September 25, 2013
A media crisis
After a number of particularly bleak months, when creativity looms and I'm itching to "make" "something", I find myself at a crossroad: if I go left I'll film an entertaining YouTube video that really says something, with a healthy dose of improvisation and wit. If I go right I'll write a thought provoking, humorous, well-executed blog post essay that will serve as the foundation for my impending memoirs (which no other twenty-somethings claim. Ever.).
Video is, obviously, the now and the future. People like watching shit online. Me included. We like it a lot. Being on the "creator" side of YouTube lends a lot of perspective, entertainment, and creative challenges (I just spent two hours learning the basics of color correction and succeeded in turning a video clip vomity green). And, admittedly, any video I post on my YouTube channel will reach a much larger audience than anything I post on my blog. While numbers aren’t my goal, the affirmation gives me confidence that someone, somewhere, is somewhat appreciative of my internet shenanigans.
Writing, however, has proven to be the best catalyst to make cohesive goo pour out of my brain. (This is probably true and somewhat obvious for most people, but I'm in the process of self discovery, so please, entertain the notion that I just made a breakthrough.)
I suffer from a burdensome neurological condition called Word Vomit, wherein words come out of my mouth involuntarily, usually different than indented. This leads to what I call “Contritis Dialoguis”, when I think of the perfect phrase to explain my point many minutes, days, months, and millennia after a conversation already finished.
Writing alleviates these troubles because I can say things over and over in my head, write them, read them, and write them again. Then I make sweet love to a thesaurus and many paragraphs are born. Many more are aborted.
I have tried combining the two. You know, writing for video. After all, it would behoove me to know what I'm going to say before I say it. There are far less “ums” involved. At the same time, there is far less improvisation, which puts a damper on my desperate need to constantly channel Tina Fey. It can also feel and look like I'm reading from a script (because I reading from a script). It affects my demeanor and voice tone and my eyes start twitching. I'll be the first to say that no one wants a clammy video full of bad acting.
The bottom line is - I write like I talk and I talk like a write. A blog post and video on the same topic would sound/read very much the same, just in a different medium. So… what now?
Here’s the experiment: this blog post was written beforehand and recited basically word for word in front of my camera. So, watch the video above and leave a comment answering the following questions:
Which medium is more effective? Which is more entertaining? Do certain topics work better as a video and others better as words? These are first world questions. I beseech your first world answers.