Episode 5: Jacob Swinney

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Jacob Swinney comes on the show to discuss his work at Fandor, his popular Twitter account First & Final Frames, how he built a large following on Vimeo, and what it’s like to have Paul Schrader share your work. He and host Will DiGravio also discuss Jake’s essay “First and Final Frames,” and the video essay “The Art of Overanalyzing Movies” by Now You See It.

Preview to Episode 6 – #DoYourHomework

Our next guest will be Adrian Martin, who will represent both himself and Cristina Álvarez López, his partner in his videographic work. We will discuss their essay, “Only Free Gestures,” which is number 26 in their The Thinking Machine series.

Adrian and Will will also discuss “Traspasos,” an essay by Rafael Guilhem.


Check out the latest issues of [in]Transition here.

Learn more about “Repetition and Variation: Video Essays as Comparative Film and Television Studies Methodologies” and RSVP here.

Ariel Avissar from Tel Aviv University and Evelyn Kreutzer of Northwestern University have started a project called, “Once Upon a Screen.” The project centers on the creation of video essays dealing with film scenes that traumatized us as children. Adrian Martin and Cristina Álvarez López have also made a pieces. Anyone interested in creating an essay can email Ariel at arielavissar24@gmail.com.

Watch them all below:

Episode 4: Grace Lee (What’s So Great About That?)

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This week’s guest is Grace Lee, who operates the popular video essay channel, What’s So Great About That? on YouTube. Grace and host Will DiGravio talk about how Grace’s fine art background influences her video essays, what it is like having one’s video essay go viral, how to please the YouTube algorithm, and discuss her essay, “Feathered Foes: Birds in Horror.” They also discuss the desktop documentary “Reading//Binging//Benning” by Chloé Galibert-Laîné and Kevin B. Lee.

Preview to Episode 5 – #DoYourHomework

Our next guest will be Jacob T. Swinney, who previously worked at Fandor and operates the popular Twitter account, First & Final Frames. We will dive deep into his video essay of the same name, “First and Final Frames.”

News from Today’s Show!!

Access [in]Transition HERE.

 Learn more about Repetition and Variation: Video Essays as Comparative Film and Television Studies Methodologies HERE 

 And find your #extra credit HERE!!

Episode 3: Philip Brubaker

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Will DiGravio sits down with Philip Brubaker, formerly one of the principal video essayists at Fandor. Philip is also an experimental filmmaker with a background in documentary filmmaking and an alumnus of Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School. His video essays have screened at numerous film festivals and his work has appeared regularly in Sight and Sound’s annual list of the best video essays. Learn more about him here.

In the show, the two talk about Philip’s introduction to video essays, the rise and fall of Fandor, why Philip does not consider himself a critic, and his latest work, Abandoned Movie, an essay film. The also discuss Victoria Oliver Farner’s video essay, “Peripheral Attention.” 

For an in-depth guide to the show featuring links to all video essays discussed, click here.

Preview to Episode 4 – #DoYourHomework

Our next guest will be Grace Lee! You may know Grace from her popular YouTube Channel, What’s So Great About That? Grace and I will discuss her video essay, “Feathered Foes: Birds in Horror.” 

Some of my favorite video essays by Grace

Episode 2: Catherine Grant

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In the first true episode of The Video Essay Podcast, host Will DiGravio welcomes Catherine Grant. Katie is professor of Digital Media & Screen Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, the founder of the popular blog Film Studies for FreeAudiovisualcy on Vimeo, the journal [in]Transition (which she also co-edits), and one of the most prolificvideo essay makers today.

[Subscribe on iTunes and/or Spotify]

In the show, Katie and Will talk about how Katie first became introduced to video essays, her style preferences when it comes to making video essays, and her latest video essay, “The Haunting of The Headless Woman.” They also discuss a video essay by Cydnii Harris, “Cotton – The Fabric of Genocide.”

For an in-depth guide to the show, featuring links to all video essays, books and articles discussed on Episode 2, click here.

Preview to Episode 3 – #DoYourHomework 

Our next episode will be released on Thursday, August 15th. The guest will be Philip Brubaker, who is one of the best known video essayists working today. He worked for several years at Fandor (RIP), and has made countless video essays about a range of subjects. He is also an experimental and documentary filmmaker. You can learn more about Philip via his website, and by following him on Twitter. In their conversation, Will and Philip will talk about how Philip began making video essays, the rise and fall of Fandor, and why he does not consider himself a critic.

And now, your homework for next week:

First, we ask that you watch Abandoned Movie.

And then Abandoned, the documentary.

If you’d like more information on the homework, listen to Episode 2!!

The video essay that Philip has selected to discuss is “Peripheral Attention” by Victoria Oliver Farner. More information can be found here.

Episode 1: Pilot

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Welcome to the first episode of The Video Essay Podcast! In the pilot, host Will DiGravio (me) introduces the podcast, myself, and the show’s first guest: Catherine Grant. Katie will be interviewed in the first true episode, which will be released on Thursday, August 1. To learn more about this podcast and me, please visit the tabs above.

Please subscribe on iTunes and Spotify. Please also follow us on Twitter @videoessaypod and Facebook.)

An integral part of the podcast is homework that will be assigned to you, the listener, before each new episode. During the show, the guest and I will have an in depth conversation about two video essays. The first video essay will be one made by the interviewee, the other will be one selected by the interviewee, but created by someone else. In order to get the most out of our conversation, it is essential that you watch them beforehand! Thus, you are strongly encouraged to visit this website before each show to watch the essays we will talk about, and after each show to find a) any other video essays that we talked about during the course of our conversation and b) view the videos for next week’s show. Here is the homework for Episode 2:

The Haunting of The Headless Woman by Catherine Grant