"Aren't all video essays covered under Fair Use?"
Not quite! While most videographic essays and content created for educational purposes are covered under Fair Use, there are certainly exceptions. When creating a video essay in which you use copyrighted materials owned by commercial media companies, etc., you need to consider how your work (and your use of other's work) stacks up against the following four factors:
The answer to all of these considerations isn't one-size-fits-all OR a yes-or-no binary. Each factor must be consideredon a spectrum of degrees, and sometimes, independently of each other. In the case of most video essays, it is rare that media companies and/or other owners of copyrighted materials will actually pursue legal action against an individual. Most video essays geniuinely are covered under Fair Use.
However, knowledge of fair use guidelines is helpful in figuring out if a certain use of material actually is fair, and can be especially useful in one's defense if legal action ever took place.
"How can I be sure my work is covered?"
Want more specific guidelines and information? Check out these great resources below from Film Critics, Scholars, Educators, and Librarians!