Video Essays #2 | Why are scientific video essays so rare?

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When I first became interested in video essays I noticed there were very few science-based video essays on YouTube, especially from academics or scientists. I wanted to figure out why. I started with two underlying questions: Do other academic fields use video essays? And can video essays can be used appropriately in science?

For me, the answer to both questions was yes. Continue reading

Video Essays #1 | What are Video Essays, and who makes them?

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Over the last few years, a new genre of video has gathered momentum on YouTube; the analytic video essay. Today’s question is; what characterises a video essay?

The phrase “video essay” has two main meanings; the concept currently used by YouTubers (and the internet in general), and the original meaning used in filmmaking communities. For filmmakers, a video essay is a compilation of clips from a film which demonstrates a point about that film. In this definition, the video takes priority- many video essays make their point solely through the chosen clips.

However,  other communities use the phrase differently. Reddit’s dedicated subreddit /r/videoessays describes them as:

“a written essay that is read aloud over video accompaniment which seeks to analyze some media text (tv, film, music, art, speech, etc)”.

Continue reading