Project Nim Analysis

Powerful Essays
He sees them coming and backs away until the cold metal bars, scrap against his back. He begins to scream. He notices his mother’s grip begin to weaken. He is grabbed and carried away. “He” is referring to Nim, a chimpanzee who has been just been taken from his mother, Carolyn. Nim was removed from his mother for a research project led by Professor Herbe Terrace. This project featured a radical experiment aimed to teach a chimpanzee sign language. Although, the documentary Project Nim (2011), directed by James Marsh, has an objective to present the progress and results of this experiment, it also carries a purpose to inform the viewer on a message regarding the components of and differences between communication and language. Marsh uses specific…show more content…
One of these strategies includes the use of fast and choppy transitions. Specifically, Marsh uses L and J cuts as transitions between clips of the reenactments, actual footage and interviews. Remaining true to the definition of L and J cuts, He maintains the audio of the interviews throughout the entire scene therefore, the viewer either continues to hear audio of the interview, even though the visual as transitioned to a clip of the reenactment or actual footage of the attack, which is considered the L cut or vice versa. These transitions help to intensify scene that results in the viewer being more engaged which allows for their emotions to be provoked. These emotions support Marsh’s use of pathos as they are an effective tool to portray his message. Another visual strategy Marsh uses are the different camera shots which, he captures the interviews and reenactments in to establish pathos. For example, the interviews of Flatz consist of close-up shots. Marsh uses this type of shot as it to focuses the viewer’s on attention only on her and more importantly, the zoom of the camera emphasizes her facial expressions (43:34 - 43:37). This emphasis allows the viewer to see and take note of her deep feelings on the incident. Likewise, Marsh uses a zoomed in shot for the reenactments. However, these shots are considered to be…show more content…
He dims both the key and background lights in order to create a poor lit scene which reflects an overall gloomy tone. This scene needs requires a gloomy tone to properly empathize the incident being described as it regards a scary situation. Lastly, the final notable film technique Marsh uses in this scene regards his decision to emphasize certain sounds within the interview. Even though that there is nondiegetic music playing throughout the scene, this paper will only analysis Marsh’s amplification of the sound in Flatz’s interview at the moment she attempts to recreate the sounds Nim was making after the attack. These sounds consisted of Nim pounding on his chest to say sorry and whimpering at the same time. The viewer knows that the signal is a sign of sorry as large white letters come across the sign to caption it (43:34). This caption has a correlation to the message as a caption can be related to a symbol of signal language. Marsh’s decision to use a caption instead of a narration, exposes the viewer to information that a signal symbol lacks the ability to express feelings. This information plays a key role in the development of the message. In addition, a significant factor of the diegetic sounds that Flatz was attempting to recreate the ambient sounds made by Nim. This recreation of the ambient sound also helps place the viewer in the scene which, results in more emotions being
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