Expression in Text vs Expression in Video

I know I am not speaking for myself when I say that I’ve always been more attracted to video and visuals than reading text. It is in the way us digital natives are wired – to want to learn and engage in something visual. When I am confronted with text such as an article or reading a textbook for a class I catch myself skimming through and only reading things that seem important like titles or captions to pictures.

Therefore, I really enjoyed the assignment of Concept in 60 because the visual and audio components added so much more depth to a concept that would have been harder to describe via text.

On the other hand, when it comes to reading and writing the mind has a lot more room for imagination which is sometimes hard for an author who wants to portray a specific idea. Whereas in video there isn’t a lot left for the imagination. For example, if Ashley’s video had not incorporated herself drawing with her explanation of what art meant to her – the viewer would not have known what type of art or expression of art she was particularly immersed in.

Video can express an idea or story with just images and music because that creates tone. Text can also express a certain idea or certain idea with the use of tone but it takes a lot more work for the reader and the writer. An example of these affordances of video is Graham’s video which relies solely on the use of music and filters instead of explaining his concept with audio. The viewer still grasps what Graham is portraying because of the tone he creates with music and his own expressions.

Another example of a video that would not have relayed the same message if it had been solely confined to text is Sam’s video on “How to make an entrance.” The humor within this video would not have been interpreted the same way through description within text because everything from the music to his own facial expressions and body language altogether in the moment came together to create a humorous tone for the viewer.

Sometimes text is easier because it comes to you just as your thoughts are flowing but this may be a constraint when you have a particular message in mind. It can be easy for text to paint a picture with description but if that picture is already given to the viewer there is no room for misinterpretation.

Class, Fri, 3/24

Page and Screen

In groups, draw on your most recent post to create some notes on:

  • A taxonomy: What are some popular forms for the 60 Second Video?
  • Affordances and constraints: What can you “leverage and resist” in video that seems different from writing?
  • The experience of composing in video: What was fun? frustrating? challenging? satisfying?

To Do

  1. Mon, 4/03, class: Read Ronson to p.157. A response will be due on Thurs, 4/06.
  2. Have a great break!

Video vs. Text

I thought using video last week rather than text was a unique experience. I had to take a different approach than I usually do to the video assignment. When I started, I was concerned about how I was going to fill up the minute. By the end of the project, I had to edit a lot out that I wanted to say. In general, I found it harder to communicate what I wanted to say using a video compared to just typing.

When you are typing in a document, you can pour your thoughts onto the page in a moment. If you were to add a video, sound clip, picture, or song to your video to make your point you would need to put in more effort. Taking your ideas and transferring them onto a media platform requires interpretation and editing. However, when you express your idea with a video rather than a block of text you can do so much more with it. Using a video media editor, you can add music, subtitles, transitions, voiceovers, video and so much more. You can create a project with more bells and whistles. This medium is not for everyone though, because if you are not competent using a video editor than the quality of your message suffers. If you were to use a more traditional medium such as a word document, there’s an opportunity to construct a more effective argument.

One aspect of video that makes it so great is the voiceover feature. Many people utilized it in their Concept 60 videos. I thought James’ “How to Properly Watch a Movie at Home” demonstrated this well. His video had action on the screen to follow plus props, so the guidance and the clarification that the James’ voiceover added was vital. I found this useful in my window as well. My Concept 60 video was a step-by-step origami project, so I found voiceover helpful when I was demonstrating folding on camera. That way the video could be concentrated on my hands so the steps would be easier to follow. If James and I did this assignment on a word document, the quality of the overall presentation would go way down. The ideas we were trying to get across would have no examples or directions that were not typed out. While the assignment would be doable, it would still be less effective. The block of text would have to be long just to explain the steps that we could have just shown in the video.

Mackenzie’s video also used tools to help her idea come across better. Her use of pictures steered her concept. They were not stock photos, rather personal pictures. I thought this made her video more effective. The personal touch made the video seem genuine, so if someone watches it who has a prejudice against RAs they might be more likely to listen. In the same way, I thought Ashley M’s use of close-up in her video gave hers an authenticity. The video was simple, but it gave the audience the opportunity to watch her art firsthand. Watching her draw was all the video needed to get her concept across.

The All-powerful Video

The first time I really delved into video editing was for my school’s annual history fair. I decided that I would create a documentary on my topic, rather than just make a board or website. I found I really loved editing videos from making documentaries in high school, so when we were given this assignment I was extremely excited to take part in it. However, it was a bit daunting, though, because I had not used my own footage to make a video and I haven’t edited a video in quite a while, so I was kind of freaking out. Also, the fact that it had to be a creative and new idea, not a dry subject pertaining to history was also a bit intimidating as I’ve never taken on something like that before. After finally coming up with the idea for my video and spending a good chunk of time editing out certain portions of my footage, playing with the editing software, and trying to make everything fit cohesively, I realized that there are truly both pros and cons to taking a video approach to explaining a concept over just plain text.

With video, I found that I was able to really put forth my idea in a whole new way. I think using the voiceover as well as the specific footage I chose to film for my video allowed me to set a specific tone for my concept that I don’t think writing would have easily allowed. I wanted the viewer to feel relaxed or at ease. With the footage as well as the music I chose, I feel I was able to accomplish that; with reading a piece of literature, it lacks the effect that a video can have.

Video allows the creator to explore their imaginative side, and get their point across in a way that allows them to put themselves forward; meaning they can bring to life their creation with their personality. That was definitely seen with many of the videos presented. When I think of creativity, and bringing animation to their project, a few videos come to mind. Will’s video “BEST MOVIE EVER!!!!”  really illustrates a creative approach that would not have the same impact if it were written text. The skit between both Will and himself allowed the viewer to get a sense of the characters and the hilarity that Will brings forth with the conversation they have. Reading something is very different from the way the filmmaker/editor presents their creation. Another video that comes to mind would be Amanda’s video “The Art of Subtweeting”. Her video illustrated a step by step explanation on subtweeting in an inventive way. Her visuals and her enthusiasm that she presented in her video were captivating and kept the viewer interested. If that were to be presented in plain writing, you lose the charm and charisma she provides.

Though videos do provide some constraints in the sense that you must find footage to film, then edit your video which can be both fatiguing and time-consuming, however, writing can prove to be the same. With writing, you must come up with an idea, formulate and structure your piece, actually write it, then edit your final product. Both hold a similar a constraint, yet video editing isn’t as simple as editing a few mistakes in a paper.

I find videography to be a great way to get across your idea because you have the ability to put yourself into what you’re creating and connect with the viewer in a way that writing cannot. The images, voiceover, and music you put into your video can have an impact on the concept you’re trying to illustrate.

Video vs. Text

Growing up I always made videos with my friends. I would stay up for hours editing clips and making sure the sound was just right. Then, I would say that I was pretty good at making videos. Now, I’m a little rusty but still remember the main concepts. I still enjoy making videos, although I do not do it very often.

Videos can show so much more to a reader. You can see how a person is acting and hear what they are saying. This can make the reader, or watcher, interpret what is said in the video much differently than if it was just written on text. This can make a huge difference in what you think the meaning is. You can also hear the tone of the text, which is just as important. You can also see how someone is acting. All of these concepts can make a video easier to understand rather than reading written text.

Video can be made in a variety of ways. When watching “How to Properly Watch a Movie at Home,” it is like you are watching a movie. There are different scenes, voice overs, comedy, and expressions. It goes from scene to scene, showing the watcher how to do something, and explains it perfectly.

“Birthday Girl” is a type of timeline video. It starts in the present, but shows you back in time though multiple years. It also has an “interview” of Elyssa talking to someone else, so the watcher can interpret two person’s instead of one.

“Unity” is kind of like a slideshow of still pictures with voice over. It shows pictures that represents what she is saying to give it meaning. This video is informative and powerful by seeing multiple pictures.

Each of these three examples show different ways to make a video. This is the beauty of video. You can make way in any way you like, but in text, there is only one way to write. Video can be so much easier to understand, and its fun to watch. Of course videos can be boring as well. If there is nothing to watch or if there is a monotone voice, the video will drag on. Text can be boring too or it can be great to read and be just as informative. It all depends on the reader, but I will always prefer video.

Screen or Print? Which is Really Better?

When it comes to using videos, I feel that it is a lot easier for someone to get their point out in the fashion they want to, meaning if some one wanted to include some sarcasm or comedic relief, doing that in writing and having the reader try to understand is a little more tough rather than being able to communicate it through words or sounds. For instance, the video about motivation that Will made would not have been as funny if someone were to read the dialogue between young Will and old Will rather then watching and listening to it. Also, with videos, the viewers get visuals and do not need to spend as much time trying to create images in their minds of the words they read. Videos are better in terms of showing someone how to do something. There were numerous videos we watched that were (at least I consider them) “how to” videos, meaning videos that visually showed the viewer how to do something. An example that i liked was Sam’s video on how to make a grand entrance, it showed different ways of doing the activity and was a lot easier to follow instead of reading words in a book or on print.

Besides videos being the only helpful item, print has some positive benefits as well. For people who have trouble understand or following along a voice spewing out information, print allows those types of people to keep up at their own pace. Also, print can be right in front of a person, giving them the ability to go back and forth between pages and go over any information they missed or go back to a part that caught their attention. Personally, sometimes I have trouble trying to say what I am thinking so when I write I have more time to think about the best way possible of saying whatever it is I am trying to say. If someone does not like to be on camera, print allows them to express themselves but in a way that more comfortable. When I was doing the concept in 60 project, I had to record some scenes many times because there were little mess ups I would notice so print allows us to simply backspace or erase or cross something out but videos make us rerecord full scenes.

So is video or print better? I do not think there is a definitive answer to that question. I believe that it is all based on personal preference. I think both video and print have their positive aspects and I think they both have their constraints as well. Personally, if I were to choose one, I would choose print because I think videos can be distracting sometimes and I would rather be able to write down and reread my writing looking for any mistakes and giving a quick fix to them, but again it is all preference.

Aspects of Video

I have always been a fan of watching videos to learn more about different concepts, however, I would not consider myself to be an expert in making them. Actually, I would consider myself far from capable when it comes to bringing together audio, video, and pictures. I know I used to make fun music videos with my friends when I was in middle school, but I just cannot seem to remember how to use all of those special effects that I used to get so excited over. My lack of skills with using iMovie and editing nicely made me nervous to dive into this project, but I also knew it would be fun and interesting to take on the assignment using a different approach than usual.

There are so many aspects of a video that just cannot be depicted in written text. Yes, there are some texts that draw emotion out of the readers and may allow you to connect on a personal level, but that is never a guarantee with written text. The nice thing about a video is that the creator can demonstrate all of the emotions and scenes in the exact way they are envisioning it. In my video about what motivates students here at the University of Delaware, I was able to get direct quotes from my peers and have them each narrate a small portion of the video. I think by recording their voices, I was able to get a relatable and personal message across to all students and get them to take a break from their busy lives for just a minute to think more about their own meaning and why they are here at this school.

I really like that there are so many different methods of creating a video, which was demonstrated through the variety of concept videos in the class. I loved how Elyssa’s video served as a timeline to show personal memories from the same day every year, as well as a clip from the present. This was something that simply could not be done in only written text, because showing actual footage was the best way to convey her thoughts. Mackenzie took a different approach by interviewing students to give different opinions that we probably would have never heard if it were not for this project. I did not know much about the job of an RA before watching her video, so I found it to be a unique way of educating the class on the job. Although Amanda’s approach was quite different from these two since she did not include footage of people or any interviews, she definitely related to the audience through explaining her concept. Anyone can look up the meaning of subtweeting, but hearing a person thoroughly explain it in relatable terms makes it so much more meaningful.

As great as video can be for getting a point across, there are also some downfalls that do not necessarily occur in written text. For example, there are always the technical difficulties that may come about in any sort of media. And once you are online viewing the video, it is so easy to find yourself clicking the next link to a related topic and not finishing watching the original video. Overall, video is a great way to express ideas in creative ways that are catered toward your audience.