Definitions

What qualifies as a video essay and what doesn’t? What terminology should we use when referring to this format? These basic questions have frequently resulted in heated debates. The texts compiled here each attempt to arrive at a definition of the video essay / audiovisual essay / videographic criticism and so forth.

Texts

Film Studies In Motion (Thomas van den Berg and Miklós Kiss)

The online book FILM STUDIES IN MOTION: From Audiovisual Essay 
to Academic Research Video tackles a wide variety of subjects, among which the definition of the format. In Chapter 7, the authors even try to define what a worthy academic video essay should look like.

Read the complete book online.

What is a Video Essay? Creators Grapple with a Definition (Paula Bernstein)

The controversy that erupted around a particular video essay by Fandor’s Kevin B. Lee prompted Filmmaker magazine to try and define the form. Four video essayists and curators offer their take on such a definition in this article.

Read the complete article online.

Film criticism, film scholarship and the video essay (Andrew Mcwhirter)

In his 2015 research note, Mcwhirter makes makes interesting observations about the nature and definitions of the video essay, noting also their affinity and shared lineage with the essay film.

Download a PDF version of his text.

Introduction to the audiovisual essay: A child of two mothers (ADRIAN MARTIN & CRISTINA ÁLVAREZ LÓPEZ)

In this 2014 introduction to NECSUS‘ audiovisual essay segment, Martin and Álvarez López propose a name and a definition for the burgeoning practice of creating essays using the resources of audiovisuality. In addition, they describe a brief historical background of the form.
Read the complete article online.