Video essays and the characteristics of style

Video essays and the characteristics of style

Unit 2 Media
style and genre
style in video essays

Video Essays

Video essays are becoming a big deal. Easy to digest, personal and insightful — they use the medium of video to tell a point of view.

Video essays are usually about the medium it works in, video. Often film and tv is covered, but video essays are made about a wide variety of material.

Here’s what I look for in a video essay:

  1. Be personal. The best essays are the ones where the person who made it is clearly passionate about the topic they are discussing. They are analytical, but has the personality of the author in it. Telling me why you care about something helps me care about it too.
  2. Be positive. Youtube is filled with videos about why a certain film isn’t the best thing ever, or why something ‘sucks’ (I’m looking at you 'The Last Jedi' videos). That’s not why I watch video essays. I want to be excited by something you are excited about, not disappointed by something new.
  3. Offer a new perspective. Video essays are great when they offer a new way of thinking about something. It could be a motif that appears in a lot of director’s films, or how a film connects to other ideas in the world. The fresher the idea, the better the essay.
  4. Have a good microphone, and a good voice. A good microphone is important, but a good speaking voice is a must. If you don’t sound interested, I won’t be either.
  5. Get In, Get Out. Not all videos need to be short, but they should never overstay their welcome.

Examples of Video Essays

Below are some examples of video essays in a wide range of different styles. A good place to find other video essays is on

The Characteristics of Style

Video essays, just like any genre of media, have their own style. The style of a media describes it's tone. Is the video informative? Conversational? Serious or comedic?

To describe how a media product achieves it's style, you will often need to describe the characteristics of that style. A media product's characteristics are the ways that the producers have used codes and conventions in order to make it unique. So in a video essay you may discuss what type of editing has been used - what font the titles are in or how sound has been used throughout.


Y11 style and genre analysis of video essays.docx267.1KB