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Show Me a Story: Digital Storytelling Lisa Spiro Fondren Library, Rice University March 2008 Lisa Spiro Fondren Library, Rice University.

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Presentation on theme: "Show Me a Story: Digital Storytelling Lisa Spiro Fondren Library, Rice University March 2008 Lisa Spiro Fondren Library, Rice University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Show Me a Story: Digital Storytelling Lisa Spiro Fondren Library, Rice University March 2008 Lisa Spiro Fondren Library, Rice University March 2008

2 Foundation: Your experience with stories “ we tell ourselves stories in order to live ” – Joan Didion  Think of some of your favorite stories — oral, cinematic, written, etc.  What makes them so darn good? “ we tell ourselves stories in order to live ” – Joan Didion  Think of some of your favorite stories — oral, cinematic, written, etc.  What makes them so darn good?

3 Outline  What is digital storytelling?  Why is it important?  What are the elements of an effective digital story?  How do you make a digital story?  What is digital storytelling?  Why is it important?  What are the elements of an effective digital story?  How do you make a digital story?

4 What is a story?  “ a narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader ”  Storytelling is human: “ Storytelling connects people. It connects hearts. It helps answer questions like: Who am I? Who are my people? With what values did they live? How should I live? ” (Penninah Schram)  Told through:  Words  Pictures  Movement  Music & sound  “ a narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader ”  Storytelling is human: “ Storytelling connects people. It connects hearts. It helps answer questions like: Who am I? Who are my people? With what values did they live? How should I live? ” (Penninah Schram)  Told through:  Words  Pictures  Movement  Music & sound

5 Defining digital storytelling  “ Digital Storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Digital stories derive their power by weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving deep dimension and vivid color to characters, situations, experiences, and insights. ” --Leslie Rule, Center for Digital StorytellingCenter for Digital Storytelling  Typically a digital story is personal  Can also refer to interactive stories – games, hypertext, personal blogging, etc.  “ Digital Storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Digital stories derive their power by weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving deep dimension and vivid color to characters, situations, experiences, and insights. ” --Leslie Rule, Center for Digital StorytellingCenter for Digital Storytelling  Typically a digital story is personal  Can also refer to interactive stories – games, hypertext, personal blogging, etc.

6 The significance of digital stories  We learn & remember through stories (see research by Roger Schank, for example).  Digital stories relate ideas and experiences in a compelling, often deeply affecting way  Digital stories appeal to multiple senses — vision, hearing, kinesthetic  Digital storytelling advances 21 st century literacy, which includes visual, technological, & information literacy  Knowledge communities are built around stories  We learn & remember through stories (see research by Roger Schank, for example).  Digital stories relate ideas and experiences in a compelling, often deeply affecting way  Digital stories appeal to multiple senses — vision, hearing, kinesthetic  Digital storytelling advances 21 st century literacy, which includes visual, technological, & information literacy  Knowledge communities are built around stories

7 Advantages of digital storytelling for the storyteller  Prompts reflection and self- understanding  Great way to learn digital tools  Engages the producer in thinking through how to make a narrative  Make the “ movie in your mind ”— memory is often multimedia  Builds community  Prompts reflection and self- understanding  Great way to learn digital tools  Engages the producer in thinking through how to make a narrative  Make the “ movie in your mind ”— memory is often multimedia  Builds community

8 Challenges  Picking the right topic  Getting to the essence of the story  Finding the right (copyright-free) images & music  Putting the story together gracefully, so that the soundtrack provides the emotional foundation but does not overwhelm  Getting the hardware & software you need (but there are many perfectly good cheap options)  Picking the right topic  Getting to the essence of the story  Finding the right (copyright-free) images & music  Putting the story together gracefully, so that the soundtrack provides the emotional foundation but does not overwhelm  Getting the hardware & software you need (but there are many perfectly good cheap options)

9 Seven Elements of Effective Storytelling* Point (of View) Dramatic Question Emotional Content Voice Power of the Soundtrack Economy Pacing * according to the Center for Digital Storytelling Point (of View) Dramatic Question Emotional Content Voice Power of the Soundtrack Economy Pacing * according to the Center for Digital Storytelling

10 Point (of View)  What is the main idea behind the story?  What is the storyteller trying to communicate?  What perspective is adopted by the storyteller?  Use first-person to create a more intimate story and claim responsibility  Example: “ The Joy of Research ” :  What is the main idea behind the story?  What is the storyteller trying to communicate?  What perspective is adopted by the storyteller?  Use first-person to create a more intimate story and claim responsibility  Example: “ The Joy of Research ” :

11 Dramatic Question  Dramatic tension/conflict  What question is the story trying to answer?  How is the story structured? How is it resolved?  How are the audience ’ s expectations met or challenged?  Example:  Kerry Ballast ’ s RitualsRituals  Dramatic tension/conflict  What question is the story trying to answer?  How is the story structured? How is it resolved?  How are the audience ’ s expectations met or challenged?  Example:  Kerry Ballast ’ s RitualsRituals

12 Emotional Content  Stories that move us are more powerful — but the feeling must be authentic.  How does the story make the audience feel — and how does it achieve that emotional impact?  Example: David Noah ’ s “ Photo Opportunities ” (2007):  Example: Monte Hallis, “ Tanya ” (1993):  Stories that move us are more powerful — but the feeling must be authentic.  How does the story make the audience feel — and how does it achieve that emotional impact?  Example: David Noah ’ s “ Photo Opportunities ” (2007):  Example: Monte Hallis, “ Tanya ” (1993):

13 Voice  The voice conveys meaning and feeling powerfully — don ’ t be afraid of it!  Conversational tone best captures the audience  Write for the ear.  Example: Danny and Annie PerasaDanny and Annie Perasa  The voice conveys meaning and feeling powerfully — don ’ t be afraid of it!  Conversational tone best captures the audience  Write for the ear.  Example: Danny and Annie PerasaDanny and Annie Perasa

14 Power of the Soundtrack  What music best accompanies the story — sets the tone without being too dominant? (Perhaps it ’ s no music … )  Instrumental music often works best  Sound effects can also heighten tension or convey the story ’ s theme  Example: Iraqi KurdistanIraqi Kurdistan  Example: Calling MeCalling Me  What music best accompanies the story — sets the tone without being too dominant? (Perhaps it ’ s no music … )  Instrumental music often works best  Sound effects can also heighten tension or convey the story ’ s theme  Example: Iraqi KurdistanIraqi Kurdistan  Example: Calling MeCalling Me

15 Economy  Shorter is often better — cut the story to the core  The CDS suggests that a digital story should be 2-3 minutes long  Let the images tell the story; use images that illustrate key ideas in the story  Draw the eye to what ’ s important  Use movement to add energy and emphasis  Use juxtapositions and transitions to suggest change  Consider how metaphor can advance the story: e.g. image of son fading into picture in Photo Opportunities  Example: Things Small,  Shorter is often better — cut the story to the core  The CDS suggests that a digital story should be 2-3 minutes long  Let the images tell the story; use images that illustrate key ideas in the story  Draw the eye to what ’ s important  Use movement to add energy and emphasis  Use juxtapositions and transitions to suggest change  Consider how metaphor can advance the story: e.g. image of son fading into picture in Photo Opportunities  Example: Things Small,

16 Pacing  Rhythm of the story  Fast pace = exciting; slow pace = meditative  Changes in pace can be effective, as can pauses  Example: Example: “ Home Movies ”,  Rhythm of the story  Fast pace = exciting; slow pace = meditative  Changes in pace can be effective, as can pauses  Example: Example: “ Home Movies ”,

17 Producing a Digital Story  Decide what your story will be about  Use questions to prompt your reflection, such as “ What was a decisive moment in your life? ” or “ Who is a mentor or hero? ”  Gather the elements of your story, e.g pictures, songs, video  Script your story & get feedback on it  Create a storyboard  Digitize story elements  Record a voiceover  Assemble the story using video editing or presentation software  Screen & share your story  Decide what your story will be about  Use questions to prompt your reflection, such as “ What was a decisive moment in your life? ” or “ Who is a mentor or hero? ”  Gather the elements of your story, e.g pictures, songs, video  Script your story & get feedback on it  Create a storyboard  Digitize story elements  Record a voiceover  Assemble the story using video editing or presentation software  Screen & share your story

18 Imaging tools  Getting images  You can create them using a digital camera or scanner  You can download them from an open image archives, like Flickr (and others listed at center/images/free-photo-sites)http://ourmedia.org/learning- center/images/free-photo-sites  Check copyright to make sure you can use the images  The quality of some online images may not be sufficient.  Editing images  Typical operations: crop, touch up, improve brightness & contrast, rotate, add text  Photo editor, e.g. Photoshop (Elements)  Getting images  You can create them using a digital camera or scanner  You can download them from an open image archives, like Flickr (and others listed at center/images/free-photo-sites)http://ourmedia.org/learning- center/images/free-photo-sites  Check copyright to make sure you can use the images  The quality of some online images may not be sufficient.  Editing images  Typical operations: crop, touch up, improve brightness & contrast, rotate, add text  Photo editor, e.g. Photoshop (Elements)

19 Audio & Video Tools  Audio recording and editing  Record and edit audio using Audacity (free software)  Use a microphone (USB mikes for as little as $25)  Download copyright-free music, e.g.  Free Music Project Free Music Project  Podsafe Podsafe  Video-editing. Slide-show production software  Web-based, e.g. JumpCut & other tools at  Free & easy: iMovie (Mac); Windows Movie Maker, PhotoStory (Windows), SlideStory (web-based)  Moderately priced: FinalCut Express, ULead VideoStudio  Professional (expensive & complex): FinalCut Pro, Premiere  Audio recording and editing  Record and edit audio using Audacity (free software)  Use a microphone (USB mikes for as little as $25)  Download copyright-free music, e.g.  Free Music Project Free Music Project  Podsafe Podsafe  Video-editing. Slide-show production software  Web-based, e.g. JumpCut & other tools at  Free & easy: iMovie (Mac); Windows Movie Maker, PhotoStory (Windows), SlideStory (web-based)  Moderately priced: FinalCut Express, ULead VideoStudio  Professional (expensive & complex): FinalCut Pro, Premiere

20 Disseminating digital stories  Distribute a CD or DVD  Make available online:  Your own web site  YouTube, OurMedia, etc.  Distribute a CD or DVD  Make available online:  Your own web site  YouTube, OurMedia, etc.

21 Why Educational Institutions Should Embrace Digital Storytelling  Digital storytelling can reach the Net Generation  NetGen oriented toward interactive and visual communication.  Digital storytelling helps to develop 21 st C literacy skills.  Anecdote & research testify to educational benefits of digital storytelling  Engage students  Explore new means of communication  Great mechanism for outreach--stories can stir interest and action  Digital storytelling can reach the Net Generation  NetGen oriented toward interactive and visual communication.  Digital storytelling helps to develop 21 st C literacy skills.  Anecdote & research testify to educational benefits of digital storytelling  Engage students  Explore new means of communication  Great mechanism for outreach--stories can stir interest and action

22 What’s Next For Our Workshop  Homework: Write a word script for your digital story. Use concrete, evocative language. Due 2/19.  Thursday, 2/19  Story Circle  Read aloud your script to other workshop participants  Receive constructive criticism  Discuss what makes an effective script  Homework: Revise your story based on feedback you received. Select 8-15 images (photographs, artifacts, etc.) to use in your digital story. You may want to use the script template for digital stories, available at  Bring these images with you to the next class.  Homework: Write a word script for your digital story. Use concrete, evocative language. Due 2/19.  Thursday, 2/19  Story Circle  Read aloud your script to other workshop participants  Receive constructive criticism  Discuss what makes an effective script  Homework: Revise your story based on feedback you received. Select 8-15 images (photographs, artifacts, etc.) to use in your digital story. You may want to use the script template for digital stories, available at  Bring these images with you to the next class.

23 Learn More about Digital Storytelling  Attend a digital storytelling workshop (http://www.storycenter.org/schedule.html).http://www.storycenter.org/schedule.html  Read the Digital Storytelling Cookbook:  Look at web pages on digital stories that I ’ ve bookmarked at  See how a digital storytelling workshop works:  Attend a digital storytelling workshop (http://www.storycenter.org/schedule.html).http://www.storycenter.org/schedule.html  Read the Digital Storytelling Cookbook:  Look at web pages on digital stories that I ’ ve bookmarked at  See how a digital storytelling workshop works:


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