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Watch this music video for Radiohead’s track, All I Need, which is as flawless a visual essay as they come.

And then watch this vodcast [3:48], in which I lay out some guiding principles for writing and shooting visual essays like this.


Radiohead, Child Labor, and Visual Literacy from Dan Meyer on Vimeo.

Alec, this one’s for you, bud.

12 Responses to “Radiohead, Child Labor, and Visual Literacy”

  1. on 17 May 2008 at 8:57 pmAlec Couros

    Thanks for this Dan. I showed my undergrad students this video last week, and they are now working on project proposals. I will throw this post at them to see if any of them want to take on the challenge. Thanks for the analysis on the video and the idea for a visual literacy project.

  2. on 19 May 2008 at 10:13 amVincent Baxter

    dan: you should read the educational imagination by elliot eisner…it will knock your socks off. your work on this blog reads as if it were inspired by his writing on educational criticism/connoisseurism.

  3. on 19 May 2008 at 10:22 amVincent Baxter

    …of course your critique of the video essay is so right on, you may have already read it…

  4. on 19 May 2008 at 2:40 pmChristian Long

    Does one need even one more reason to embrace Radiohead?

    As I prepare to use this upcoming summer to do a deep mental dive into the land of Joseph Campbell’s ‘hero journey’ as a larger framework for my 10 grade English students next fall while simultaneously supporting a colleague’s further adventure into a film making class of his own, I feeling deeply blessed by this post of yours, Dan.

    No doubt it’ll be shown next fall in my classroom. No doubt my kids will be thinking about your use of visual metaphor and the lean-into-writing elements you so aptly focused on here. No doubt I’ll remain hungry for even more good stuff on this front from you, too.

    Thanks for giving my brain something to feast on this evening as I drive home.

  5. on 19 May 2008 at 3:46 pmdan

    @Vincent, yours is the sort of comment that drives me nuts, basically informing me that I coulda had the product of years of trial, error, and introspection had I bothered to read a book once in awhile.

    *sigh*

    Anyway, thanks. Eisner’s now at the top of a long list.

    @Christian, glad to help. Glad to you know you dig good music.

  6. on 20 May 2008 at 11:48 amDarren Draper

    Wow, Dan. Fantastic deconstruction of what it takes to create an effective video essay.

    10 points extra credit.

  7. on 20 May 2008 at 5:02 pmJenny

    Finally watched the video. My only nitpicky issue with it – I think I’m the teacher who ruffles her students’ hair. Sorry.

  8. on 20 May 2008 at 6:05 pmdan

    Well there you go.

  9. on 29 May 2008 at 8:05 amMark Carls

    WOW. Great video, what a great video to show students to challenge them before starting a digital media project.
    Thank you.

  10. [...] From John Pederson’s blog you will find a link to Christian Long’s, and then to Dan Meyer’s blog showing a Radiohead video about Child Labor and shows how they split the video in half showing [...]

  11. on 14 Jul 2008 at 3:12 amWilly

    Fantastic deconstruction! My big question has always been… How did the director/producer arrive at such a poignant story about human trafficking when so much of Radiohead’s song seems to be about love and longing for a woman? Where’s that metaphor?

  12. on 14 Jul 2008 at 5:34 amdan

    Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much connective tissue, there. Like someone just saw an awesome, propulsive track and went for it.