5 Feb. Video Essay Workshop

Featured Image: Museum Workshop


  • 1. Remember we are meeting at the Invention Studio on Thursday
  • 2. “Class Leads” starts on Feb 12, when we begin Utopia. The first class leads are F3:Luke, Morgan & Thomas; HP3:Andrew B & Azar; and D3: Anu, Marc, & Jessica. You all need to give us an overview of the Invention Studio tour (5 mins max) and each ask one discussion question to get us going on More’s Utopia. What constitutes successful discussion questions?

Part I: Video Essay Panel Presentations

Class Section Presenters
1102.F3 Matthew A., Ashley, Valeriia, Audrey, Gabriel, Dalila, Isabelle, & Victoria
1102.HP3 Craig, Andrew, Jeffrey, Mael-Sanh, Andrew, & Michael
1102.D3 Kelsey, Uti, Damian, Morgan, Justin, Parth


Presenters, please be prepared to discuss the following for no longer than 5 minutes.
  • 1. Briefly explain the argument you make in your Video Essay
  • 2. Briefly explain how you analyze a scene from the film, show, or game you chose to support your claim.
  • 3. Briefly describe the part of your Video Essay that you think is most successful and why.
  • 4. If you want to show a clip of your video, paste a link to it in the comments section below

Part II: Peer Response Groups

In the time remaining, please form small peer response groups with each presenter (approx. 1 presenter and 2 students). Then discuss the following:
  • 1.Briefly explain the argument you make in your Video Essay
  • 2.Briefly explain how you analyze a scene from the film, show, or game you chose to support your claim
  • 3. Briefly describe the part of your Video Essay that you think is most successful and why.


24 Jan. Scripting & Fritsch

Featured Image: long-exposure photo of the northern night sky above the Nepali Himalayas shows the apparent paths of the stars as Earth rotates.

Double Column Scripting

  • 1. “In the left had column list all the visual aspects of the production, including the content of each shot”
  • 2.”The right-hand column contains the audio portions of the production, including dialogue, sound effects and music”. 
  • 3. Remember, it takes approx. 1 minute to read/say 130 words in English

Example of the opening part of the Video Essay Script

Visual Verbal
Image 1: Slowly Pull back from image of dustbowl house.

Text: Conceiving of the future as far away from the present and inexhaustible, authorizes the plunder of natural resources in the present. 

Image Two: Move image around

Sound queue (explosions); Text: Rob Nixon explains how a blindness to slow environmental change constantly defers the future in which we will experience total loss of resources.   
Image 3: Roulette Wheel

Sound Queue (roulette ticking noise); Text:Matthias Fritsch offers one response to this dangerous figuration of the future by suggesting that the present and the future are mutually constitutive. That is, just like unknown result of the throw of dice or the turn of a roulette wheel determines the value of the bet place in advance, so to does what will come from the future determine, in part, the actions of the present.
Image 4:

Text: Time travel is not an option for real people, but we can turn to fictional texts like Intersteller to see ways in which the relationships we have in the future are the condition of our present lives.

Scripting Activity, Part I

Please complete the following on your own:
  • 1. Take a few minutes to review the draft of the textual analysis you have already written.
  • 2. Convert your paragraph into a double column script: briefly describe and sketch out images on the left and briefly sketch out text on the right. Complete 3-4 rows.

Story Board Activity, Part II

Once you are all finished drawing, please complete the following:
  • 1. Half of the room stay with your computer
  • 2. Other half of the room circulate and look you class members’ script draft at their computers
  • 3. Chat with each other about what image text pairings work and your plans to develop the script.

Discussion Questions

Discuss the following in groups and be prepared to share your answers with the whole class.
  • 1. Why is democracy, in comparison to other forms of political/social organization, more likely to prioritize the present over the past and future (30)?
  • 2. According to Fritsch, how do notions of death enforce relationships between generations and relationships between humans and non-humans (31)?
  • 3. What is, according to Fritsch, “turn-taking” (28)? Why address the sharing of governance with past and future generations as turn taking?
  • 4. Why does the natural environment display “the indicators for sharing by turns” (38)?

17 Jan. Video Essay Intro. & Nixon


Nixon, “Scenes From the Seabed”

Let’s take a few minutes and work through these questions:
  • 1. What does Nixon mean by “slow violence”?
  • 2. What makes slow violence difficult represent according to Nixon?
  • 3. What are some examples of ways incremental, environmental change can be represented? How do some examples Nixon cites use visual rhetoric to reach audiences?
  • 4. What assumptions about the future enables slow violence to continue?

Video Essay, Prewrite

  • Pick a TV show episode, movie, or video game and then describe how that text represents the future. How does the future represented in the text you chose affect social, ecological, and/or technological transformation?

Video Essay Overview 

Video Essay Examples

As we watch the following Video Essays, please keep the following in mind:
  • 1. What’s the claim/goal? Does the author achieve it?
  • 2. How does the essay develop its claim: close reading, preponderance of evidence, transitions, visual design, voice-over, etc?
  • 3. Describe the organization?

“When Did Time Travel Come From?” (Nerdwriter1)

“Who Wins the Scene” (Every Frame A Picture)

BirdBox (Kill Count)