A video concept is a deceptively simple thing. The best way to describe it is as a vision. What you want the video to be, how you want the viewer to feel, what you want them to think, to understand. In short, why you're making the video. This is hardly an exhaustive discussion, so what is possible goes far above and beyond what I make mention of. It should also be noted that sometimes a concept doesn't need to be stronger than an anime and a song - not every video needs a strong concept. Attempting to strengthen a concept in a video that doesn't need it can kill the video. That said, when to apply the concept and when not is a matter of taste and style. After all, the overall goal of an AMV is to communicate something, right?
Storytelling is exactly what the name suggests: using the combination of audio and video to tell a story. The story may have very little to do with either the original video or audio sources, or may have everything to do with them. The easiest form of storytelling, and thus the most common, is simplifying a preexisting story and retell it. Videos that take an existing anime (or more rarely, set of anime) and splice together an entirely new story are typically highly prized when successful, or viewed as a good attempt when not. Stories can and do run the gamut from simple to complex to incomprehensible.
Example of Storytelling: AbsoluteDestiny's "Storytelling - A Gothic Fairytale"
Example of Storytelling: ScorpionsUltd's “Whisper of the Beast”
that the first video is the story of the original anime retold with a
twist, while the second is an entirely new story.
Exploration is about looking at something, prodding at it, and seeing if it makes more sense. Exploring a concept, or a message. Exploration focuses on an idea or message, not a character or characters. An exploratory video might take an underlying theme in an anime and bring it to light. More generally, an exploratory video will take a theme, idea, or message and present it to the viewer, with the degree dictated by the editor. These videos focus not on a story, but rather on a concept of some sort in a general sense. Possible subjects include war, coping with loss, tragedy, purity, and innocence. Love and romance tend to be subjects in the specific, rather than the general treatment found here, but general explorations of relationships are not unknown.
Example of Exploration: Pwolf's "As The World Crashes Down"
of Exploration: bote's "War of wrath"
Examination videos tend to focus on a single character, couple, or group of characters. Rather than the general view offered by an exploratory video, an examination video deals with a very specific instance of something (i.e., an example of the concept in question). The personality, motivations, history, or other aspect of a character are all viable subjects for an examination video. Videos that examine a couple tend to be about the relationship. Friendships, rivalries, and romances all fall into this grouping. Groups of characters are generally examined in terms of some commonality, as limitations of time and space tend to prevent closer examinations.
Example of a Single Character Examination: Corran's "The World She Knows"
Example of a Relationship Examination: silver_moon's "In My Arms Again"
: The distinction being made here is very fine, as well as poorly defined. As a result, some of this is forcing definition on what has thus far defied it.
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