My introduction to the In Focus section on [in]Transition and videographic essays in the new issue of Cinema Journal looks back on the origins of the print journal’s involvement in formulating the video essay journal. For this In Media Res post, I’d like to jump ahead to the latter’s launch, which took place at the 2014 SCMS conference in Seattle. The livestream excerpt presented here displays the moment we unveiled [in]Transition to a packed SCMS house, and it continues with project manager Jason Mittell discussing the value of MediaCommons as a platform for the new journal, the same platform on which you’re reading this post.
This confluence led me to reflect back on the aspirations Will Brooker had for Cinema Journal’s online activities when he became Editor and appointed me Associate Online Editor, positions we’ll both exit at the end of this year. The coincidentally fitting timing of this post brings us full circle from an In Media Res post I wrote in 2013 wherein I explained Brooker’s goal to expand what he called the media studies dialogue-sphere by creating connections and matrices across Cinema Journal’s new online paratexts and putting them into conversation with each other. Here we are four years later on In Media Res, furthering discussion of Cinema Journal In Focus essays and offering a deeper look at a Cinema Journal-sponsored video essay journal hosted by MediaCommons. In additional coincidental timing, Cinema Journal 56.4 author Kevin Ferguson has supplied a video essay as the online Postscripts & Afterthoughts followup to his print article.
In the clip here, Mittell praises those behind MediaCommons for providing this platform to engender new modes of criticism, as well as to bring refreshing visibility to the creation and peer review of scholarship. I hope this week of posts on the scholarly and critical potential of video essays, the Cinema Journal In Focus section, the Postscripts series at the SCMS website, and the many conversations happening at [in]Transition collectively help to illustrate the fulfillment of those ideals and of Brooker’s original goal for Cinema Journal online.