A video essay consists of a series of videos that collectively, present an in-depth analysis or interpretation of a given subject or topic.

In this way, a video essay can be thought of as a condensed version of a lengthy written article.



What Is a Video Essay?

A video essay is an audio-visual presentation of your thoughts on a topic or text that usually lasts between 5 and 10 minutes long.

It can take the form of any type of media such as film, animation, or even PowerPoint presentations.

The most important thing to remember when creating a video essay is to include voiceover narration throughout the whole project so that viewers feel they are listening in on your thoughts and ideas rather than watching passively.

Video essays are typically created by content creators’ critics to make arguments about cinema, television, art history, and culture more broadly.



Typically, video essays take advantage of both the language and structure of the film to further their specific arguments.

However, it can also be used as a means to explain complex concepts and ideas in a less complex, detailed way.

What Is a Video Essay?

A video essay can be a powerful form of communication. As such many students desire to learn how to write one.

The good news is that there are several different types of video essays available online that can help a student develop their writing skills. Some of these types include:

  • Auto- narrated video essays, which utilize a voiceover provided by the instructor;
  • Self- Narrated video essays, which contain a personal narrator;
  • Sound-Offs, which are similar to the sound clips commonly found on YouTube;
  • Slide Shows, which are similar to a movie, showing a short story or mini-narrative.

The type of video essay that a student chooses will depend on what they hope to achieve with the essay.

A self- narration video essay uses a single video recording of an individual speaking about the assigned essay topic.

Oftentimes, the narrator will provide information about the significance of the topic or how the lesson can be applied to their own life.

For example, if the student wishes to demonstrate how their favorite hobby could benefit them in college, a narrator will often talk about their love of playing the violin, how playing the violin has changed their life, etc.

The narrator will even provide examples of how playing the violin has influenced their personal and professional lives.


When a student chooses to write an essay, they must first research the topic and then practice writing a paper.

Writing a paper can be very time-consuming. However, using a video as a resource can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to write a paper, as well as increasing the students’ level of confidence as they discuss their written work with their audience.

Furthermore, a video provides a more formal way to communicate with your audience.

In addition to having fun while developing your personal style, a student can also take advantage of technology to further improve their craft. The Internet offers numerous resources that allow a student to develop a deeper voice, build momentum, and to express themselves creatively.

Additionally, the Internet provides many examples of successful videos, which will serve as a model for your final creation.

Finally, YouTube is a great resource to share your video with your audience. While it may not guarantee an audience, it does give you an opportunity to get the word out about your new project.

Additionally, YouTube offers advertising revenue, which can be reinvested back into your project.

Developing Your Video Essay

So, now that we know what a video essay actually is, let’s discuss some techniques that you can use to create an amazing video. First, if you are unfamiliar with how to use the computer and would like to learn, you should consider purchasing a tutorial video.

This will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to record an impressive video, present your written work, and promote your new written assignment.

Tutorials are available in many places, including tutorial videos on YouTube and Microsoft. Alternatively, you could contact a private instructor to teach you the art of composition.

Lastly, if you have already created an interesting video and want to share it with your audience, but do not have the time or desire to write the essay yourself, you may still be able to get a third party to write it for you.


Specifically, you will need to contact a writer who specializes in multimedia projects and explain the nature of your project.

Once you have agreed to use their services, they will then create a custom written assignment, which you can then film and use as the basis of your own written work.

The Importance Of Video Essays

Video essays are a relatively new form of media that combines the visual and auditory aspects of the film with the written word to create an informative and captivating piece.

The word “essay” comes from the French word essayer which means ‘to try’ and the term has its roots in 18th century France where it was used to denote a literary composition with analytical content.

A video essay is a short film that discusses and analyzes a topic. Video essays are often used within education as an engaging way to teach concepts, but can also be viewed as standalone pieces of media.

The term “video essay” was coined in 2006 by filmmaker Charles Eames, who explained it as follows:

‘The video essay…is a new form of presentation for the 21st century made possible by recent advances in technology”.

It has been defined variously as “a personal point-of-view on any subject,” or “a discussion about one thing using another.”


A video essay is a short film that analyzes and deconstructs a certain topic. It can be created by an individual or collaborative team.

Video essays are usually between 5-15 minutes long, but longer essays exist too.

Video essays resemble traditional videos in format, but they differ from other traditional videos because the presenter of the video does not focus on making it entertaining for the viewer; instead, he focuses on making his argument as clear and well-supported as possible.

Notable Video Essayists

If you are looking for a new way to get your brain moving and feeling inspired, check out the video essayists below. These filmmakers can take a seemingly mundane topic and turn it into something that is captivating, educational, or just plain awesome.

A few notable video essayists include:

  • Bret Easton Ellis of The Film School Rejects.
  • Tony Zhou of Every Frame A Painting.
  • Kogonada of Criterion Reflections.

Interviews In Video Essay

There are many different ways that you can use interviews in video essays.

The first way is to have an interview as a voiceover for your essay, which provides the viewer with more information about what they are seeing.

Another way is to have an interview conducted during the filming process and then cut it into your video essay.

You can also incorporate interviews into the footage of other people who were interviewed before or after you filmed them.

What Is A Video Essay Used For?

A video essay is a form of media that blends aspects of documentary filmmaking, personal essays, and cinematic storytelling.

Video essays are typically short in length, often between 3-5 minutes.

They feature a voiceover with music or text graphics to provide textual support for what the producer wants to discuss.

This type of film is used when filmmakers want to tackle complex ideas that cannot be conveyed in one sentence or have an emotional impact on the viewer.

Video essays are usually used for educational purposes. They often provide a better explanation of an idea than text or still images can.

Video essays might be used in the classroom to present information that is visually appealing and engaging, such as why certain artists are famous, how social media has changed the political landscape, or what it means to be human

What Is A Video Essay Based On

A video essay can be anything from an analysis of the cinematography in a movie, to an evaluation of the merits and flaws of a particular work.

Video essays are becoming more popular because they allow people to share their research with others.


What Is A Video Essay Written About

These days, it seems like there are video essays on every topic imaginable.


There are videos about the history of Coca-Cola, the psychology of color in film, and how we associate colors with feelings or even a 50th-anniversary edition of “Doctor Who”.

There is always something to learn from a video essay.

Whether you’re looking for an introduction to a new subject that interests you or want to find out more information about your favorite movie or TV show, there’s always some type of video essay online that will give you what you need.

Writing Video Essays About Technique

When it comes to making video essays about technique, one of the most important things is that you are clear and concise.

Every word needs to be on point and in its place; otherwise, your essay will seem like a jumbled mess.

It’s also important to make sure you’re not using too many words or phrases that are difficult for the reader to understand.

Think about how much time people have when they may be reading your blog post – they don’t want to spend more than a minute trying to decipher what you just said.

Sourcing The Video Essay

In the past few years, video essays have become a popular and well-known form of media.

There are many different types of video essays that can be found on YouTube or other video hosting sites like Vimeo.

The vast majority of these videos are created by academics and professional writers for their own consumption as they explore new ideas in film studies, philosophy, history, etc,

But there has also been an increase in independent videographers who create shorter videos to share their thoughts on issues such as feminism or politics with a wider audience.