The Pros and Cons of Using Video

After completing the “Concept in 60” project, as well as watching the other videos posted by classmates, I feel confident in discussing both the affordances, as well as the limitations to using videos. Moreover, there are things that you can do with video that you cannot do with print. Overall, one major advantage of using video to explain a concept is that you receive both an audio, as well as an augmented visual aspect that you cannot receive while reading printed material. Speaking generally, this enables those who are better auditory or visual learners to better understand the concept being described. More specifically, an affordance of video is that one can create a photo montage where audio is overlaid on top of the pictures. In Mackenzie’s video about what it means to be an RA, for example, she utilizes a photo montage to enhance the explanation of her concept and to get her point across to the viewer. In addition, another benefit of using video instead of print is that it is easier to make a point, while also using comedy to do it. In James’s video, for example, he uses comedy to state that one’s environment and they way in which one watches a movie can change one’s viewing experience. In his video, James uses both audio, as well as props and subtle mannerisms to give his concept a comedic undertone. While reading print, it is a lot more difficult to provide the subtle sort of comedy that you can with video. As someone who loves comedy, I can tell you that sometimes what is funny is not necessarily in the joke itself, but rather it is in the delivery, or the way on which the joke is told, and also in the body language of the person telling the joke. Therefore, video allows one to more easily convey something in a comedic manner. Finally, another advantage of vide over print is that with video, you don’t necessarily have to say anything at all to get a statement across to the viewer. In Graham’s video, for example, he does not say a single word, and yet I am able to understand the point that he is trying to make. With print, something has to be said, using words on a page.

Just as there are affordances to video, there also exist limitations. One possible disadvantage of using video is that it perhaps discourages visual imagination on the part of the viewer. Again, video provides the visual for us. With print, we as readers are tasked with having to imagine what is happening, and we create our own mental image. Another limitation of using video is that it can take a lot of time and resources to create a really professional-looking video. My video would be the perfect example of what happens when one does not have the time or resources of say, someone like James Cameron or Martin Scorsese. Finally, another drawback to video is the fact that one can run into trouble with copyright when it comes to using others’ video/photographs/music. For as much content that is actually labeled for reuse, there has to be at least fifty times as much content that is not.

In conclusion, I thought of a few categories that the videos from class can be put into. One would be “How To” videos vs. simple explanation of what something is. Another would be when someone uses a voiceover vs. when someone acts in a video. Then there are videos that use stock footage or photos and those that use original footage or photos. And finally, there are videos that are montages, there are those that are live-action, and those that consist of cartoons or drawings.

Author: Sam W

I am a Geography major and Writing minor at the University of Delaware. My primary interests are mapping, climatology, environmental and wildlife conservation, writing, reporting, and broadcasting. Using this blog, my goal is to write and publish insightful and thought provoking posts regarding digital rhetoric.

3 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of Using Video”

  1. Sam, you brought up a really good point that people often times forget about. When working with video, you need to make sure that you have permission to use any visuals or music that you do not own. Copyright infringement is a very big deal and a bad thing to be involved in, but is easily avoidable. However, if you do not have anything original to work with, creating a video can be a very difficult task. When writing, you do not have to worry about this issue (unless you are including images to support your text), which makes it, in my opinion, an easier medium to work with.

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  2. I forgot about the copyright aspect of video when I wrote mine…good point. You have to put in more effort to make sure you’re not stealing anyone’s work in a video. With text we’ve been attributing ideas to others and making bibliographies for awhile, so we’re more used to it. I never had to go over my media for copyright violations before; that ended up taking more time than it would with text when I did my video.

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  3. Sam, Thanks for bringing up the issue of copyright—and more broadly, of intellectual property. While academics tend to be very persnickety about plagiarism in print, we are often pretty glib with our uses of other people’s images, videos, and music. I thought NIco did a pretty good job of discussing this in the library session, and I plan to return to it after Spring Break. See you then! ~Joe

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