NYCC 2020: The YouTube Video Essay In Review

by Benjamin Hall

Offering their insights into the world of video essay on YouTube, creators Patrick Willems, Lindsay Ellis, Michael Tucker, Maggie Mae Fish, and Kevin Peterson convened for a session at New York Comic Con Metaverse over the weekend to discuss the strange and varied format of videos on the platform. Willems also acted as the panel’s moderator. Despite clearly being pre-recorded, the panel often felt like a live online discussion — the illusion broke down multiple times, however, due to panelists mentioning an uncertainty regarding when it will be available to view.

The panel began where most “breaking in” or “how to do” panels tend to do. In other words, the panelists related some story about their beginnings in the relevant topic. Though a generic prompt, there were a few bits of knowledge viewers can glean from this panel. One: the YouTube algorithm is a dreadful thing that even these veterans of the site fear; mainly due to how it can negatively affect a YouTuber’s view count without any sort of recourse. There was also talk about leadership being key in group efforts, and learning curves happening early on. The panelists also described how they didn’t see working on the site as a career before certain points.

It is worth noting that a few audio problems exist in this panel. The most severe problem occurs when Ellis’s microphone echoes. His audio also glitches every now and then. Not to mention, there are certain parts where the video almost buffers while panelists are talking. Thus, this panel on making video essays will try some viewers’ patience and others may just give up and look for quotes from articles covering the topic.

Those who are willing to see past the technical problems could come away with some knowledge. Though viewers trying to learn may have an easier time with actual tutorials. This is mostly due to the tips essentially being hidden somewhere in the story of each content creator. Those who are looking for entertainment should look elsewhere.

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