WATCH: With These Video Essays, Who Needs Film School?

Cameron Carpenter's eye-opening video essay series asks the hard-hitting questions every filmmaker wants answered.

Here at No Film School, we take the time to look throughout the vast depths of the internet to bring you the best video essays we can find. They're a great way to break down the techniques and composition of iconic filmmakers or to discover themes that you can apply to your own work.

Essayists like Tony Zhou, Kevin B. Lee, Jacob T. Swinney, and Nelson Carvajal help us find topics to further expand upon and contextualize in an effort to inform the aspiring filmmakers that we are proud to be.

None, however, is quite as revolutionary as Cameron Carpenter. Take a look at his perspective on one of cinema's most important tools: the long take.


Watch how Carpenter's study on the sex scene directly compares with Kevin B. Lee's work for Fandor Keyframe.

Video is no longer available:


Fans of Paul Thomas Anderson will certainly appreciate the subtle nuances of the director's work Carpenter picks up on that Lee seems to have missed in his retrospective for Sight & Sound:


If you thought these were informative, be sure to check out the other videos in his series, like Sidney Lumet Should Have Tried HarderPLOT VS STORY VS NARRATIVE - What's the difference, Nick?, and Analyzing a Master: David Fincher and Mouths.      

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Your Comment


Not sure if you this article was a joke or not.. The videos from youtube were definitely a satire of video essays.

May 26, 2016 at 2:16PM, Edited May 26, 2:15PM

Andrew Carey
Writer and Director

Crap, it took me until the 2nd video to pick up on this. The Carpenter character is rather very annoying... that was painful to watch!

May 26, 2016 at 4:01PM


Not sure if this article was a joke or not.. The videos from youtube were definitely a satire of video essays.

May 26, 2016 at 2:16PM

Andrew Carey
Writer and Director

You might want to add a disclaimer to this post... No Film School posts valid video essays... Some people might think this is real and get the wrong information. At least add a disclaimer.

May 26, 2016 at 3:39PM


Jeebus people, it does NOT need a disclaimer! If there really is someone out there who sees this and doesn't get the sarcasm, they will be confused. To be confused about a youtube video is not a terrible thing to have happen to you.

And maybe, just maybe, they will be inspired by the (unbeknownst to them satirical) video essay - inspired to make something fabulous and hilarious! Why would you want to stop that?

May 26, 2016 at 5:20PM, Edited May 26, 5:22PM


If anyone fails to understand the satirical nature of these videos, I would recommend that they learn about human communication before seeking to learn about film.

May 27, 2016 at 2:47PM

Joshua Grodecki

The first one was pretty fun. Although the satirically tone, it communicats what's going on and how to keep up or brand yourself in terms of "as of the moment"

May 26, 2016 at 11:06PM, Edited May 26, 11:06PM

No Film School
CEO at Yes Film School

The satire is pretty obvious. Although, it took me a minute to figure out whether or not he was making a joke or just mistakes. Of course, that is all part of the joke. I don't think we need the disclaimer. If anyone is going to be fooled by these then they could probably use a lesson in not blindly accepting the things they watch on YouTube (or anywhere for that matter). Well done.

May 27, 2016 at 5:32AM, Edited May 27, 5:32AM


WHY IS CINEMA youtube guy's troll game is out of control

May 27, 2016 at 11:32AM, Edited May 27, 11:32AM


Please don't ever use videos from Cameron Carpenter again..

June 7, 2016 at 4:41AM

Emil F. Skanning
Writer, Director, Editor