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How to do a Video Essay: The Video Essay Process

An introduction to the video essay

The Video Essay Process

This section will give an introductory overview of the stages required to create a video essay.  Video essayers advice is to start simple and work through each stage of the video production process. Visit the Resources page of this guide for more.


Identify what is your argument? What is it that you want to communicate to the viewer? Write this down in a few sentences, refer and modify it as required.

Watch Video Essays

Watch a selection of video essays, read blogs and web pages from video essayers and decide what type of video essay you would like to create. Start simple.


A storyboard is a detailed outline (similar to an outline in a written essay) that helps you to organise and visualise the video essay as to what is on the screen, text, media, message and transitions between shots.

Storyboards assist in determining the length, message and meaning of the video essay and help save time with editing and post production processes.

Collect & Edit

Collect video material as downloads, ripping DVDs, screen grabs, mobile phone footage and create voice-overs. Use research skills to find information and statements to support your argument. Maintain a standard of quality and manage your videos by naming conventions and storage.


Use editing software and experiment with available functionality to enhance and support your argument. Add a voice-over, sound effects, music and other aspects of multimodality. Be sure to include references and credits to all sources used in creating the video essay.


Revisit elements of your video essay and modify as required.

Visit the Resources page of this guide for more.

References & Credits

References to cite sources used in the Video Essay.
Referencing is a formal, systematic way of acknowledging sources that you have used in your video essay. It is imperative that you reference all sources used (including videos, stills, music, sfx) and apply the correct formatting so that references cited can be easily traced. The referencing style used at ECU is the APA style, 6th ed. 2010. Refer to the ECU Referencing Library Guide for accurate citation in APA style.

Production credits
Individuals: acknowledgement of individuals and their role in the production.
Purpose: A statement for internal use, e.g. “This video was produced for [course name] at [institution’s name] in [semester, year]”