Picnic: An Allegory

Picnic: An Allegory

“Picnic” was filmed 60 years ago in the Bowery in New York City, by Al Brok and Jon Laitin. It is an allegory, about the oppressors and the oppressed. A family has a little picnic. However, instead of using a picnic table, they have their picnic on top of a guy who is just lying on the ground. He is a victim of the upper class; the family doesn’t even notice the guy lying on the ground.

The video starts out with a happy-go-lucky theme during the introduction and credits. The mood changes abruptly when you see a bum lying on a park bench, with a lazy theme accompanied by tubular bells.

Next you see a family enjoying a picnic, accompanied by a couple of upbeat melodies. Note that at first, you only see the upper halves of their bodies. Then the camera shows the lower halves, along with the bum lying on the ground, as the melody goes sour. When the camera focuses on the bum while the family eats chips from his chest, as a bassoon plays the melody.

The husband gives his wife a flower, as the music plays an uplifting melody in the flute. This is interrupted by a couple of sudden BANGs! when the bum is shown in close-ups. Then the bum is shown against a chain-link fence, as he struggles in agony. The music abruptly changes to a tortured theme, to reflect his angst.

An upbeat family scene follows, and as the family leaves the scene the music becomes sad. The close-up of the bum, lying on the ground is accompanied by whining string section. The next scene shows a slum in the Bowery, as a trumpet plays a stringent melody, followed by a scene where the bum is stuck on the chain-link fence. As the camera moves in and out, the music’s pitch curves up and down in synchrony.

I used a number of instrument libraries; Aaron Venture’s Infinite Woodwinds (for flute, clarinet, alto sax, bassoon and bass clarinet) and Infinite Brass (for trumpet, horn, tuba and bass trombone). I used Sonuscore’s The Orchestra Complete 3 for a couple of the ostinatos, the marimba, tubular bell, and small percussion instruments. I used George Strezov’s Afflatus Strings for several string patches. Also, I used the Arkhis library from Native Instruments, for a few of the background textures.


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