“If you slide a person into an fMRI machine that watches the brain while the brain watches a story, you’ll find something interesting–the brain doesn’t look like a spectator, it looks more like a participant in the action.
When Clint Eastwood is angry on screen, the viewers’ brains look angry too; when the scene is sad, the viewers’ brains also look sad. That’s why our hearts race when the hero of a story is cornered–why we weep over the fate of a pretend pet like Old Yeller.”
Author of The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human
Psychologist Raymond Mar at York University recently published his analysis of 86 fMRI studies in the Annual Review of Psychology. His work concluded that:
Tasked with deciphering data, only the language parts of our brain are activated. When data is woven into a meaningful story, other parts of the brain become activated as well.
The neural networks that decipher stories overlap with the networks that interpret live interactions.
When listening to a personal story, the audience experiences the action at brain level and grows synchronized with the storyteller’s emotions.
Much as computer simulations can help us to come to grips with complex logic problems, narratives offer unique opportunities to cultivate empathy.
According to researched complied by 3M, the corporation behind Post-it Notes, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text, which means you can paint a picture for your audience much faster with an actual picture.
Since 65% of people are visual learners according to the Social Science Research Network, one of the best ways to drive a message home is through visual content.
A study on Visual, Audio, and Kinesthetic Effects on Memory Retention and Recall by Udomon, Xiong, Berns, Best, and Vike (2013) revealed that retention and recall of information is significantly improved when two or more senses are engaged in learning the information. Information presented in both audio and visual formats is more likely to be retained than information presented either way alone.
WHAT SOCIAL SCIENCE TELLS US
“The mere fact of being represented by a lawyer, for the poor and disadvantaged, is not a means to equitable outcomes.”
Author of Privilege and Punishment: How Race and Class Matters in Criminal Courts.
Stanford University sociologist, and CP board member, Professor Matthew Clair describes how disadvantaged persons, predisposed to distrusting the legal system, often attempt to advocate for themselves. A contentions client-attorney relationship ensues.
For the disadvantaged, the relationship with their attorney “often results in coercion, silencing, and punishment.” Eventually the defendant resists representation or completely withdraws from the attorney. The withdrawal further deepens their disadvantaged position.
“Inequities are… not lodged in people, races, or genders but in the relationships between people and between status categories”
Sociologist Professor: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
At Complete Picture the defendant takes a central role in shaping their film story.
Our crew of previously incarcerated filmmakers never try to silence the defendant or disregard their feelings of hopelessness and rage. Their initial mistrust is quickly
replaced by tears of gratitude and hope.