Video Essay Production:
Writing with Audiovisual Materials
Digital technologies have opened the way for film scholars to “write” engaging essays using the very images and sounds that structure the film(s) and media they study. Videographic criticism, known as the “video essay,” refers to the process of re-editing and re-mixing film images and sounds as a means for analysis and critique of cinema and media texts. The video essay format enables a closer study of cinema within its own audiovisual, temporally-based medium, and provides new ways of communicating critical and analytical ideas.
In this course, we will explore what it means to “write” a video essay. We will examine the formal and rhetorical strategies for effective communication within this medium, studying the relationship between aesthetics and knowledge production, form and argument. By studying and producing video essays, students will learn what it means to interpret, analyze, and argue using audiovisual materials.
This is a hands-on course, in which students will complete a series of exercises using digital video editing software, show their work in class, and engage in peer-to-peer reviews/discussions. The class will culminate in a video essay “film festival” that will showcase final projects.
Previous editing experience is not required, but you must be willing to devote time to learning and developing these skills. We will mainly be working with Adobe Premiere Pro, but Final Cut Pro is also acceptable.