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5 x Video Essays

Total Runtime 6 mins

Digital, Colour


I created these video essays while studying at the Scholarship in Sound and Image Workshop on Videographic Criticism, Middlebury College, Vermont, in June 2022. I've included all the assignment briefs, which were created by Professors Jason Mittell and Christian Keathley, Middlebury College.​ The purpose of these assignments is not to create, nor illustrate, a scholarly argument, but to instead experiment with sound and image. You are also required to work on the same film for the whole first week, hence the extensive deconstruction of Heathers....

ASSIGNMENT: Pechakucha. Create a video of exactly 60 seconds consisting of precisely 10 video clips from a single film, each lasting precisely 6 seconds, assembled with straight cuts. Audio should be one continuous sequence from the same film with no edits. Include a 3 second black slug at the beginning and end of the assignment.

ASSIGNMENT: Voiceover. Produce a short (3 minute max) video on your selected film using your own voiceover. The voiceover should relay an anecdote, tell a joke, read from some piece of writing, or otherwise provide an independent channel of material not overtly related to your film. The content can be your own original material or reading something others have written / spoken. The project must also incorporate some sound from the film itself. Video should be one continuous sequence from the film; duration and/or scale can be manipulated, but it should include no new video edits.​

ASSIGNMENT: Epigraph. Select a sequence from your film, and a quotation from a critical text (not specifically related to your film) of no longer than 10 sentences. Alter the video sequence in some noticeable way using at least two different types of transitions or effects. Either replace or significantly alter the soundtrack. The quotation should appear onscreen in some dynamic interaction with the video. The video should not be longer than 3 minutes. Cite your sources!​

ASSIGNMENT: Multiscreen. Use a multiscreen process to create a short piece (3 minute max) engaging with at least one other video source used by your classmates. The video must contain moments of both fullscreen and multiscreen, including images from the source video(s) you are responding to as well as your own original source. All audio and visuals must come from your film and the videos posted on our server used by other participants that you are responding to. Each editor must impose an additional parameter upon themselves.


(My parameter: include each film from my classmates that has a 60min+ runtime. Take a scene from the sixty minute mark in each film and include it in this video).

ASSIGNMENT: Supercut. Choose one element present in your film/episode, and create a video compilation gathering all of the moments of that element. Assemble these moments together using straight cuts of linked sound/image tracks. All sounds and images should come from your film.​


Made by Alison Peirse

Audiovisual material from Heathers (1989, New World Pictures / Cinemarque Entertainment).


All aspects of the video essay data collection and manipulation are in accordance with the UK ‘fair dealing’ policy, specifically section 30 ‘Criticism, review and news reporting of Chapter 3 ‘Acts Permitted in Relation to Copyright Works’ in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

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