Are there already “masters” of the video essay?

If you have been following my blog, you know that I as well. In the one-week window I had in between submitting my application and the deadline for the video essays, I sat in front of my iPad and recorded my responses to the various questions that people were reporting back from their own video essays. I practiced…and practiced…and practiced. This was great in theory, but the questions I got for the real video essay component were NOTHING like what I had practiced! Unfortunately, this caused me to stumble through my answer more than I would have liked.

On the Origin of the Video Essay

"Today's digital technology gives writers unprecedented creative freedom," said Northwestern faculty member John Bresland, who curates the online journal’s video essays. An award-winning essayist working in video, radio and print, he equates the impact of 21st century technology on creativity to the invention of the printing press.


Check out the video essay below:

Today, there’s a new method: The College Video Essay.

I cannot recall how the term ‘video essay’ came to be the adopted nomenclature for the ever-increasing output of online videos produced over the past few years by an ever-growing range of self-appointed practitioners (including myself). My own entrance into this field was an organic synthesis of my backgrounds as a film critic and a filmmaker, two modes that had competed with each other in my mind until I started to pursue the possibilities of critically exploring cinema through the medium itself. This practice is readily possible in an age when digital technology enables virtually anyone with a computer (not even a video camera, as images are overly abundant and accessible) to produce media with nearly as much ease as it is to consume it.


EVANSTON, Ill. --- TriQuarterly, Northwestern University’s celebrated literary journal that moved to an online format three years ago, is among the leading literary outlets of the video essay, an exciting new literary form.Bresland’s is jam-packed with video essays and writings about the new genre, including his highly influential “On the Origin of the Video Essay.” We talked with Bresland and asked him to expand on this revolutionary literary development.