Sound, what does it mean to you?
As a film and video producer, not to mention a bedroom musician with a decent vinyl collection, sound means everything to me so the question drew me in. I wondered what the video had to tell me about sound that perhaps I didn’t know. I also found the opening image intriguing, the question was about sound but the scene was a visual artist’s studio, what’s the connection?
The connection is the character, an artist suffering from hearing loss, which, if you give it a moment’s thought is a fascinating choice of subject. Most people making a film about hearing loss would immediately select a character whose hearing is essential to their job but as a visual artist, how important can his hearing be to him? The artist explains that it’s the beauty of sound that inspires him and to illustrate this the director has used a shot of paint dancing on a speaker, which is wonderful.
Next up is the subtle reveal of his hearing aid and how it stops him from missing out, tapping into a key fear of millennials known as FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out. That’s the other interesting this about this hearing aid film, it appears not to be aimed at old people but younger people who may not even have considered their hearing yet, but should.
Midway through the pace of the film increases and each scene showcases a different scenario where sound plays an essential role; from enjoying music on the street to hearing the bell on the bus when it reaches your stop; mixing the artful with the everyday, and showing rather than telling the audience how important sound is to our wellbeing.
The hearing aid is beautifully designed and connects to your smartphone and yet the film does not list off the features in exhaustive detail but gives the merest glimpse of the innovation and technology contained within. This film knows its objective and that is to raise awareness and push audiences down the funnel towards interest, where they can find out more about the product if they wish. It takes a brave and restrained marketer not to try and force every feature into the film and pick out keywords on screen (amongst other, awful, corporate video cliches).
The film is really nicely shot and the D.O.P has a real eye for architecture. The director knows when to ramp up the emotion with a well-chosen close-up and went to let the scene be, striking just the right tone – not too mawkish, not too clinical. There is a tendency in Southeast Asia to try and wring every bit of emotion out of every frame but that can come across as manipulative, they did a great job to avoid that temptation here.