Why It’s Time to Rethink Web Video Entirely
Producer Adam Westbrook recently built an essay called The Web Video Problem about how cinematic video content is wrong for the web, and that we can and ought to recreate the visual storytelling experience on the web entirely. Toward that end, he’s working on web publishing house (Hot Pursuit).
In visual storytelling on the web we are still talking about images in deliberate sequence. We are juxtaposing these images, either over time (in a linear audio/visual way) or in space (like a web comic might).
If we accept this definition of visual storytelling (in the purest sense) then it doesn’t matter if it’s video, a web comic or even an animated GIF - or a combination of all these and more.
Combine this with the growing capabilities of the web browser, and the connectedness of the internet, and potentially we have the ability to tell dynamic, visual stories in a way that hasn’t been done before.
This excites me very much.
The essay is nicely built and designed with bold, scrolling visuals (using the curtain jquery plug-in, which yes, is very popular these days and can be downloaded here for your own building pleasure) so that you can choose to read the whole thing or just get the highlights. It’s worth checking out.
Bonus: He provides some great resources on visual storytelling:
A good briefing on the principles of visual storytelling are featured in the second issue of Inside the Story Magazine, available here. If you don’t want to pay for the whole thing, this free articlecovers a lot of the same ground. Scott McCloud’s comic book on comic books is an essential read for visual storytellers. Craig Mod’s essay on Subcompact Publishing informed some of the ideas about thinking web-natively, as did this article by John Pavlus and this piece by Bryan Goldberg. Finally, Steven Benedict’sanalysis of Spielberg’s cinematic storytelling skills demonstrate what visual narrative can acheive, and let Steven Soderbergh tell you why this new thing shouldn’t become like the movie business.
Image: Screenshot from The Web Video Problem