One of the criticisms I had for Episode 2 was that it tried to shoehorn a full video into the video-blog format. It didn’t work in Episode 2 and I wanted to drift away from ever doing it again in a VATAS episode. And yet, here we are in Westisode 9, where I not only put in a full video into the middle of the episode, but it somehow worked better than I could have imagined and it has become of the most viewed episodes of VATAS on my Vimeo. Even stranger, is that even though I stand by my rule of not doing this, I largely feel that Wesitosde 9 works. In fact, I’d say that is has rightfully earned its place amongst the “Big Three” of VATAS episodes. Also, in defense, the video inside of this episode (A re-edit of a Gunsmoke episode) couldn’t really be featured on its own due to copyright restrictions (although, because it was used solely for education and no money will be made off of it, I do believe that it falls under the umbrella of Fair Use). Anyhoo, let’s go ahead and take a look at the episode before dissecting it further:
This episode works, and I enjoy it. So the question is: WHY does it work? I feel it’s partially because the entire episode is centered around the nested video, and that after showing the video we have a bit of a discussion afterward about the assignment and my thoughts on it (Still not much of a discussion, but still a discussion). The other reason this works, is because it’s ridiculously fun. After the previous apocalyptic news of my school closing in Episode 8, Number 9 is mostly just me playing “Cowboys and Indians” by saying things like “Let’s go plant a cactus farm!” and “I got to- I got to gather up all the chickens!”. These interspersed bits of oddly understood genre conventions help cement this episode as “The Cowboy VATAS”, as well as help tie everything into the Gunsmoke project. I also think it’s a good step into figuring out a way to talk about school projects that I otherwise wouldn’t have, while keeping it interesting and useful for supposed spectators.
I never again tried to nest a video into another episode, and I think that’s smart. But, Westisode 9 does show that it can be done much more effectively than in the scattered episode 2. That’s what I think anyways, but what do you think seven readers? Does it work? Or I’m just too much of a cock-sure gunman?