I’m camera shy, and having the responsibility of entertaining someone with my voice and facial expressions leaves me flustered. So an assignment designed around video production was initially nerve racking for a few reasons. Of those reasons, I surmised that at the end of the day, I had no distinct talent to make a video or being the leading actor.

Then I remembered my videos from middle school, recalling how courageous a young Will was, stepping into the spotlight and sharing my thoughts on myriad of topics. For a few minutes, I went back to those videos and watched in agony as I stumbled my way through disjointed thoughts. At the the end of it all, I did come away with something about video production that I had forgotten about, something I tried to utilize in my video for this assignment. Whether the topic of discussion is serious or menial, video’s allow the creator to add a more observable flavor.

What I mean by that is this: In videos creation, there is very little defined for the user in terms of a checklist. A visual project, unlike a written document, rarely, if ever, follows a code of formatting. Of course the editing process weeds out the lesser of content, but for the most part, you are the only critic that’s needed to be kept in mind. Whether or not the viewer of your video appreciates your creative touch is unimportant. They don’t have a final say in the final product.

In writing, I often find that I have to cater to an unknown audience, as if my grammar and syntax have to be constantly monitored for error, as if my original thoughts aren’t quite good enough yet. Unlike the editing process for a video, which ends after the first go around (at least for the projects we completed), writing goes through multiple critiques, often spurred on by the writer them self. It may be the writing is more closely intertwined with the inner ruminations of the mind, more subservient to persistent critical thinking. Or rather, because a piece of writing exists only because of the thoughts we have, we may be more aware of the possible fallacies we have when we think.

That’s not to say that video production does not go through the same critical process. However, in my limited experience with the medium, I found it easier to scoff away a detail that didn’t hold a certain amount of continuity . It added flavor to my piece, something the audience could laugh at, or at the very least feel awkward enough after watching to laugh out of sheer pity.

Intention in both writing and video production are similar – they both serve the purpose of creating a piece of media for an audience’s entertainment, though I do find that writing and video differ in the kind of entertainment offered, generally speaking. On a whole, I feel as though video production is less academic than a written piece. In this project specifically, we only had a minute to spare, so of course we weren’t going to delve into a subject of grander purpose. But in my habitual watching of YouTube videos, I have consistently aligned my viewing tendencies with the click bait-y stuff the internet has to offer.

When I read online publications, my intention is to find something informative, something saturated in persuasive language and lyrical descriptions, usually of the day’s news or a topic of enhanced interest to me.

All of these thoughts are mine own, and just because I feel that writing has a greater maturity than video doesn’t mean I’m correct. In many cases I do find videos that stimulate my mind, ones that offer a dive into the subject matter with creative twists and beautiful visuals.

But the intention of a written piece is more aligned with this level of maturity and perspective.  More often than not, I find more delight in handing in a written assignment because I know how and why every word was chose, who careful I was in calculating my flow and formatting. I didn’t get the same rush from making the video.

Nevertheless, both the video project and the weekly writing we do are important to complete. Both will only benefit my creative processes and logical, systems-style thinking. In a way, I appreciate them both the same.

Video vs. Text

I don’t know about anyone else, but when we were first assigned to the assignment for Concept in 60, I was freaking out. I use my phone and computer all the time, but I had no idea how to create a video from scratch. I started out by brainstorming possible concepts to explore and what exactly I would need to film. It was exhausting. My creative juices were definitely dry. After filming and editing the video for 2 hours, it amazed me how much work I had put into only 60 seconds. Which lead me to ask to myself whether just writing about the concept would have been easier…

So what are the accordances and limitations of text and video?

Well for one, time. I’m not just talking about the time it takes you to write something compared to videoing it, I’m talking about how much context you can introduce with each medium. If you are planning to make a video, you have to make it long enough to get the information you want said, but short enough that it doesn’t bore your audience. With our specific assignment of only 60 seconds, I found it incredibly difficult to say everything I wanted to say. With written text, there is really no limit to how long your piece could be. In today’s digital age, many of us can express how we feel in only 140 characters. In comparison, your audience would still be invested in the piece even if it was longer than 2-3 pages.

Reading can sometimes be straining to the brain. It requires an “inner voice” that can distract us from the actual information. With video, the experience is more passive. It takes a lot less energy and effort on behalf of the person watching. In Ashley’s video of Art, I didn’t have to do any thinking. All I had to do was listen to her voice and I received everything she was saying. And her beautiful drawing time-lapse made me feel relaxed and at ease, allowing me to fully immerse what she was saying in the background.

Words and written text greatly allow the writer to describe in detail the specifics of a place, person, or feeling. The reader has the ability to imagine these things without the use of picture or sound. Text gives the reader more freedom to interpret what an author writes. However, in retrospect, the tone of an author’s text can sometimes be misconstrued. With video, this issue does not happen. Jame’s video, How to Properly Watch a Movie at Home,  could easily be written out as a “how to” article. However, the steps he describes would be taken in a more serious tone if they were just written. The video allows the audience to observe the humorous actions and body language of James, which lead them to receive the comedic tone of the piece.

Lastly, video gives the author more creative opportunities to express themselves. Through music, pictures, and video the writer can use multiple effects to engage the audience. In Will’s video, without the use of music, filters, and video I’m not quite sure how his story would be translated. It would be very difficult to describe his emotions and actions through text. Through these multiple effects, video content allows you to show viewers more dimensions of the same content. An example of this is shown in Mackenzie’s video, What is an Ra?. Not only did she vocally describe her role as an RA, but she used pictures and an interview with a student to explain who she is and what she does. Because of her pictures, viewers were more likely to connect with her personally and the topic she discussed. With only written text, readers may have a harder time relating to her.

Today, video is the fastest form of communicating topics and issues with people. They can be very useful compared to written text. However, I think the more effective use of each of these mediums depends on the situation and the environment they are being used in.

 

 

Written word vs. moving images

When we were told we would be creating a video, I automatically knew it would take more time and thought than just writing down my thoughts. I had to reflect on what is a part of my life that I would like to share with others.

Each classmate’s topic may have been selected because the student came across the idea, felt it was what the assignment required or was an idea they could relate to. By having a connection to the piece, it will most likely be a stronger final product. The personal element was shown in Elyssa and Isabella’s videos because they shared something they enjoy. This can’t always be shown through text because the viewer can’t visualize the emotions that the author is feeling.

With these emotions, comes tone. The tone of a piece can create a humorous video like Will’s or more serious like Jessica’s. Their ideas were both able to be conveyed to the viewer but with images and video the tone couldn’t be interpreted differently by various audiences. If these pieces were only written the message of humor is more easily lost. Seriousness can be conveyed through text but with the help of the images, the point was stronger.

In these pieces, still and moving images were typically accompanied by an audio file. This audio is the written text and description of the topic. These videos and other videos don’t typically have the script also written on the screen. With the combination of words and images, it may be hard to separate the two. If the text was presented on the screen like Peter’s was vs. how many of the others were, it is hard to focus on both elements at one time. The audio may distract from the video or the images become attached to the audio. I find myself associating the images with the audio and not being able to isolate them.

Each video has its affordances and constraints, but finding the right medium to use digitally to portray the desired message is the skill we are trying to acquire.

Affordances and Constraints of using video vs. text

There are many differences between the two mediums of video and print. Making the Concept in 60 video really highlighted these affordances and constraints since we have been writing blog posts all semester and have been asked to jump into the new medium for this assignment. For the most part, relaying a concept in video format can be a lot easier since you can use different elements that you can’t in writing. The creator can speak instead of write, which makes their meaning and interpretation of what they are saying clear to the audience, which is done by tone of voice and where they place emphasis. With that being said, the use of audio is a great affordance in using videos. There can be sound effects and music which can bring out a certain mood of the viewer. Visuals are what makes a video really stand out. These can be used so the audience gets the rights images and scenery in their minds, while also bringing the whole story together. Videos tend to get a message across quicker than reading a chuck of text can, and can be more entertaining, both of which can keep the audience engaged in their work a lot longer than reading text does. Some constraints of using video vs text are that is does not leave much room for the viewer’s imagination, as everything is already laid out for the viewer. This does alter the viewer’s perception and experience of the text because it leaves less room for the viewer to really make it their own.

Graham’s video is almost a perfect example of the affordances of video that I just explained. While his video does not have any speaking, it really highlights what video can do to add effects. He uses various combos of different types of music with different filters/visual effects. Even though he is not doing anything in the video, you can still get a certain tone from it based on these effects. In text, you would have to write sentences in order to attempt for everyone to get the same intended vibes that can be effortlessly achieved through video.

Another example of great use of these affordances is Sam’s video about how to make a grand entrance. Trying to effectively turn this video into text and get the same message across is nearly impossible, or at least very difficult. Sam uses every affordance simultaneously throughout his whole video. His tone of voice and visuals form the actors clearly indicate humor, the grand entrances are nicely complimented by the sound effects, and reading the actors faces throughout the video really adds to the experience.

Will’s video is yet another great example. His video starts off with future him talking to present him. He is using a tone of voice that would be difficult to describe accurately and effectively through text, so the use of video really highlights the humor and tone of Will’s piece. The visuals and facial expressions seen that were added by the use of video makes the intended tones a lot more clear.

Videos And Writing

When thinking about what is the more effective medium, written text or video, I think about two things. One, which is the easier platform for the creator to work with and two, which platform is more easily absorbed by the audience. Honestly, it probably depends on what the producer of the media intends to accomplish. I think the videos that the class made showed that videos are useful in ways that text is not. One thing that I noticed from the videos is that the use of video allowed for examples and descriptions. People were able to narrate ideas or concepts or events while showing what they are talking about. One example from our class videos is “Art” by Ashley. She was able to talk about how creating art made her feel while making a piece of art work in video. It allowed the viewer to see her process and an example of her artwork while listening to her. Another example is “Why Do You UDance?” She is able to describe her experience as well and show the viewer what is going on, a process that may get be difficult to describe and get bogged down by words if a person tries to write it. Some things are easier to follow when they are shown in video. The humor in “Procrastination” might have been lessened if in written form. People might also find it easier to follow instructions, like in how to videos which show people how to do things, than reading it. “How to properly watch a movie at home,” is an example of that.

Written text has its benefits as well. The writer is still able to make descriptions, and often these are more personal because the reader is able to fill in the spot in their minds. Another thing is that the reader has the ability to go at their own pace, stopping and starting whenever they wish. Videos can often be paused or rewound, but that can get tiring. People can also highlight things when their reading.

There were some videos that made use of written text. For example, Amanda’s “Subtweeting” and Brittany’s “Geotag.” Both had parts of the words they said shown written down. I thought that this was interesting, because it was a combination of mediums. Peter’s “Filthy Frank” video was also a combination of video and text, but without the use of narration.