Don’t Text and Drive [TM]
There’s a video that’s going viral that I saw today. It’s apparently a British public service announcement that has been used in schools in the U.K. to warn against the dangers of texting while driving.
Now, let me say up front that texting while driving is obviously stupid. I’ve done it on the rare occasion (although in as safe a manner as is possible, if there’s such a thing), but you clearly shoudn’t do it. Obviously, it increases your chances of getting in a crash.
This video demonstrates the point with a worst-case scenario (WCS) depicting a violent crash caused by teen texting. More after the video.
Okay. My opinion: This video is an example of being so excessive that the message is perhaps lost. From a technical standpoint, this video is well done. Nice production values and editing on a surely limited budget. But in terms of its message, it’s way too melodramatic, extreme, stylized, and sensational. The wreck itself is so spectacularly over-the-top that instead of cringing, I found myself thinking “Awesome!” and chuckling at the insane level of catastrophe. That second impact, where the girl looks up just in time to see the car coming at her? Come on. I’m no longer watching a PSA; I’m watching Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. At one point you actually hear one girl’s neck snap. I guess what I’m saying is that this crash should not be nearly this entertaining.
Then there’s the prolonged screams by the surviving teen driver. Melo. Drama. And the shot of the baby’s lifeless eyes: Now we’ve jumped the shark. I see what they were going for here, but this video is so extreme in its WCS that it becomes self-defeating and, indeed, self-parody.
I dunno; maybe I’m a heartless cynic. But I remember what it was like to be a teenager who sees everything in terms of irony. A video like this (the first minute, for sure) is more likely to prompt laughs from the it-won’t-happen-to-me crowd than it is likely to instill fear.
And how about that crash? Awesome!
Update: Apparently the four-minute viral version is only a segment of a full 30-minute short film. Perhaps in the context of 30 minutes, this crash-and-aftermath sequence might benefit from context.