Our playlist of favorites on YouTube:

+ 2 more from Vimeo that were not on YouTube (embedded below)


Make a list of key characteristics that make these videos great and craft a “rubric” or list of goals for our own projects – a set of standards we will aspire to.

First observation: Each video showcases a different genre and has a different set of virtues associated with that genre.

Great storytelling (fiction):

  • What are the components of a great story?
  • What visual techniques are used and why?
  • What audio techniques are used and why?
  • What editing techniques are used and why?

The Importance of Setting:


Great non-narrative immersive experience (ethnographic):

  • How is a “story” established without words?
  • What visual, audio, and editing techniques create the immersive experience?

Local Voices + Immersive Visuals:

Great storytelling (non-fiction):

  • How can a non-fiction piece benefit from the elements of great storytelling?
  • What are the components of a non-fiction story about an individual?
  • What visual, audio, and editing techniques are used?

Great documentary storytelling:

  • What audio/visual/editing techniques are used?
  • How do these videos establish legitimacy?
  • How do they establish a sense of authenticity?
  • How are there styles different and what are the strengths/weaknesses of each?
  • How do these videos engage us and create a sense of interest?
  • Where/what is “the gap between what is and what could be?”

Powerful Points:


Show don’t tell:

Strong Rhythm:

Of course, we would expect great rhythm in a rap video:

but it works for immersive experience videos as well:

For Tuesday

Challenge 1: Reverse Engineering

Take your favorite video and analyze the first 100 shots, noticing everything you would need to re-create the video yourself.  Include the following:

  • Shot description
  • Duration of shot
  • Composition: Tight or wide shot, angle, symmetry, focus
  • Movement
  • Lighting (including position of sun, weather, artificial lights)
  • Edit Effects
  • Sound
  • Guess at exactly what equipment was used and where/how it was set up.

Here is an example of an analysis of the first 20 shots of Hong Kong Strong.


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