So you want to try your hand at video essays. Where to start? Well, by watching video essays. There are a lot of good examples on this site in the Best Practices section.
But we do not claim nor aim to be definitive or exhaustive. The best practices we cite are far from the only valuable examples of video essays that are out there. Other sites have been compiling a wide catalogue of such examples. You can start by browsing around the sites mentioned below.
In a decidedly meta-turn of events, a couple of video essayists have also made video essays about the video essay. These too are good reference points. The Kevin B. Lee video The Essay Film: Some Thoughts of Discontent was produced for Sight & Sound magazine and is an associative take on the genre. For Fandor, the prolific Lee made a video titled What Makes a Video Essay Great? which contains interesting observations about the directions in which the video essay format is developing.
When looking for an in-depth and academic approach to the video essay form, [in]Transition is the gold standard. It is a peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated entirely to video essays, or as [in]Transition more precisely describes it, videographic film and moving image studies.
The aim of [in]Transition is to give those videographic studies the place they deserve within the academic community, by challenging that community’s preference for written scholarship. [in]Transition wants to validate the videographic approach as a new mode of scholarly writing by compiling, carefully curating and commenting on examples of fine videographic works. [in]Transition also has a wealth of information in their Resources section, addressing both the theoretical and practical aspects of videographic film and moving image studies.
Another indispensable resource is Audiovisualcy. This online platform for videographic film and moving image studies compiles videos with an analytical, critical, reflexive or scholarly purpose. You can follow them on Vimeo, subscribe to their tweets or connect with them via their Facebook page.