Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Animating your digital story, Day #5--Digital Storytelling in a nutshell

In addition to images, theme music, and audio recordings of the storyteller's voice, video and animation are important aspects of a digital story. Just as you need to develop sensory maps for images and audio, you should also develop a sensory map for video. The inclusion of video should be saved for showcasing specific examples or messages that the storyteller can only best convey through video. Therefore, I save video for last. However, my students often wanted to go to video first.

It is important to develop a story with audio and images first so a video is not used to substitute the storyteller's ideas. This is often the case when students search for video first. Therefore, it should be a final step in the brainstorming process.

To review, details should be brainstormed and added to the storyboard in the following format:
1. images
2. audio
3. video
4. text

Text should be used to enhance concepts already present. For instance, a student of mine created a digital story over her mom's battle with breast cancer. The only text she used was the word pink and it was used to emphasize the symbol of breast cancer. It was a concept she wanted her audience to remember. Therefore, text should be the final step in the brainstorming process. Students should ask themselves--what thoughts or concepts do I want to stick with the audience? These are the words that should be present on the screen.

Just like images, text can convey emotions. Font selection, color, and placement all carry with them emotional weight. Hence, the text brainstorming process should not end at: what words should I add to each scene? Rather, it should extend to: what emotions do I want to convey with this text and what concepts do I want to emphasize with the audience?

The following are resources students can use to find videos and text that abide by Creative Commons licenses:

Stay tuned for four days of how to put the story together! 

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