“Silent Hill” Documentary and the Instructional Design

by megantaylor05

“Footage from the real Silent Hill” by Garrett Rhodes is an amateur short documentary film that is attempting to inform viewers about the town of Centralia, PA and the mine fires that wrecked the area. This film piqued my interest in Silent Hill and made me want to do some more research on the topic. 

I feel that although the filmmaker was wanting to inform the viewer of the subject, there was not a clear objective of what the narrator was trying to get across. There was not a defined structure, which I found to hinder my ability to follow the video. I began watching the video with no prior knowledge of Silent Hill and after watching it I still am not sure I understand the events. 

If it had been more explicitly planned and designed, the filmmaker could have included more foundational information about the town and what caused the destruction of the mines, why this event was so catastrophic, and how the fires continue to destroy the town. I also found some technical issues that could have alleviated to result in a better instructional design. Blurry images, loud background music, and static interference prevented me from hearing the narrator and clearly seeing the film. 

The filmmakers were not necessarily setting out to make instructional resource and therefore would explain their shortfalls. However, despite not planning the instructional design before they have still created multimedia instruction that achieves teaching the viewer limited/basic information about Centralia, PA and Silent Hill. I found this to be a good example of how instructional design is important to develop in the beginning and how following what we know about good instructional design can increase the designs effectiveness.