From text to audio-visual : how might academics establish a framework for critical analysis using audio-visual essays?

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Te Whata, Joel
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Master of Creative Practice
Unitec Institute of Technology
Pollmuller, Britta
Wagner, Daniel
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
film studies
film criticism
audiovisual essays
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Te Whata, J. (2019). From text to audio-visual : how might academics establish a framework for critical analysis using audio-visual essays? (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Creative Practice). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
The audio-visual essay is a particular form of videographic research that has become popular among scholars and amateur critics in the field of film criticism. Where the written word has sufficed for much of the last century when it came to film criticism as a profession, the audiovisual essay, over the last few years, has enabled many respond to film with films of their own. The potential for film scholars and critics to treat a film within the same audio-visual mode has been the primary motivation of this research, leading to the audio-visual essay. However, the most important question seemed to be: As a form of essay, what framework could be proposed to make such a method of film criticism useful to scholars in an academic context? What is the difference to the traditional written form and how can both be complementary to one another? This study will compare conventional essay elements: titles, subheadings and figures, images and tables, as well as citations and references with elements in audio-visual essays. This is being undertaken order to understand where the audio-visual essay is informed by conventional essay structure, but also where the audio-visual essay separates itself structurally from textbased criticism. Ultimately, the study hopes to present a clear framework for academics in film and media studies to teach to students interested in audio-visual essay film criticism as an alternative to conventional written form.
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