On Making Video Essays

  • Published on Jan 31, 2018
  • How I make video essays, why I make video essays, and how I'm going to change making video essays
    Help us make these videos: www.patreon.com/patrickhwillems
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    Music by Epidemic Sound
    Patrick Willems
    P.O. Box 380333
    Brooklyn, NY 11238
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Comments • 209

  • Rarely Gaming
    Rarely Gaming Month ago

    Holy Crap! The first 1:39 are exactly how i work (just .. well ... not nearly as good as you) :) cool

  • Snowman Eldorad
    Snowman Eldorad 2 months ago

    Man, you're good. Yours are some of the best videoessays on the market. I would put them on par with Tony Zhou easily. I like that you have your own opinion, and although I sometimes do not agree with them (particularly on a subject of seemly universally undeniable greatness of Marvel-Disney movies), but they are always respectable and have good arguments. And your montage and editing, lighting and other technical aspects are really great. Haven't seen your movies and shorts yet (yeah, I'm one of those people that are coming on this segment of youtube only to watch somebody talking about my favourite or not-so-much movies and popular trends), but I'm sure you're doing great and wish you best of luck and to never lose creative energy and strokes of inspiration on doing what you really care about.

  • Zwelenkani Mdhlalose
    Zwelenkani Mdhlalose 4 months ago

    Thank you homes.

  • Holly Montgomery
    Holly Montgomery 4 months ago

    I'll save you 8 minutes of someone explaining that they're a 'filmmaker':
    "I write 2 drafts. I have thousands in equipment. I use Mac, and Adobe."
    Why does he do this? Because he has a Blu-Ray copy of the only Batman movie that normies care about.
    He foresees the death of the format, check out his Patreon.

  • David Impastato
    David Impastato 4 months ago

    I knew this fraud scripted his videos

  • Brady Baxter
    Brady Baxter 6 months ago

    Is it bad that I was expecting him to open with "Hey, Vsauce. Michael here"

  • Clayburn Griffin
    Clayburn Griffin 7 months ago

    I want to use the TheXvid space in NYC!

  • Alex Matthews
    Alex Matthews 7 months ago

    Love the Akira reference at the end!
    Another awesome video pat!

  • Alexander Villeneuve
    Alexander Villeneuve 8 months ago

    Just curious, what is your format of choice for compressing your MKV files into for editing? I'm trying to make some fan edits of a couple of movies, but premier doesn't support the MKV format.

  • G41G3
    G41G3 8 months ago

    I'm not a film maker, I don't make video essays, and I only recognize some of the names of other film makers you mention... but I love every one of your videos

  • Tyler Wise
    Tyler Wise 9 months ago

    This guy's a bit on the nose with his film techniques.

  • Backyard Stranger
    Backyard Stranger 9 months ago


  • CodieOdie
    CodieOdie 10 months ago

    Wait so as for the MakeMKV part, I wanted to do so for a video, but I didn’t know if it was illegal or not. Isn’t illegal to rip dvds or is it not because you’re using it for fair use? I don’t know. Could someone please clear up some stuff for me? I’m a little confused...

  • The Lone Scavenger
    The Lone Scavenger 10 months ago

    I had seen this videos a few times and this is the first time i notice the chvrches poster on the background

  • Mason Makram
    Mason Makram 10 months ago

    Oh hey we have the same shower curtain.

  • Michael Smith
    Michael Smith 11 months ago

    I see LINDSEY ELLIS!!!!!! :D

  • nooranik21
    nooranik21 11 months ago

    I like all your videos. However, I think your video essays are better than others because you are much better at explaining things than other essayists. You and your crew are succinct, informative, and thought provoking. It culminates into an entertaining and educational TheXvid experience.

  • Maxwell B.
    Maxwell B. Year ago +1

    You got a good thing going my man, definitely underappreciated on the internet for now but I don't doubt you'll pick up that clout

  • Nikolay Karakadaev

    You r so creative. Love your videos, keep going!

  • Ronny Ooweh
    Ronny Ooweh Year ago

    @Patrick (H) Willems ... so what... Like a.... PatWillemsverse? Bwhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap

  • Valiant Bradley James

    I thought this was a good video, I"d hoped to learn a thing or two about doing better essays myself, and I think I have the idea, I just have to put things into practice, i'm new to the channel and I like your work, keep it up

  • Awesomepedia
    Awesomepedia Year ago

    05:30 You don't even know how my endorphins spiked when I spotted my video on the second page of your search results! I'M ECSTATIC TO BE PART OF THE BLUR. The first half of this video is interesting but the second half is great. It's a good and ambitious goal you're setting and I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops.

  • Cludora
    Cludora Year ago

    My favorite video about you is the fast and furious video. It doesn't even matter if I agree or not, it's a fun way to show your passion and your viewpoint to the viewers in an entertaining way.

  • dman Woowoo
    dman Woowoo Year ago

    Since you seem to be a fan of CHVRCHES, wont you do a video on them! Also I really appreciate what youre saying but i like your videos because of what you say, not how you say it. I come here because of your insight.

  • Alpha Jay 3.0
    Alpha Jay 3.0 Year ago

    _One of the who are innovating in their video essays that I can tell are kaptainkristian and judging by his subreddit lots of other people becoming more influence with his style too._

  • Palmarius
    Palmarius Year ago

    This is the only tutorial on this topic that I've found genuinely helpful. Most people just say "find a good subject matter, write a script etc" but you actually going into your process is very refreshing.

  • TheMixedPrince
    TheMixedPrince Year ago

    I pretty much love all your videos, you inspire me to do so much and I can't wait to get started doing them all

  • OfficialLEBK
    OfficialLEBK Year ago

    The reason I like watching your video essays is because of all the skits and extra footage that you incorporate into them. You've clearly got a style of your own that is well-defined, making you stand out from the rest. That is what more video essayists (?) need! Something unique and different that separates them from the rest of the crowd. Keep making awesome content, and keep rocking that unique style of yours Patrick! I'll be here as always, waiting for the next one! :)

  • Ben Phelps
    Ben Phelps Year ago

    At the risk of repeating-posting fromTwitter, I just want to make sure that you get this compliment and appreciation. I love that you’re finding you’re style with this variety of vids. It’s a wonderful example of how the Behind the Scenes films can become the actual films. Front and centre (Sorry, ‘center’. Tomatoe, tomatoe 😉). Keep up the great work, Patrick!

  • Austin Iuliano
    Austin Iuliano Year ago

    So basically you took all our conversations and decided to actually make this video for me. Thanks, patrick! BTW, I wish you could see how giddy I get when I learn a new thing in premier.

  • Connor Coulson
    Connor Coulson Year ago

    I love when you get more dynamic and experimental, you have a unique style.

  • The Spectacular Batman

    I have like *50 to 60* YT channels in my subscribe list, and in those 50 to 60 there got to be *only 3 or 4* channels that make real video essays on a "regular basis"... (that's just a way of saying that I "clean" my subscribe list really often) *you're channel is in one of those 3 or 4... so yeah I think you're pretty good at making those...* ^^

    Even though _"Patrick explains..."_ are still my favorite ones.... ^^

  • waltdog177
    waltdog177 Year ago

    The Patrick Explains videos are amongst some of my favourite videos on youtube. They're always hilarious to watch and I love the dialogue between yourself and your parents and you telling them how good a certain movie is as it almost feels like a dialogue with us, the audience.
    Keep doing what you're doing, Man! And by that, I don't mean keep doing the same thing. Keep doing you! Keen for the new unique approach!!

  • memicoot
    memicoot Year ago

    I know you'll be furious to hear me say this, but I've never seen your short films. Don't worry, will look them up now!

  • memicoot
    memicoot Year ago

    I don't know what I was expecting but DAMN that is a ton of work. And no guarantee of success. Thank you so much for making these videos. They are so wonderful and insightful, they bring me tons of joy :)

  • Amal Burgess
    Amal Burgess Year ago

    when is that apartment short flim going to be finished

  • Luke Johnston
    Luke Johnston Year ago

    cool chvrches poster 👏🏼

  • L
    L Year ago

    if only this video came out this time last year 😥

  • Mental Piracy
    Mental Piracy Year ago

    Great video! It's actually really inspiring to see that my process is almost identical to yours, at times I feel like I'm wandering around in the dark but this just helped me a lot. Thank you! And I can't wait to see more.

  • FwaterO
    FwaterO Year ago

    Contra Points does extremely well shot unique video essays, i like the cinamatics of her style

  • Arian S
    Arian S Year ago

    Sounds exciting, Your idea of discussing filmmaking with filmmaking. And it's a great video by the way. I see a storytelling method emerging already.

  • Alex Balhatchet
    Alex Balhatchet Year ago

    Patrick Explains' narrative structure makes them sooo good, love your work, have a great 2018!

  • Jack Steel
    Jack Steel Year ago

    You're talking about After Hours

  • irwan shah abdullah

    My favourite video is the one you made on Alien Covenant. A perfect blend of critical commentary and inspired humour.

  • Charly Safe Como vivir del cine

    I've just whacht this video and I realised that your channel is the kink of channel I'll like to be... but in spanish (I'm from Argentina). There isn't a lot of video essays in spanish but most of the topics that I'm interested already had been made (in english) and I don't wanna just copy those videos. So I'm trying to find my way making my own personal stuff in a video essay fashion but not exactly that. Any way I'm rambling out... Your videos are GREAT anf I love your channel. ¡¡¡GRACIAS!!! ME VOY A HACER TU PATRON.

  • Charly Safe Como vivir del cine

    Ok, now I know that every time I listen your videos you are in the bathroom XD

  • Mr Filmmaker
    Mr Filmmaker Year ago

    Hello Patrick, I just wanted to know what settings do you use in handbrake when encoding a MKV Blu ray movie?

  • Nathan Walkley
    Nathan Walkley Year ago

    Dear Patrick had an idea I would love to see you do, my favourite video of yours is if Wes Anderson directed X men and when I was watching the new trailer for ant man and the wasp I thought wouldn't it be so strange and awesome and funny if ant man was directed by Robert Rodriguez, I do not know if you will like this idea but I would love to see a if Robert Rodriguez directed ant man video, thanks for your consideration.

  • Elaina Davis
    Elaina Davis Year ago

    Great video, dude. What video essays do you suggest that break the formula?

  • Setheim
    Setheim Year ago

    You are not the only one who is trying to give some narrative to their videos and I tend to find those more boring if I may be honest. And the reason is not that they are boring but the titles... if the title is a video essay title and I'm met with narrative, I tend to just fast forward until they are talking about what I came here to hear about. So my suggestion is to find a way to present these videos (even the title) that already displays we are here for something more than just a topic being discussed. And you gave me a lot to think about, I started a couple of months ago a essay channel of my own and I too was following the same format as everyone's else... I may have to rethink that. Thanks a lot. Keep the great work coming.

  • Jake MacDonagh
    Jake MacDonagh Year ago +1

    What’s the point in even trying to be a critic if you’ll never reach the genius of LightsCameraJackson?

  • Dylan Harding
    Dylan Harding Year ago

    Seeing Branson Reese in your Twitter feed just rocketed my respect for you to 9,999,999

  • AbbyCalendar
    AbbyCalendar Year ago

    It’s so interesting to see the process behind your video essays. Also: unrelated, but please do a video on Sense8!

  • Cristiano Figueira Canguçu

    Also, please enable subtitles on your videos! It would be easier for your non-english-speaking fans to understand you (even enabling automatic subs does help!).

  • Cristiano Figueira Canguçu

    I loved that there's a bunch of other video essayists commenting here. I've now followed five more channels. :)

  • Blake Battersby
    Blake Battersby Year ago

    Woah! Where did you get those Saga figures on your computer shelf at 0:20

  • MrJayLifes
    MrJayLifes Year ago

    Patrick explains is the fucking greatest!

  • Payton Swan
    Payton Swan Year ago +7

    You just made me go back and completely reformat my next video. I had the audio all recorded and cut up in premiere and everything. But it'll be better. I think. Thanks!

  • Maxime Teppe
    Maxime Teppe Year ago

    One thing about video essays: most people doing them write an article, and then add mostly redundant footage to keep your eves focused until the credits.
    Pretty much no video essayist ouside of Every Frame has managed to make their writing compact and their editing tight enough to avoid being redundant, or having voice and video compete for attention instead of working together. I love Lindsay Ellis's work, but that's a criticism I have of some of her videos.
    Working in a fictionnal framework is something François Theurel and Karim Debbache (french video essayists) have done increasingly to add complicity and a unique tone (mostly humor) within their videos.
    Obviously, better if you speak french, but the picture speaks for itself: this format, derived more from the nostalgia critic than EFAP has evolved and has allowed for more variation in style than the self serious video essays which are often good but tend to lack imagination.

  • Bobby Jenkins
    Bobby Jenkins Year ago

    Man I remember when video essays were a novelty and cool new idea... like two years ago.

  • Steven Côté
    Steven Côté Year ago

    I think the answer to the question "why use this simple template?" is the same answer why everyone else uses it. It's simple and easy to do, so you can churn out content every Wednesday while spending the time on more narrative projects that take a lot more time and effort to produce.
    That's not a judgement, regular content is a good thing. If you can fuse the styles and keep the schedule, then that's an amazing thing. I look forward to seeing how this goes.

    • Patrick (H) Willems
      Patrick (H) Willems  Year ago +1

      I don't think it's just the simplicity. I still find those videos massively time consuming. I think most people do it that way for the same reason I did: because it seems like that's just what video essays are. Since they all look that way, no one considers how they COULD be different.

  • mc st
    mc st Year ago

    😀😀 "Every Frame is a Painting" is one of my favorite chanel(but stopped making new titles over a year now) . After watching them all you showed up in my recommendation list with the ugly looking marvel movies, then I subscribed not much later on 😀
    Keep up the good work 👍!

  • Tania Juangorena
    Tania Juangorena Year ago

    I really enjoy your video essays, and yeah the ones explain movies to your parents are the funniest xD

  • Harvey thompson
    Harvey thompson Year ago

    more Patrick explains. now. plz.

  • Always Lucky
    Always Lucky Year ago

    Man after this video about how you wanna discuss filmaking with filmaking I might have a mancrush on you.
    Love your work a little bit more every day.

  • Mr. ShyRyHud
    Mr. ShyRyHud Year ago

    You have The Fifth Beatle graphic novel on your shelf in the background!

  • Nicolas AUDEPIN
    Nicolas AUDEPIN Year ago

    Since you also make your own movie why not show us how to use what you've learnt during the essay

  • John Doe
    John Doe Year ago

    To be honest, I'm fine with the standard format, but if you simply don't like the content your making, go for it, I'll look forward to it!

  • Job Kruijer
    Job Kruijer Year ago

    Make a short film do similar scenes of video's you wanna cover and break the fourth wall what went wrong or what went good in that movie

  • Ryan Kenwrick
    Ryan Kenwrick Year ago

    You got real pointy teeth

  • Drumdums
    Drumdums Year ago +3

    Holy shit. I use MakeMKV and Handbrake for my footage too. I thought I was the only one!

    • Divyendu Raina
      Divyendu Raina 12 days ago

      Nice Try. Still not gonna peek your channel bro.

  • mooxim
    mooxim Year ago

    YEAH! Evolve that genre!

  • Rothur The Paladin

    Great work as always.

  • Mark Parq
    Mark Parq Year ago

    Good point. I'm looking forward to 2018 to see what comes next. Maybe characters could explain things in interesting locations. For example, a guy doing a heist explains how heists always work in movies... Just a thought...

  • Charles Rachor
    Charles Rachor Year ago

    This video reminds me of a time in high school when I got stuck on an essay idea, so I wrote about writer's block.

  • EposVox
    EposVox Year ago

    This was really cool. It was neat seeing your process as-is, and then BAM! Pivot to super insightful questioning as to why you do what you do that very much feels relatable to my completely unrelated work. Thanks for sharing.

  • KR P
    KR P Year ago

    I mean, there's a same-y vibe to video essays, yes, but you all do have different quirks and approaches, even if only just. I don't find them boring at all, but sure, something to spice up the format would be nice. I'd say the content itself is what lures me to video essays the most, regardless if the essay in question feels derivative of Every Frame or Nerdwriter in terms of style. $0.02

  • jblue1622
    jblue1622 Year ago

    Willemdulgent** ;P happy you're pushing your creative juices rather than trying to be like everyone else, here since Wes Anderson's Xmen, still here to see you develop as a filmmaker and cinephile, not an essayist

  • Parker Lowe
    Parker Lowe Year ago

    What's the title of the outro music?

  • JMaTiK
    JMaTiK Year ago

    Fully on board!

  • Series Consideration

    I considered doing a video essay series on comics. I thought of making it a mix of Nerdwriter and Every Frame a Painting, mixed with chibi-like art and humour like Yahtzee or Extra Credits. I have a friend who's interested in doing the art on that end. My first video was going to be on Scott McLeod's THE SCULPTOR.
    Got as far as writing and recording a first draft, but stopped there because I hated it. It sounds monotone and pretentious. Plus, I have zero technical skills in terms of filmmaking, editing, processing, etc. So I don't even know how to fix any problems where I might be mildly pleased with the essay part to go any further.
    So I think I'll just give up on the idea.

  • Gui Caldo
    Gui Caldo Year ago +1

    0:39 Well this sounds like my process in coming up with book and film ideas... except that I have maybe half a dozen of them in my head for up to several _years_ and keep fleshing them out further... yeah, I'm not one for short projects. xD

  • Micah Nahum
    Micah Nahum Year ago

    What you are talking about is branding, find your brand and you'll find the neat little package across all your video. With that being said, you did a good job making me feel challenged. As someone who wants to do this full time one day, I need play with the formatting and try and be more creative. Thank you, sir.

  • Mikkel Rasmussen
    Mikkel Rasmussen Year ago

    Going in to this video I was like "is this a video essay about video essays?"

  • James Lawner
    James Lawner Year ago

    Y'know what? You're absolutely right about video essays on TheXvid, even though I enjoy some of them, they do tend to follow a similar structure. Also, your video making process sounded fascinating and inspiring.

  • ToonamiT0M
    ToonamiT0M Year ago

    Is it bad that one of my favorite videos of yours is the x-tended discussion of the X-Men movies that you did with your friend Connor? I just enjoy hearing people talk about their passions, especially when they're super knowledgeable on the subject.

  • Conroy Creed
    Conroy Creed Year ago +1

    What the hell happened to your iPhone?

  • Will Carmack
    Will Carmack Year ago

    First of all, what is the circle rig you had around your camera?? Second of all (is that a thing?) the film reel transition to your "Why am I making Video essays?" part was too satisfying

    • Patrick (H) Willems
      Patrick (H) Willems  Year ago

      It's a Fig Rig! Manfrotto makes it. It's a simple stabilizer I've been using for like 5 years.

      And thanks! I really dug that transition.

      (and yes, "second of all" is a thing)

  • drewsandersmedia
    drewsandersmedia Year ago

    Yes! Very cool. Exciting! Sounds like you’re on the edge of something new! The commentaries where you explain why with your parents are my favorite thing on this channel so far.

  • Amelia Jones
    Amelia Jones Year ago

    This is a life-saver. I just typed out my first draft of my first video essay a couple days ago. (Which is something I've been thinking about doing for a while) And hearing this is great. Now I realize you have much better equipment then I do, but hopefully for a starter channel that won't matter too much.
    For any of you old pros out there: Do you have any tips?

  • Csongor Varady
    Csongor Varady Year ago

    Mad respect for trying to be different! Keep it up!

  • Carlos Garcia
    Carlos Garcia Year ago

    Right on the money Patrick. Your "Patrick explains" series is just amazeballs awesome! The video essays are the gateway drug that got me to watch the narratives that I've been enjoying more and more.

  • bearded schlim
    bearded schlim Year ago


  • Ildemaro Orellana

    Loved it!

  • Dalton Riser
    Dalton Riser Year ago

    you know when i saw the title i thought this would be a video about the meta text of why people write video essays and the effect they have on discourse but i guess i'll have to wait for another day on that one

  • Taylor Lien
    Taylor Lien Year ago

    I loved the video! But I’ve been searching for a external Blu-ray player for my MacBook so I was curious which one you use

    • Patrick (H) Willems
      Patrick (H) Willems  Year ago

      I've got this one: www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008MCZJXG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  • François A
    François A Year ago

    There is some video essays that actually try to create an overarching fiction narrative over video essays, and these are awesome, but from what I've learned, it's quite work intensive...

  • James G. Wall
    James G. Wall Year ago

    Very good, very interesting. I'm having a similar problem at the moment.

  • Aidan Harry Cooper

    I want your job haha

  • Real Dan Jeremy Brooks

    I think your ideas in the second half of this vid are exactly on-point, & I can't encourage you enough to keep thinking about how to hybridize your short film style with your video essays. I can easily see you reconciling these styles in a way that's high;y artful, much like how Errol Morris re-energized the documentary format in the '80s & on. (Don't get me wrong; there were many masterpieces in the documentary field before Morris came along, but he certainly helped to revolutionize & expand what was considered an acceptable way to tell stories in a doc. I mean, "The Thin Blue Line" doesn't look or feel much like, say, "Shoah", no?)