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Nice and Easy

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Published on May 24, 2008

A video that I created for my A-Level art exam project.

Theme: 'Transitions'
Song: Soldier's Poem - Muse
Exam Time: 12 hours
Editing Software: Final Cut Studio Pro

(Please click 'watch in high quality' [beneath 'Views'] to watch!)

The video is projected in the final piece alongside a second video projection of five pieces of fruit rotting, which can be found under the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsYzSU...

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The exam piece, centred around the theme of 'Transitions', takes its inspiration from the short movie Evolution, produced by Ogilvy & Mather as part of the 'Campaign For Beauty' by cosmetics giant, Dove. Whilst the concept has been extracted, the style and motion of this video is vastly different from that of Dove's.

The project combines two entirely separate transitions: time-lapsed rotting fruit, and a stylized video of an ordinary woman being transformed into a beautiful model for a cosmetics company. These two seemingly bizarre transitions present a stark contrast of 'synthetic' transition against 'organic' transition, and highlight the differences between each. As the fruit both rots and then replenishes, the viewer is left with an ambiguous interpretation as to how this parallels the video. On the one hand, the time-reversed clip of the natural decayed mess blossoming into plush, unblemished fruit parallels the face in the video by becoming falsely beautified and idealized. The fruit itself is, indeed, artificially enhanced by supermarkets who attempt to give an ideal image to their products with the use of synthetic pesticides and preservatives. On the other hand, the rotting of the fruit marks a deterioration of reality, a decay of moral values and honesty, and is representational of what occurs behind the ideal process of making-up models used as portrayals of 'ideal' beauty. The words of the song, which state "there's no justice in the world", reflect this view. The entire video shows how the 'ideal' beauty is not ideal by self-infliction, due to its artificiality.

The title, 'Nice and Easy', the hair company supposedly being advertised for in the video, holds the implication that beauty on the face of advertising is both effortless and pleasant. The content of the video contradicts its own title as it displays how the beauty is actually backed by an extensive procedure of transformation by make-up as well as digital editing. The smooth, transitional style of the video, with gentle fades, seamless transitions between clips and a smooth backing track, exemplifies the fluidity of the transition. The style is both surreal, as the entire process seems beyond reality, and serene, as an ironic backdrop to the horrible truth of the beauty industry. The final scene comments on how universal this truth is, as the individual face finally becomes part of an anonymous 'ideal' lost in a sea of other similar package fronts. The piece also questions the reality of this ideal image, as the final face is so different from the original after such an elaborate transition.

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