Digital Story Critique: Walks of Life

Continuing my story suggestions from social media, a friend of mine sent me a very strange two minute long video. There are a couple in the series of Showtime short stories, and as far as I found, they are all quite odd. This one, titled Walks of Life, shows an abridged version of evolution as told through hands and fingers.

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When I read the description, I thought it would be shadow puppets or the like, instead what I witnessed was two minutes of strange body horror in the shape of a short story. The story has no lines to it, just a playful soundtrack and a constantly walking and evolving subject created almost entirely from fingers. It goes through being a very single celled animal, to evolving tiny legs, then larger ones that allowed it go to on land, to dinosaurs and eventually to man. The subject of the story reminded me a lot of something kind of cheesy and a little terrifying that I would find in a goosebumps novel.

For the critique, I chose Sense of Audience, Originality, and Media.

Sense of Audience. Showtime is for the most part, a paid service that shows premium content such as large box office movies or self produced shows that draw rather large audiences. If I was going to their site to watch something like Mission Impossible or Casino Royale, I would be a little put off by these shorts. They are short, definitely, but strange and such a different direction than many other Showtime properties. The Showtime Shorts often lead many of their movie showings, and I can tell from looking at the list of them, that they’re all this strange and weird. Maybe it was Showtime’s goal to be quirky and strange, but it doesn’t work for me.

Originality. I can say that the odd body horror of watching evolution through a series of animated thumbs is certainly original and not what I expected to be seeing when I checked my inbox. I have seen a lot of evolution through artistic interpretations, but the thumbs is a new one.

Media. I chose this because some props should be given to the short through its animation. The seamless transitions and artistic approaches to depicting dinosaurs and humans was inspired. You can definitely tell what animal they are portraying and it looks pretty good doing it.

Overall, I definitely think someone at Showtime had a very strange artistic need that they needed to be filled, and they certainly got it.

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