1 Word = 1000 Pictures.

I thought I read that wrong but it perfectly sums up the brief for this next project.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Why can’t a word be worth a thousand pictures? The physical world is where we often begin when determining the meaning of words.

Each student was assigned a word, a prompt, that can be interpreted in many ways. It’s up to us how we want to portray said word visually with no audio and typography. Oh and it should also be in a black and white monochromatic square video format that’s 33.3 seconds long.

Easy, right?

Considering this is my first time working with a software I’ve never opened (Premiere Pro) prior to this class, it’s safe to assume that I was extremely nervous about the final output. However, like most adobe softwares, it only looks intimidating and was fairly easy to maneuver.

My word: REPEAT

Like most projects, in the initial stages I have far too many ideas and not enough words in my vocabulary to express those ideas. “Repeat” has so many interpretations and I knew I didn’t want the final video to be too literal. My process started out by researching the definition and synonyms of my prompt.

Repetition, rerun, copy etc. were synonyms that helped guide me to think of moments we all experience that can be classified as repetitive. This led me to think about our routines and how those actions are repeated on a daily basis. Next step, storyboarding.

Storyboard (left), Screenshot of stills (right)

The idea behind this was to document a morning routine that was relatable without being too specific. After the first round of feedback, some of the clips felt like they were headed in the right direction but a few felt a bit too forced. Another thing to consider was the pacing of the video. So far, it seemed monotonous with no element of intrigue.

I had to consider what was the message I was trying to convey. Showing a routine with a few clips appeared too surface-level and I wanted my video to have a deeper meaning. I was getting carried away with trying to match-cut the clips that I was starting to lose the cohesive nature altogether.

What was my interpretation of a routine? What could I add that would give the video it’s element of surprise yet still fit the framework of my prompt?

After many MANY more discussions and feedback from my professor and peers, I came to the conclusion that post-COVID, everyone’s routine has been drastically altered. There has been one particular activity we all follow that stood out to me the most as a repetitive action.

Incorporating that action within my video allows the overall message to still be a documentation of a routine, which was our “normal”, but can now be considered the latest addition to our norm…

The New Normal.

MFA Graphic Design Student at Boston University