I can’t imagine many of the readers of this website are unfamiliar with “Every Frame a Painting”; but, if you aren’t familiar, three of my favourite episodes are their ones on Buster Keaton, David Fincher, and the presentation of technology in film.
What I like about this postmortem is that it’s the script to what is almost the “Every Frame a Painting” episode of “Every Frame a Painting”, particularly in this detail:
In order to make video essays on the Internet, we had to learn the basics of copyright law. In America, there’s a provision called fair use; if you meet four criteria, you can argue in court that you made reasonable use of copyrighted material.
But as always, there’s a difference between what the law says and how the law is implemented. You could make a video that meets the criteria for fair use, but YouTube could still take it down because of their internal system (Copyright ID) which analyzes and detects copyrighted material.
So I learned to edit my way around that system.
If YouTube’s automatic flagging system didn’t exist, it’s likely that “Every Frame a Painting” would feel completely different. Whether it would have been better, I’m not sure, but I think the limitations of YouTube helped birth something truly unique and very, very good.