of SeaWorld In Blackfish

While Cowperthwaite influences her audience's perspectives to form a negative opinion of SeaWorld. Manipulating techniques Cowperthwaite used such as animations, pathos and bias interviews. What a manipulative technique.

Throughout the documentary, Gabriela has used a number of animations in the documentary in order to fulfil the visual needs of the audience when the actual video is not available or appropriate. The image below illustrates the specific use of animation in the documentary. Sketches, especially in courtroom scenes, represent SeaWorld Head Trainer Kelly Clarke testifying at an OSHA trial. With the using of text and by not showing the actual details of her face, Cowperthwaite creates a character that is vindictive and uncaring around the trainer causing the audience to take a negative view of her. The graphics that use text help enhance the words that are spoken to the audience in the narrative; placing things in black and white text is an effective way of affirming the viewer's opinion.

The filmmaker disappeared the head of Kelly to manipulate us through not showing the truth.

Research has shown that we receive 80% of our information through our eyes and 20% through our ears. Also 80% of our emotional responses are triggered by sound and only 20% by vision. Throughout Blackfish, the filmmaker has successfully used pathos to support her strongest arguments. The audience was hooked by the emotion of drama. Using so many strong representations of emotional experiences that it really helped the audience feel what the trainers experienced. An example of using pathos is when Catina had her baby removed and Carol Ray, the former trainer informed her 'Catina is usually not a vocal whale but she was held on the corner of the pond shaking, shouting and screaming after Calina was taken away.' This allows the viewer to think of when they have their baby taken from them; when they are put in a similar condition, the audience can really feel that discomfort. Therefore, Gabriela has successfully used this technique to manipulate us the gullible audience.

Apparently, the filmmaker used another manipulation technique which is the use of audio. There's a lot of text and audio used in this film. While they use cinematography to tell the storey, they do use a variety of audio from real-phone calls and interviews to make the narrative understandable to the viewer. For the audience this is very insightful and creates excitement for the viewer. This makes it clearer and more comprehensible for the viewer to understand what the picture or video means when the voiceover is adding, and I feel that it is actually used effectively. The viewer instinctively feels linked to the storyline as they realise that what they hear is a real conversation from a real phone call taken on the night of the tragedy that continues into the narrative. Hearing anyone who calls the police and emergency services instantly at the beginning of the film catches the viewer and makes them want to continue looking. The audience assumes what will happen next. In interviews, the text is implicitly used to explain who each person is, allowing the audience to see clearly who the subjects are. This allows them the opportunity to understand why they are interviewed and allows them more suspicion about why they speak about SeaWorld

Blackfish was one example of media and documentaries that manipulated its audience for the sake of money. However, the list of manipulative media sources can go on and on, especially with the spread of media uses in our today’s world.

07 July 2022
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