For this assignment in my Digital Storytelling class, I chose to create a mock review channel focused on music, film, and culture. I used video as the medium for my reviews and not a written/audio-only format because I believe that the content I was reviewing lent itself best to a visual medium. This goes without saying for film, but I also believe this to be true for music. My experience with the album I reviewed, as well as with many other albums I have listened to, have been shaped by the visuals and music videos associated with the album’s promotion. My theory is that the work put into the visuals for the album often reflects the quality and work put into the musical elements of the album and, therefore, both should be considered when reviewing the body of work.
I chose an album to review that was one of my favourites of the year which gave me a lot to talk about. Although I thoroughly enjoyed it, I was still able to deal equal bouts of criticism and praise while analyzing it critically. The most difficult part of this project was not forming my opinions on the album, but was knowing what to say on camera and remembering all of the points that I wanted to touch upon. Youtube reviewers like Anthony Fantano (aka theneedledrop) make it look so easy!
Once the initial shooting was done, I was then able to focus back on the visuals and work with Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects to compile all of my shots into one cohesive and engaging piece. I honestly have not had this much fun editing a video in a long time. There was so much freedom in what I was able to animate and experiment with which led to endless possibilities. Using After Effects especially allowed for a lot of movement on the screen while I was speaking which made sure that the video was continually fresh and visually intriguing.
Using video as my medium also came with the challenge of developing the right tone for the content. In the end, I decided to be professional to build credibility but still welcoming and down-to-earth, as not to come across as arrogant. This tone felt very authentic to me and allowed me to deal some criticism without being overwhelming negative, which I view as a disengaging quality in reviews. Overall, I feel that my review video and the associated visuals reflect the capabilities of transmedia storytelling while also being continually engaging, professional, and welcoming. I also realized how much work it takes to make reviews seem professional and yet natural/effortless on any medium. The completed video can be viewed above.