F for Fake (1973) – How to Structure a Video Essay

F for Fake (1973) – How to Structure a Video Essay

If you want to make video essays, there’s no better film to study than Orson Welles’ 1973 masterpiece, F for Fake. There are a million lessons to take away from it, but today, let’s see what it has to teach us about structure. NO SPOILERS.

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Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus & Max Roach – Very Special
Michel Legrand – F for Fake (Cinéma)
A Tribe Called Quest – Oh My God (Instrumental)
Michel Legrand – Orson’s Theme (After the Rain Version)
A Tribe Called Quest – Oh My God

Interview Clips:
Trey Parker & Matt Stone at NYU: http://nyti.ms/1bNx6xf
John Sturges’ legendary audio commentary: http://bit.ly/1C2Jq1J

Help us caption & translate this video!


50 replies
  1. Bianca
    Bianca says:

    The whole parallel thing makes sense, I used to always remember wondering what the side-plot was going to be in my disney sitcoms as a child

  2. Checkered Flag Films
    Checkered Flag Films says:

    Knew Elmer back in the day. Funny story that I always wanted to related to Orson and should have looked him up before he died. Interesting movie/time capsule of Ibiza and how it used to be.

  3. Daft Rebel
    Daft Rebel says:

    I subscribed to this channel, then unsuscribed for the lack of conetnt it got… I like the storytelling, the voice treatment, but you can watch 10 minutes episodes and not "learning" nothing new from the 20 seconds it started… I know you have to make longer videos to get more watched time and relevance on the youtube algorithm… But that leads you to the start of this statement. Music is great by the way. Start making music essays.

  4. TheEtherny
    TheEtherny says:

    Artis was a man of color who grew up with a blind mother, she was very protective of him but needed to trust him, therefor she being so helpless made it easier for him to lie to her face, making her believe he was a full time business man but in reality the money he brought home was from other kind of business with dangerous people who didn’t even know each other’s name, he protected his mother with his anonymity but his thirst for trouble and money would end up back lashing in the end. It’s a little story I’m still working on. I’m just nor sure how to make it fit in 4 minutes because there are many details in Artis’ character and 4 minutes is too short to really understand him but 4 minutes is all I’ve got. Also, Artis’ mother has a backstory which is really hard to fit here so I guess I’ll have to do some smart editing to convey it without actually showing it. Wish me luck. Those who do their research might already know the name of this and can tell what it is 😉

  5. youdbettertube
    youdbettertube says:

    F for Fake is such a weird fucking movie. Orson Welles hit juts the right balance of being crazy enough to try something like this and competent enough to pull it off.

  6. Hedwig's Suite
    Hedwig's Suite says:

    This video in of itself is a video essay, right? If that’s the case, what is the connective logic of this video? What is the "meanwhile back at the ranch" moments of the video as well?

  7. Johannes Grosz
    Johannes Grosz says:

    it was not boring it was tremendously powerful to the uninformed viewer (like me) and thanks for this one

  8. Gregory Bogosian
    Gregory Bogosian says:

    Steven lost his job. Therefore, he started selling meth to pay the rent. But the police arrested him. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Steven’s ex-wife mortgaged the ranch to put their son through college. Does that work?

  9. Francis Lalonde
    Francis Lalonde says:

    I *think* I follow (and will have to figure it out for myself). Meanwhile, back at the ranch – I’ll go on a trek to find a copy of "F for Fake." While doing that…

  10. Danial Khastalani
    Danial Khastalani says:

    This reminds me how samandniko structures their vlogs… I guess that’s how I get engaged in their vlogs when I don’t for others

  11. nalanan
    nalanan says:

    Man, this is the coolest channel I’ve seen in a while. I’ve watched every video except for the ones where I don’t want the movie to be spoiled.

    A big thumbs up from a fellow Vancouverite.

  12. Michael Tkaczevski
    Michael Tkaczevski says:

    The therefore/but doctrine is good, but what about a film with one story, whether it’s one person or one event, etc.? How broadly do you define multiple stories? And do films really always need multiple stories?

  13. micro wave
    micro wave says:

    honestly on this channel I click videos without any expectations, because my interest in film isn’t that great…. but then I learn something profound and I never regret any minute spent watching

  14. Maggie Corrigan
    Maggie Corrigan says:

    This is awesome! I love how you break things down so clearly. Have you considered doing a video about Brian De Palma’s "Blow Out"? I think that would be really interesting. Keep making videos!

  15. Cameron Grow
    Cameron Grow says:

    I’ve always thought of Essay writing an creative writing to be very different things, so this video really blew my mind

  16. Andres TheJeff
    Andres TheJeff says:

    This is about the same than "overlapping ideas" instead of one idea, then the next, then the next. I learned that in animation school. Just it makes more sense and it’s clearer after this.

  17. 0cer0
    0cer0 says:

    This is a good place to thank you for your lucid, brillant, and entertaining essays on film! As a starving cineaste, I devour every frame. Thanks for doing this in such a good manner.

  18. DrTheKay
    DrTheKay says:

    …I literally have absolutely no fucking clue what in the actual flying mother of fucking fuck this video is talking about.

  19. HitechProductions
    HitechProductions says:

    Outstanding. As I’m trying to put together a little video essay this is perfect for me. I have been struggling with how to put it together. I’ve completely started over three times. That’s because I didn’t have a structure for a video essay, only for a short story. Thanks so much for this!

    BTW, I found this from This Guy Edits. 🙂

  20. daniel claro
    daniel claro says:

    I really recommend reading the film crit hulks book for more on this topic. If you are remmotely intrested in movies or scriptwriting, he really boils down and explains this and many other core concepts of storytelling


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