A fellow multimedia shooter recently addressed the ethics of using music in video and multimedia stories. One question was, if music “evoke emotion that isn’t already there?” Does the use of music manipulate the viewer?
I’d like to hear feedback on this. In my book, yes music does manipulate the viewer. As does framing, lighting, cropping, choice of shots, choice of sound, pacing, etc. The same applies to writing. I think the reader is manipulated with choice of words, composition, what we choose to emphasize, and so on. I would argue that effective storytelling depends on manipulating the viewer, nudging the viewer in a certain direction. How much we do depends on the kind of story. Tools of creative manipulation are used less in news stories than documentary and feature pieces, for example.
Thoughts? Check out this example of Rwanda genocide victims, produced by Media Storm.