What makes an artist's video different from what an everyday person with a video camera might create?
Welcome to one of the running philosophical debates within the video art world.
In the early, "guerrilla television" days of video during the late '60s, many artists downplayed any such distinction. Their focus was on stripping away the glossy sheen of regular broadcast television to capture and depict events free from the commercial slant of the networks. But technological advances, the increasing facility of artists in handling that technology and the differing goals of individual artists over the years have caused the wide range of styles currently under the video art umbrella.
The big difference is that most homemade videos aren't edited or treated with effects. The amount of work an artist puts in may not be visible to the naked eye--what might seem like a random assortment of images haphazardly strung together may be carefully chosen and placed in a particular order for the symbolic content. The casual observer would recognize that a lot of effort went into Ed Emshwiller's densely layered "Skin Matrix" piece . . . but probably wouldn't guess that the 20-minute finished version was whittled down from 30 hours of rough footage and a first edit of 3 hours and 40 minutes.