From the outset, the idea of critically approaching my own writing process was uncharacteristically interesting. I avoid incorporating the personal into my writing, and as such, would not have otherwise considered accounting- let alone analyzing- my mundane writing processes, especially in a video-based format. However, my time studying digital rhetoric has revealed that there is a value in breaking down “the mundane”- from the way that sound effects are incorporated in a video, to the choices of coloration and imagery present on a website- all serve to feed into effective creation. In this regard, I am still reluctant to document my writing processes, but am willing to go along with for the sake of knowledge.
While I’ve put thought into what this critical video would look like, I have not taken many steps into completing its development. After watching the accounts of several of the authors of “On multimodal Composition”, I’ve not only gotten the opportunity to explore the compositional dynamics of 3 different individuals (Ashanka Kumari, Jon Udelson and Rick Wysocki), but also gained a better understanding of what my project should look like
Udelson’s video is the closest to what I imagined mine may have looked like. The incorporation of his facial expression, the work he was writing, his typing and the books summarized the main factors that went into the writing- the writer, the tool, the text and the inspiration. This visual component of the video was effective in regards to portraying the composition in a concrete fashion. The vocal component was odd; Udelson’s delivery and word choice seemed to detract from the account. His dialogue was psuedo-poetic in its nature, and that disrupted the organic or realistic feeling I derived from his visual elements. Describing his writing processes required an elucidation of the abstract, and Udelson did so effectively enough through both the dialogue and the visuals. The key here is that the account itself did not feel like it “actualized” in a video-based format, as I got as much out of the video as I did from the text-only transcript (which is perhaps a positive element in the case where a viewer does not wish to partake in video, or where visual symbols can add further layer of abstraction). In general however, I feel that the vocal and visual components of the account must aid one another, and I feel that they did not do so as effective here as we saw all the visuals in a collective sequence with the dialogue serving as a distraction.
Comparatively, Wysocki’s account of his work with 3D-printing did something similar to Udelson with a key difference. Udelson overlaid the screen with the 4 major components of his compositional process almost immediately and from there began to speak. Wysocki’s video follows a more narrative format, where we begin with him sitting down and searching for an image to produce and proceeded to the actual act of printing and retrieval. In this sense, the audience processes the compositional process progressively rather than collectively. Wysocki’s delivery and incorporation of music served to compliment the images captured of his web searches and the visuals of the 3D printer in action. The important thing to note here is that both Udelson and Wysocki’s videos were effective, though I feel that Wysocki’s production style worked better for this sort of task. Introducing the various visual elements that went into the compilation alongside a vocal recount creates a more ordered feeling that was more appealing.
At the same time, however, one must consider that writing isn’t always a controlled, highly ordered act. In Kumari’s video we can see this, as distractions, such as the smartphone interceded in her writing stochastically. Most interestingly in Kumari’s case, the account was dominated by visuals. The lack of direct explanation and analysis forces the viewer to consider for themselves what’s going with respect to the visuals they are given, lending itself to a more abstract interpretation that is also simultaneously a more natural presentation, perhaps, as we have no self-referential commentary to back the images up; it’s not something I would have considered and seems like a risky tactic.
With respect to the examples I’ve been given, I now given particular consideration not only to what elements of my writing I decide to capture for the reflection, but how best to piece them together and how best to incorporate (or remove) musical and vocal elements in order to provide enough commentary to be effective yet succinct.