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Stellar Student-Made Video Essays

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

The last unit of Colloquium II culminates with a Video Essay assignment where students get to analyze a science-fiction movie using the themes of the course. This project is a really fun way to end the semester, but is also a challenge too! Unlike a formal academic essay, here you need to think about how to communicate your ideas both visually (with quotes, graphs, movie stills, etc) and verbally (those long scholarly sentences don't work here!).


Lucky for you, advanced Honors students Emma Jones (Political Science and Environment & Natural Resources double major) and Nick Martin (Chemistry) have kindly allowed us to share their video essays from last year to help the next generation of Colloquium students start to brainstorm their projects.


As you watch these examples, think about how each is put together. I really admire how both video essays work to set up their unique arguments with a broad opening. They also marry their verbal claims with visual evidence, like Emma's use of a painting to analyze nature in Ex Machina and Nick's references to other horror movies to describe Annihilation. Ultimately, both essays offer highly distinctive interpretations of their chosen movies-- even if you are familiar with these films, I guarantee that these essays notice something about the movie you never thought of! That is the sign of a stellar film analysis.


SPOILER WARNING: Both of these video essays discuss major spoilers for their chosen movies. Watch at your own risk!


1) Emma Jones, "The 'Nature' of Humanity' in Ex Machina" (8 min)


2) Nick Martin, "The Genius of Annihilation" (8 min)


If you are inspired by these samples, remember that you can register for a Video Editing Workshop over at the Spring Workshops page!


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