Film Studies in Motion: From audiovisual essay to academic research video

Discussion / outro

As we hope to have shown, possibilities for furthering academic video lie, at least initially, in changing the way we view its ideal status, form and function. In this case, we regard it as an audiovisual parallel to academic writing – making it only logical that we seek to translate and transpose the standards that have been established in the pre-video era. Ideally, this would lead to audiovisual work that is autonomous, possessing sufficient informational value and explanatory clarity to hold up to these established standards. If such developments were to take place, teaching and evaluating audiovisual essays could also be implemented by means of more clearly defined criteria.
            The differences between video and writing are subjects that are bound to be scrutinized in more detailed form in the coming years. What we provided here hopefully will serve as a starting point, at the very least indicating the discrepancy in the values that are currently imposed on them from academic circles. In any case, the connections and developments we have chartered here point us to the fact that we can make new combinations from the existing audiovisual explorations that fit rhetorical structures normally reserved for written text (which will allow manifestations to mature further, to retain lucidity and traceability, and will allow the form to open up rhetorically).

We have made efforts to outline some initial aspects here, which we believe might guide preliminary practical implementation, or at least fuel theoretical discussion. Attempts of addressing some of the most pressing issues regarding current videographic practice – the haziness surrounding the definition of video essaying, the principles of academic writing versus current modes of videography, and medium specific considerations for autonomous video – might benefit from our explorations in Chapters I and II, where we hope to have made a theoretical move towards the possibility of autonomous argumentative academic research video. To recapitulate and reinstate: this type of audiovisual work will introduce a thesis, place this within a broader context, develop a theoretical notion and argument with an array of both aural as well as visual means, employing a full-bodied and standalone (video) ‘text’ to represent the analytical findings taken from a (film) ‘text’ – both in the Barthesian and Bellourian sense of the word. The long-standing concern of Film Studies (and film culture as well) was to find a platform that could mirror the intricate textuality of film, allowing study and studied to fold into one. Now that we have the technological possibilities, it is only natural to methodically look into ways we can use such audiovisual platform’s multi-modalities in an informed and academically sound manner.

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