Digital video composing

I was struck by the way that Fulwiler and Middleton articulate the old paradigm for digital video composition:

Step 1: brainstorm

Step 2: write script

Step 3: select and add images

Step 4: learn software editing programs

Though obviously this includes steps that one would not have if composing a purely alphabetic text, the basic idea of brainstorm, then compose, then add some stuff is similar to a traditional format for essay composing–the likes of which Palmeri and friends push back against by advocating for including imagistic free-composing and in-depth revision processes etc.

Fulwiler and Middleton define the terms compositing (literacy of layering) and new recursivity (process by which composers circle back through progress of composites to assess video’s themes, tone, narrative direction) in order to disrupt the print-centric models of video composing that place writing as the originating process of the story and the primary mode to which all other aspects of the video are tied.

Fulwiler and Middleton’s critique of the writing-based process of video making gives me pause as I begin to contemplate my own process. How can I start without a script? But what are the ways in which a script might limit me once I get going? How can images etc. be part of my composing process and not just later additions that reinforce what the words say?

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