ASMR edit

The concept of / ASMR is a phenomenon that first rose to popularity early in the 2010s when a young woman named Jennifer Allen coined the term after describing a sensation or feeling she received during childhood while “watching a puppet show” or “being read a bedtime story.” The feeling also relates to a tingling sensation one might receive when fingernails gently scratch or brush against the skin. The term “ASMR” stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. The experience of ASMR has been described as paresthetic, euphoric, and synthetic concerning auditory and tactile sensations. Thousands of ASMR channels exist on social media platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitch, and others. These channels exist to promote the experience and enjoyment of ASMR by performing a wide assortment of triggers designed to help audiences immerse completely into ASMR. The immersive process is done through creative storytelling, the usage of a variety of props, effort in the overall production quality, and performing various triggers that give “tingles.”

Triggers edit

These tingling triggers include but aren’t limited to: Whispering Soft speaking Breathing Mouth sounds Tapping Acrylic nail tapping Pen clicking Button pressing Typing on a keyboard Mundane tasks: reading a book, making tea, eating, making food, writing, etc. Personal attention Hair playing, washing, cutting, styling Applying makeup Washing one’s face Rainfall sounds Crinkly sounds: paper, foil, cloth, etc. Hand movements and sounds

Film edit

The concept of cinema, or / Film, has been around since the 1890s. Film is also an immersive experience that includes setting, storytelling, props, and production factors. This can be traced back to the utilization of cinema aesthetics. Cinema aesthetics are the way a movie's audiovisual elements—including its "look"—are utilized to produce fundamentally non-narrative aspects of the movie. When sensorium is thrown into the mix, this encapsulates the realm of cinema aesthetics dealing with sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch, all things that ASMR-related content focuses heavily on. ASMR and film content are two vastly different concepts, incomparable even. Film is ultimately a moving display of art, story, and character development, whereas ASMR is a feeling or a sensation mainly promoted by videos or live streams on the internet. However, this isn’t to say that these concepts can’t represent the other. ASMR roleplay videos typically mimic how a film displays character development and uses the said character for the audience to follow through the story’s exposition. ASMR videos also use visual media as well as audio to immerse their viewers in the content being displayed. Film, on the other hand, uses certain sound effects, music scores, and voices that immerse the audience in a way that can potentially lead to them experiencing the ASMR sensation that the internet obsesses over.

ASMR Scenes edit

ASMR-familiar audiences have reported that certain scenes from movies contain sounds and displays that trigger ASMR in their brains and give them the same sensations that ASMR videos do. For example, in the scene in / Edward Scissorhands (Burton, 1990) where the character Peg is doing Edward’s makeup, people reported that the soft-spoken dialogue said by Peg, along with the mixing and application sounds of makeup, gave them ASMR. In the movie / Get Out (Peele, 2017), people said that in the scene where Missy and Chris are speaking before Chris undergoes hypnosis, the light stirring and clinking of the spoon in the teacup along with the soft rainfall outside provide an ASMR experience as well, even though the circumstance is unsettling. Other small scenes have been recognized for giving ASMR to some, including the toast-crunching scene in / Nacho Libre (Hess, 2006), the soft voices of Miss Honey in / Matilda (DeVito, 1996) and Miss Patricia in / Split (Shyamalan, 2016), and the keyboard typing sounds in / Pretty in Pink (Deutch, 1986).

Whole ASMR Films edit

Other people have credited entire films with being ASMR experiences. Films including / 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968), / The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011), and / Phantom Thread (Thomas Anderson, 2017) have all been described as being ASMR experiences throughout their entire sequences. Many people find it easy to fall asleep to 2001: A Space Odyssey. While this could be because some find it boring, it’s most likely due to the fact the the film is entrancing and immersive. The robot Hal’s voice menacingly soothes through the entire film, intimidating while also relaxing. The Tree of Life has multiple picturesque nature scenes throughout the film, aesthetically and visually pleasing. Phantom Thread includes plenty of seamstressing scenes, stitching and measuring clothing, lots of personal attention scenes with tingly sounds.

This analysis of ASMR triggers and experiences being scattered among different films poses the question of whether or not the filmmakers knew they were putting triggers in their films. The term “ASMR” has only been around for a little over a decade, so surely the filmmakers didn’t know they were creating ASMR content. However, the crisp and distinct sounds, the soft voices, the serene settings, etc. were specifically included by the filmmakers in their films. Did they intentionally put theses scenes and sounds in these films to provide the audience with the entrancing sensation, or did they do it on accident and audiences took the sensation and created a community out of it?

References edit