Regarding the ontology of the video essay
The panel featured an array of critics and scholars, including Kevin B. Lee, Pablo Villaça, Matt Zoller Seitz, and David Bordwell. When Bordwell was asked to briefly define the video essay, he suggested that it is an “ill-defined genre”, made up of “think pieces” that followed from a literary tradition of
The panel again consisted of both critics and scholars, this time featuring Matthias Stork, Catherine Grant, and Drew Morton. Despite the more hands-on and forward-looking talks during this particular discussion (about a year after the Ebertfest-panel), the same tendencies proved dominant: uncertainties with
All things considered, current video essays often disregard written theory and reference only films or other video essays. In turn, written theory refers to films and written theory, but not video essays. From both vantage points, theorists are missing out on productive insights that could strengthen their arguments, regardless of the medium they are adopting. Perhaps the discrepancy between an established written tradition and the prepubescent
At the Ebertfest-discussion, Matt Zoller Seitz introduced the distinction between personal and analytical categories, and stated that “the most powerful” videos are those that encompass both these qualities (Ebertfest 2013 video, at around 51:00). This might be true; however, from a scholarly point of view, we would argue to look more in the direction of a dichotomy tested by Morton, namely poetic versus argumentative, the very semantics of which indicate the constructive principles of a video rather than the approach taken (as with personal/analytical). Though the definitions are not fully developed, the distinction poignantly reveals the two polar-opposites of the rhetorical and aesthetic pillars of Videographic Film Studies.
We believe it is important to safeguard the freshly-forming standards of Videographic Film Studies, particularly while it is still growing. One way to do so is to closely monitor and discriminate the ways in which current produce is presented, referenced, and