161mc – Recommended Viewing – Pong

Pong is about a ping pong ball that comes to life. It seems to have been abandoned by his human friends so he escapes and tries to be free. He escapes into a garden and finds a friend called Slinkee who also seems like an abandoned toy. They both become friends and start to play together until it starts to rain. The message of the film is “Storm clouds curtain the fun but the final message is that love in adversity is still better than loneliness.”

The film starts off with the sound of a ping pong ball bouncing with no visuals as the screen is black. I assumed the next scene would be of people playing ping pong but I was wrong. 10 seconds into the film, the title card appears revealing the title of the film. The next scene fades in showing an angry ping pong ball surrounded by old toy cars. Pong makes a dash for it, his angry face shows its concentration and determination to leave the house. As there is no dialogue in this film it depends on the music to create the atmosphere of the film which it does very well. For example, Pong is escaping so the music gets intense which creates a sense of excitement and adventure as the music is very rhythmic. The background music was created by tapping on a wooden stool but it sounds like table tennis equipment being used to create the music which matches the character of the film.

When Pong successfully leaves the house the music lightens which portrays that things are now calm and he is free. Pong wonders around the garden and finds another abandoned toy which he becomes friends with. They travel together around the garden and start playing games until it starts to rain which angers pong.
All the sounds of Pong bouncing and Slinkee were edited in during post-production. The sound of Slinkee was foley sound which was created by tying four forks, hanging them from a string and rattling them. Foley sound is the reproduction of sounds created by using everyday objects and added to the film or video during post-production.

I enjoyed this film as it showed a simple story through minimal camera work and editing. This is one of the reasons why I think this film is successful. There were no special effects as this film was “partly inspired by Christopher Nolan’s dislike of computer generated imagery”. Even though it was simple, it carried a meaningful message “without actors and with no budget”. The film also has Toy Story vibes as the toys come alive and are always scared that Andy will abandon them. I think it is a successful film as it is somewhat nostalgic as it makes us think about our childhood, our friendships and more.

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