Earlier this fall, I received an email from a UCLA Cinema and Media Studies graduate student Mathias Stork, sharing with me a video he had produced for Janet Bergstrom's "DVD Essay for Film Analysis" and Steven Mamber's video games class. Here's how Stork describes his essay:
I researched, planned, and produced it within a ten-week period. It has not been altered since I submitted it for class review. As a result, it is not an overly polished work. In the interest of time, I had to make several concessions in terms of style and argument (for instance, I would have preferred to use a video game font and elaborate upon the narrative dimensions of media convergence in the digital era). Nevertheless, the work, as it is, effectively reflects, I believe, an increasingly important topic in film and media studies. The goal of the video essay is to sketch out the culture of synergy situated at the intersection of cinema and video games, taking account of journalistic, industrial, and, predominantly, aesthetic correspondences between the two media. In my opinion, it represents a 'work-in-progress', designed to stimulate interest and future research.
The video essay was published in the Winter 2013 issue of MEDIASCAPE, available here
I immediately know I wanted to pass this video essay along to my blog readers -- for many reasons. First, because it represented an innovative form of scholarship. I am hoping we will see more examples of these kinds of analytic video essays in the future, and there are several others featured in this issue of Mediascape. Second, because the issues it discusses -- having to do with the interplay between video games and cinema, notions of remediation and transmedia storytelling -- are ones which we regularly discuss through this blog and which I know many of my readers are finding ways to teach. Stork's video essay reviews a broad range of theorists and approaches which we might take to think comparatively about old and new forms of entertainment and illustrates them with a compelling selection of clips from contemporary films and games. I know this is a video I will be using in my own teaching in the months ahead and if you are teaching new media or transmedia, you may also find it a welcomed resource.
Matthias Stork is a Masters student in the Cinema and Media Studies program at the University of California – Los Angeles, USA. He researches the intersections of film and digital media, especially the synergies between films and video games, as well as the aesthetics of digital marketing, fandom, and the forms of digital film studies. His work has appeared in Frames, Cinema Journal, Press Play, and Film Studies for Free. He served as META section editor for the Winter 2013 issue of Mediascape and is currently the co-Editor-in-Chief of the upcoming issue. He is also the co-editor of Superhero Synergies: Genre in the Age of Digital Convergence (Scarecrow Press, 2013).