TEACH: Using Video Essays as a Research/Teaching Tool

Now that editing software is easily available and it is increasingly simple to download/rip AV content, video essays are becoming increasingly popular. Two main trends seem to be emerging:

1. Video essays that merge text, sound and visual content in an open manner that can be read in multiple ways. These normally lead viewers towards central arguments but ask viewers to engage in their own interpretations of the content. A good example is Catherine Grant’s ‘Touching the Film Object? Notes on the ‘Haptic’ in Videographical Film Studies’ (filmanalytical.blogspot.co.nz/2011/08/touching-film-object-notes-on-haptic-in.html)

2. Video essays that follow a traditional voice-over documentary format which leads viewers through specific arguments and towards direct conclusions. A good example is Arielle Bernstein and Serena Bramble’s ‘Female Sexual Agency in a World of Blurred Lines’ (blogs.indiewire.com/pressplay/video-essay-female-sexual-agency-in-a-world-of-blurred-lines)

Both types can be constructed with relative ease and are good tools for exploring and presenting research topics and/or class themes.

In this session I propose covering the basic principles of how to construct video essays with a particular emphasis on how consumer technologies such as smart phones can help produce original content to be included in the essays as well as how to use creative commons licenses in the production of video essays.

Categories: Digital Literacy, Open Access, Session: Teach, Visualization |

About Miriam Ross

I am a Lecturer in Film at Victoria University of Wellington. In recent years I have become particularly interested in the way new digital technologies are affecting the Film Studies discipline. For the last two years I have taught courses that ask students to look at the opportunities free digital media tools provide and also the limitations at work in the contemporary context. For this reason I pay attention to copyright, creative commons, social media sites and tools as well as contemporary gatekeepers.

3 Responses to TEACH: Using Video Essays as a Research/Teaching Tool

  1. Andy Fenton says:

    Thanx Miriam, I’m interested in your subject and also wish to explore how we might personalise communications using video such as motivational messages to staff, or the one by Michael Edson I used at the NDF Conference Close, OR course intro’s for students – such as the THATCamp 101 – Ground Rules vid by Amanda French tutorial Donelle sent us the url to, OR even tutorials on how to operate software/eqpt.

    See you this am,

    Andy Fenton

  2. Miriam Ross says:

    Some of the software discussed in the session was

    Final Cut X and Adobe Premiere are professional programmes which are worth using if you have the money for them
    iMovie and Window Live Movie Maker are free programmes that will do the job

    Creating/Finding content
    ishowu (paid for) will let you capture your computer movements
    firefox Flash Video Downloader add on (free) will let you download most videos online
    the advanced search function in google will let you see “usage rights” so you can find images that can be shared/modified/etc

    these are just starting points and there are lots more freely available. happy for people to add to this list.

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