Unit 1 final project: why video?

Today we are beginning the process of remediating a longer written fact-check — which you should have drafted in a Google Doc for today — into a video. According to media scholars Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin, remediation is “the representation of one medium in another.” It’s what we do when we adapt or translate an idea, argument, or narrative (say, a 19th century novel like Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women) into a different form (say, a 2019 film directed by Greta Gerwig).

Why video?

In your case, you are remediating a written/hypertext version of a fact-check as a video. Before we get to that task, however, I think we should spend some time discussing why it’s becoming increasingly important to talk about facts in the context of video. For starters, let’s talk about deepfakes.

While deepfakes are maybe the most Orwellian version of fake news, there are other less dramatic ways to manipulate viewers using video editing software. The Washington Post‘s “The Fact Checker” recently shared several of these methods — and gave plenty of examples:

While you’re not actually fact-checking videos in your task, I am asking you to compose with video in part so that you understand how you can use programs like iMovie to make meaning — and how others can use them to manipulate information. What you’ll be doing is more like what you see in this CNN fact-check. As you watch, consider the source material in the editing of the video:

CNN: Fact-checking the contentious Democratic debate (Feb. 2020)

Slowing down and understanding video can be tricky since it comes at you in two modes: sight and sound. What would you notice if we turn off the sound? Or only listen to the video? What do you notice? Or let’s look at this lo-fi, less-edited video fact check from Snopes:

Snopes: Was El Paso One of the ‘Most Dangerous Cities’ in U.S. Before a Border Fence Was Built? (Feb. 2019)

Collecting materials

Saved images
Screen grabs
Screen casts
Streaming video (ripped)
Voiceover narration


As you consider the examples and think about the sources for your iMovie, hopefully you can start to gather some ideas about how to remediate your script into video. One device that helps with that remediation process is a storyboard.

While there are plenty of templates out there, you can use this one I adapted by adding it to your WRT drive folder and cutting and pasting your script into the left column.

Ripping content

Ripping means extracting digital content from a source, usually from a source that is protected in some way. (Worried about copyright — don’t be, as long as we are abiding by fair use.) Here are some ways to rip:

  • Screengrab tricks in Mac OS [link]
  • YT downloaders [link]
  • Screencasting [open Quicktime]
  • Rip music from YT [link]

And if you can’t rip from one source (say, CNN’s website), keep in mind that the same content might be available elsewhere, like CNN’s YouTube channel.