afaqs!

Viral Now: The subtle signs

By Raushni Bhagia , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | November 08, 2013
The five-minute spectacular visualisation of the journey between childhood and old age has attracted more than 17 lakh views on YouTube.

Watching this video could give one goose-bumps! But hey, this isn't a horror video; neither does it show any supernatural or telekinetic act. Named 'Danielle', it depicts how slowly and imperceptibly old age approaches, thereby progressing to death. Made by New York-based video and photo editor Anthony Cerniello, the video maintains a single frame with a girl's (and later a woman's) face.

The Danielle video

Cerniello was quoted in a few international publications as saying that living through the September 11 attacks forced people to think how thin the gap between life and death is. He said, "This was my way of working through the anxiety."

The video shrinks the aging process to within five minutes. The spectacular visualisation of the distance between childhood and old-age has attracted over 17 lakh views. It has an abstract, nearly spooky, music playing in the background, composed by a friend, Mark Reveley.

It starts with the smiling face of a small girl (Danielle) against a white backdrop. As the video progresses, subtle changes appear in the face, making her look older every second. The video captures the changes in the face through maturity up to her old age, all presented in an understated, almost imperceptible manner. It ends with a graceful aged face that sports a smile of satisfaction.

The different female faces featured in the video are from the same family. Danielle is actually a friend of Cerniello (the creator of the video). When he attended a family reunion of Danielle along with a still photographer, Keith Sirchio, he clicked pictures of Danielle's sisters, cousins, nieces and other female relatives. Later, the two photographers, along with animators Nathan Meier and Edmund Earle, studied the bone structures to decide the sequence of the pictures. The morphed video that converts a small girl into a 60-year old woman was made in a span of four days.

(Viral Now is a section about videos that are catching people's fancy on social media).

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