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Video Essays: Video Essays


What is a video essay?

A video essay can examine an argument, critique a theory or work or reflect on a production process using digital clips, imagery, sound, and voice over. An important point to note is that a video essay is not simply a written essay readout on film.

"Video essays combine different forms of media such as video (film), audio (voice-over, music, sounds), and text to study or analyze a topic. Many have structures similar to a written essay, with an introduction, body, and conclusion. An effective video essay will have a strong thesis or argument." 

Producing a video essay will allow you to complete assessments using and showcasing learned skills relevant to your course work. 

"Rather than merely presenting facts about a subject and calling it a day, a video essay tends to be more personal and opinionated, sparking an interesting discussion around analysing the subject matter."

The analytical aspect of the work is key to creating a video essay.

Types of video essays

This is a comprehensive article that outlines 11 types of video essays and includes examples

How to make a video essay

How to make a video essay


A general guideline to follow


Just like a written essay, you will need to plan out your argument and the order of points you wish to convey.


Once you have a notion of your argument or assessment question you will need to find supporting literature and material that backs up that argument.

Source material

Now that you know what you want to say and you've collected supporting research to support your chosen topic you can begin to collate or create  video clips that will make up your visual essay.

Record audio

Record your accompanying voice over. 


Edit your video essay so that it is seamless and each scene works to highlight your argument. 


Both of these links below provide great points for how to make a video essay:


Using ClickView for your video essay

The Library has a collection of off-air recordings that can be viewed at AFTRS as well as remotely using AFTRS login credentials. The collection includes a number of Films, Television series, Documentaries and short films. Off-air Recordings can also be clipped and used in assignments.

Click here to find out how to use ClickView for your video essay

Video essay tips and tricks