Reaction Videos

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Two ladies reacting (laughing) at a video of dancers. Image Source: blogs.wsj.com

I’ve recently (since last year) become enamored with “reaction videos” on YouTube.  This is a sub-genre where people watch various media (usually trailers) and film their reactions to them and then usually they give some sort of impression of what they think after the trailer & reaction is over.

Usually YouTubers do the: 1) because trailers are short (generally anywhere from 2-3 mins. long), 2) because they don’t generally run afoul of copyright laws per se as the works are copyrighted, but the whole goal of a trailer is to be a sort of “commercial” for the movie, game, or whatever media, so generally speaking, publicity and legal departments are okay with the sharing, reediting, and remixing of the trailers (longer content is trickier as you have to limit your use to small clips of the content), and 3) they’re a popular sub-genre on YouTube.  They can bring in tens of thousands of views for really well done reactions and can help a fledging YouTube “channel” get off the ground or stabilize the viewership (& add new subscribers to a mid-sized channel).

The process is fairly simple–I’ve thought about, but so far, discarded the idea of doing reaction videos myself and posting them to YouTube as you really only need picture-in-picture software as most smartphones and laptops have the other necessary equipment (video recording, audio recording, and video editing).  The iPhone has all of that and I’m pretty sure Android and Google phones have them as well.  If you interested in a slightly more better set up, be sure to visit the following link for more information on making a reaction video: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-make-reaction-video/

The reason why I’m writing a blog about this is two-fold.  Well, actually tri-fold, but I’ll get to that in a minute.  1) I would like to start doing scholarship on this particular sub-genre.  I’m going to try to see if I can’t somehow pick a reaction/group of reactions and break down some of the rhetorical implications of what is going on in the video.  I have Narratology class coming up in the Fall, and while I know that I probably won’t get to pick movies and TV shows to do, if at all possible, I’m going to see if I can’t find some way to work a reaction video into the scholarship (paper, discussion post topic, whatever) and then see if I can build off that, 2) I think that I’m going to assign this as some sort of project in my freshman classes.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to make it a major project, or as something that we do along the way (like a two-week project that we do in addition to the normal classwork), but I’d like to have the students get comfortable with “producing” using video/audio techniques and understand the rhetorical implications behind their choices, and 3) (maybe) I’d like to actually add in reaction videos for this blog (& YouTube) for things like E3 videos and Comic-Con trailers (& Super Bowl trailers/commercials).  I haven’t decided if I’m “going to go there,” but if I decide to do so, then that would be the obvious places to start (& as they happen yearly, it wouldn’t mean too much of a time investment for me).

I’ll consider it.  In the meantime, here is a trailer reaction to the upcoming movie, “IT” by Stephen King that is particularly creepy.  The YouTuber is Grace and her channel is one where I watch content regularly.  Here is her Reaction to the IT “Teaser” Trailer and here is her Reaction to the IT “Official” Trailer.  Hope you enjoy!  P.S.  This reaction IS for a HORROR movie–you have been warned!

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Sometimes the Bear Eats You :(

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To say this weekend has been a total and utter loss would be pretty accurate.  I had a big project to do and to turn in for today, but little did I realize the amount of crap that life has in store when you are only trying to do the right thing.

Car: First on the list was my car.  I went in for a simple oil change, but the check engine light came on, so I asked if they could check it, but a full diagnostic was over a hundred dollars, far more than my meager budget would allow.  They did give scan the computer and my car has some serious issues that I’m going to have to repair as soon as possible.  I asked them how much they charged to fix a slow leak in a tire and they said they’d do it for free, but then they recommended I replace the tire (I was going to do it when I got the other work done), and since I didn’t replace the tire, they apparently didn’t plug the leak as I had to fill it with air before my drive to school.  That was my Saturday done and dusted.

Project: So I have a project where I have to remediate (change media) of a book that I read for class.  The book was on video games and learning and literacy, and I decided to do screenshots and short video clips to illustrate the book’s points, so it was just playing games all weekend.  Well, yes and no as I had to specifically look (or set up) game play elements matching the scholarship for the book.  Not to say it wasn’t fun, but there are games that I needed to play for the assignment that I wouldn’t have played normally and vice versa.  The PS4 let me save screenshots and clips and then transfer them to a USB drive, but that was my Sunday.

Student Loan: So, Monday was assemble the project, right? Nope–student loan issues came to fore.  I won’t bore you with the details, but needless to say I had to seek alternate funding after a loan that I was approved by my bank for was nixed by MTSU at the last minute.  I spent most of Monday afternoon in a loan office and then had to drive up to school after dinner.  I’ve had 3 hours of sleep and I worked on and finished my project at about 4:00 am this morning (Tuesday).  So, everything’s copacetic, right?

Project x2: Well, it would be if I could actually send the professor the project.  I can’t!  It is 2.95 GB in size, far larger than most email programs will handle.  Free Dropbox access tops out at about 2 Gigs and their are places that will handle large files, but they are “sketchy” at best.  OneDrive will handle 15 GB, but when I tried to upload it, the time-frame was 3 hours.  So I’ve got this nice, multimodal Presentation with screenshots and video clips and a podcast, and no way to get it to the professor.  As I type these words, I’m trying to get it on to a flash drive, but the program is still working even after over 30 mins and I think that it is frozen.  I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do.  It’s here and finished and I want to send it to him, but I can’t and it is so frustrating!