I’ll leave by quoting Scott Nye’s compelling rebuttal to this piece (I don’t agree with it entirely either), which is must-reading (as much as this video essay, indeed, is must-viewing):
The video essay is on the rise. From Super Cuts, Re-Edits, Personal Reviews, Scene Breakdowns and Analyses. The video essay is still kind of a niche genre, but 2017 might be the year where that's going to change.
00:12:39 – This guy nailed it: Niki’s favorite video essay.
For further reading/viewing, I highly recommend
David Bordwell's essay on funny framings:
And David Chen's video essay on Wright's use of close-ups:
And Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal:
The only literary form that can be precisely defined is a dead literary form. Still, it would be comforting to think that the video essay slotted a little more neatly into some genre. If, say, we could call these language-driven visual meditations “nonfiction with pictures” we could all log off and get on with our lives. Problem is, that slot’s already been taken—the documentary—and it’s a crowded one. Regardless of runtime, the video essay requires a story. That story may take the form of a narrative, a sequence of events, or it may be a meditation in which “the story” is really the tension generated—to paraphrase essayist Phillip Lopate—by an author working through some mental knot. Notes on Liberty, John Scott’s video essay, combines those two modes, meditation and narrative, to great effect.