Voice and Tone
Guidelines for Concept in 60
Responding to Ronson (and boyd and Carr)
In groups: Discuss your responses. Select a a piece to present on Monday that you feel pushes our conversation beyond where it is now.
- Mon, 4/17, class: What are you going to do (have you done) for the Writing as Social Action assignment? Be ready to speak briefly about your project. We will also discuss the responses to Ronson you’ve chosen on Friday.
- Wed, 4/19, class: Read Fenton and Lee, chapter 7 (pp. 83–99). Think about possible digital writers you may want to profile for next week (due Thurs, 4/27).
- Thurs, 4/20, 10:00 am: Post your report on Writing as a Social Action to this site. Read and comment on the posts of your group members.
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?
- Mon, 4/03, class: Read Ronson to p.157. A response will be due on Thurs, 4/06.
- Have a great break!
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.
What can you, as a student in this course, do in working with video that you can’t do in a written text? Conversely, what kinds of things is it hard to do with video that you can do more readily in writing? Affordances and constraints. Video and print. I’d like you to think about the relationship between these two modalities using the Concepts in 60 videos posted to this site.
Let me make an arbitrary rule: You should refer in your post to at least three Concept in 60 videos. Your goal should not be to evaluate these pieces, to say what you especially liked or didn’t, but to note what the medium of video seems to encourage authors to do and what it seems to constrain them from doing.
Deadline: Thurs, 3/23, 10:00 am. I’m eager to read your thoughts on this issue!
Concepts in 60
Let’s watch them!
Still footage from James Kretkowski, “How to Properly Watch a Movie at Home” (2017)
Defining a Genre
In groups of three or four: Using these videos as your archive, create a taxonomy of the 60-Second Video. Here’s a list. The rules of analysis are:
- You must divide the videos into at least three but no more than five groups. Each group must have at least two members.
- Try to come up with at least three defining features for each of your groups. Try to focus as much as you can on the form of the videos, not their content. (Many sonnets may be about love, but what makes them sonnets is that they have 14 lines.)
- Take notes and email your taxonomy to me.
Writing: The Affordances and Constraints of Video
- Wed, 3/22: No class.
- Thurs, 3/23, 10:00 am: Post your thoughts on the Affordances and Constraints of Video to this site. Be sure to use your group number as a category.
- Fri, 3/24, class: Read and comment on the posts by your group members. We will discuss the ideas and concerns raised in them in class.
Pulling up a stream online and sitting in a dark room with your ear buds in watching on your laptop? This is the WRONG way to watch a movie at home. Here, I illustrate the RIGHT way to watch you films in your living room.
So here’s my video! It’s a simple concept that we’ve discussed a little in class. Enjoy!