Real-to-Reel: a video Essay Series

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Ryan Armstrong

Professor Olshefski

New Media Practicum

4 February 2018

Real-to-Reel -- New Media Practicum Proposal

Real-to-Reel: A Video Essay Series

Executive Summary: Real-to-Reel is a video essay series that utilizes the social media platform to present film, television, or life topics, techniques, and ideologies in a structured video format with original writing, editing and voice over work.

Theme/Focus: The focus of the project will fall within the research on a certain topic to be presenting in a long form analysis. My objective is to have an audience member not know that they wanted to know this information, but are glad that they stumbled upon it. This work at Real-to-Reel will be a complement to other sources of film/television education. It will go beyond the textbook and dive into topics that are not frequently discussed. Along with those topics, we will include character analysis essays, or film technique analysis essays.

Inspiration/Comps: I am an audience member of other men and women who create video essays using platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, but where I want to succeed is within engagement to the essays. My research of other video authors found that a lot of the essays engagement ends at the video itself, and there is little room for the audience to discuss other that the vast wasteland of the comments section. While the essays to individually be able stand alone, I want to use other social media platforms to engage discussion beyond the video contents. I want to challenge the audience to engage in further discussion on said topic, but I also want the audience to challenge me if they find that they don’t necessarily agree with the contents. I have found that the most learning I have achieved in this industry is within the conversations held with a person on set, or with industry peers in a casual setting. By discussing a topic in a casual setting allows for more open discussion and get to the root of discovery, and that’s what I hope to accomplish with Real-to-Real. They learn something from the video essays, and then feel comfortable to discover and discuss more online.

Inspirations include authors such as Karsten Runquist, Ryan Hollinger, and Darious Britt or channels such as Channel Criswell, Every Frame a Painting, Now You See It, The Royal Ocean Film Society, Nerdwriter1, The Storytellers, Screen Prism, or Lessons from the Screenplay. These are just a few of the inspirations that prove that there is an audience for this content, but also show the type of work ethic that I will continue to work at to achieve the consistent content posting and achieve a greater audience reach. I have done research on each of these to observe what each do right and wrong in my opinion, but also for the similarities among the channels to find what works on greater audience. This process also allows me to find what I can uniquely bring to the table of online based video essays.


Audience/Community: As previously stated what I want the audience to take from Real-to-Reel is a complementary discussion to their education; not the main outlet to find out about camera basics or set protocol, rather a deeper dive for ones who already grasp beginning and intermediate concepts.

What inspired me to follow through with a video essay series was the fact that I am an audience member of video essays. I constantly refresh websites hoping that another segment is uploaded by an author. And I believe I have a voice that can be brought to the table, in addition to writing ability a good eye for editing.

The Significance of the Project: This project will be meaningful to its community because I have will have a unique voice and add to the already large audience for video essays; in what I consider, an under saturated market for, at the least, well produced video essays.

Goals: The reason I am so excited to produce Real-to-Reel this semester is to get a jump start to carrying it on beyond the classroom. I hope this was the boost for me to schedule my own writing, editing and publishing this video essay series, and become a prominent player in the community. A goal of mine to NOT associate myself in a physical sense (avoid the vlog-like feel) and strictly for writing, voice-over, and editing ability alone. This hopefully will open doors, or complement my job findings in the future too to show not only a skill for the craft, but also dedication and time management skills.

New Media Elements: DESIGN: Original artwork that is cross platform to ensure brand awareness. . In addition, animated short logos to play in each segment for brand awareness, and a Real-to-Reel watermark to ensure to stealing. STRUCTURE: Similar video essay format from video to video. Also consistency is crucial when it comes to posting, so the structure of a schedule of how often I publish a new video is key. INTERACTIVITY: The unique element of Real-to-Reel is its interactive social platform after the video itself. I will encourage watchers to challenge me if the disagree, so we can have an open forum discussion, in hopes to learn even more about the topic in hand.

Domain Name / Hosting: As of right now I DO NOT plan to host a website and would like to utilize social media based platforms first, with the plan to move to a website during a later phase when I have a greater audience attached. I only plan to have my own personal website link with Real-to-Reel, along with my personal film reels.

Tools: I will utilize the Adobe Cloud software, Premiere CC, Audition, Animate (formally Flash), Illustrator and After Effects CC, in particular.

I need to improve on my After Effects CC, and Animate CC skills. I intend to watch how-to videos and basic tutorials of each software to make sure I practice them daily. I currently do not register the names for Real-to-Reals Vimeo, YouTube, or Facebook video platforms, and I will soon. And I also have the plans of revamping my own personal Instagram and Twitter accounts into official Real-to-Reel social platforms, to utilize my pre-established follower count.

Challenges: The biggest challenge is constancy in terms of work ethic and publishing. I foresee this to be the biggest challenge because this will come with the most stress, but I believe this is also arbitrary and that I care so much for this project that I will be able to work through this challenge.

Time Management: My opinion is that for a video essay series that consistency is key when it comes to publishing and making sure an audience doesn’t go to long without content. That being said I want to talk to you about this, that I would have liked to create pre-determined about of content for the semester, currently I plan for FIVE full video essays, BUT I will not post or really even launch Real-to-Reel until the end of the semester.

My compromise would be that I work a normal schedule of creation and prove to you work is being created on a weekly/biweekly basis but that I start the launch of the series at the end so that I already have five weeks of content already created as a head start (or ten weeks of content if I publish as biweekly). I believe that creating this “head start” for myself is important because by stockpiling these essays will allow me to create the next set of essays while only publishing the stock piled ones. This scheduling method will allow for more time to create, in turn better content.


Week 6: Video platform “Real-to-Reel” names registered, 3D/2D animated video logo created, social media cross branding photos created.

Week 7: Critique 1 = Inaugural Video Essay completed (not published, just in class viewing/critique.)

Week 10: Critique 2 = Video Essay 2 and 3 completed.

Week 13: Critique 3 = Video Essay 4 and 5 completed.

Week 8-13: Promotion. Gradually change personal social media accounts into Real-to-Reel.

Week 14: Launch Real-to-Reel.

Experience: My background in video production and post-production will play a huge part in the creation of the Real-to-Reel series. Not only will my writing ability be on full display, but my editing choices by utilizing footage of premade content by whichever film/television program that is the focus of the essay, but also my creative ability to use original footage and artwork to supplement the essay. I also work consistently with a handful of music composers and graphic designers, where the concept or Real-to-Reel has already been pitched, and with them on board they will collaboration with me and provide music or title graphics to add for a higher production value. And I believe that cross-platforming with other artists will provide for a bigger audience reach in the long run. Any audience that they reach doing their own unique work could lead to the discovery of what I create, and vice versa.

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