My research within this project has taught me that although facial expressions allow a character to connect with its audience on a basic level, the use of other techniques such as body language, clothing and the position of the audience or camera portrays more complex and deeper emotion unto it’s audience, as I have reflected in previous blogs. I have discovered through this research that facial expression is by no means the only important feature of a portrait but facial it is important nonetheless in telling a story. The brief for my One Minute Portrait states that I cannot use any music or titles, this means that the way in which I use my face amongst other techniques to express meaning without any shortcuts is vital.
Why do we connect with people through facial expressions?
Psychology studies have suggested that 99% of communication is nonverbal, so even in silent room we are constantly receiving messages through body movement and even often subconsciously. What we sense as we interact with others will dictate how we feel ourselves, and thus determines our behaviour toward the other person and in a film context the way we feel and empathise with them.
It is human nature to form to interpret what we see and often the way a gesture or movement is described reminds them of how they used a similar one themselves when experiencing an emotion. ‘This ‘shared experience’ is what powers up that empathy link between the reader and the character. Add this to emotion-rich dialogue, and, if the POV allows, snippets of the character’s thoughts and internal sensations (visceral reactions), and we can convey a powerful emotional moment!’
Ackerman,A. (2012). Character Emotion. Available: http://writetodone.com/character-emotion-written-all-over-their-face/. Last accessed 5th Oct 2013.