I originally designed this video a couple of years ago. Now, it finally comes in handy. I based this video off of my favorite poem by Langston Hughes, “A Dream Deferred.” In this video, I interviewed two of my peers at OCU, Mitch Thrower and Jonathan Davis. I also interviewed two older adults, Scott and Brenda Northrip. I asked them a series of questions about their dreams as children and if they accomplished their dreams or not. Not one person followed their original dream.
I filmed the all of the interviews with my personal camcorder and uploaded the clips to iMovie. I recorded the interviews with my peers back in 2011 (to test out the camcorder when it was brand new), but added the interviews with Scott and Brenda in late March of this year. Over the past month, I added the text slides in between the clips and added background music I discovered on a public domain website. I preferred using my camcorder instead of still shot photos because it added fluidity to the project. Also, I transferred the final copy to a DVD because I usually don’t have much luck with flash drives.
The reason I created this project back in 2011 was because I tend to brood over how my future will pan out after I graduate. Now that I’m entering into my final semester, I’m brooding more than ever. I began looking back at my old blogs from high school and realized that my goals and dreams have taken a complete 180-degree turn from then. I was originally a Vocal Performance major, then a Psychology major, and now I’m wrapping up my undergrad with an English degree. My original dream was to get out of my home town and make a name for myself in the arts. Now, my dreams are to get out of college and work as a publisher.
Many elements can change your dreams. My interviewees’ changes were mostly due to reality setting in. “A Dream Deferred” has been my strongest reminder that our dreams may die, but that won’t inhibit new ones from being created.
This video, along with the rest of the lessons I’ve learned through this course, has taught me that stories are about more than beginnings, middles, and ends. It’s about how you want to tell the story. I have discovered so many new ways to create stories via 21st century technology.
As a potential publisher, I can incorporate these new methods into online publishings and possible workshops that I plan to lead at libraries and local schools, wherever I end up living.
For my final project, I decided that I wanted to tell a story about a loss that my family recently experienced in the death of my Uncle Boo. However, I did not want to focus on the negative–I didn’t want to tell a story about a man dying of cancer. I wanted to tell a story about who this man was to me and why I am still affected by his loss, and that meant finding the best way to illustrate his character as I knew it growing up. The best that I could tell the story of a whole man in just a four minute long video clip, anyway.
When we first looked at YouTube videos done in the videoscribe style in class, we watched one that was a story of a woman’s life told traditionally through an animation of drawings done on a whiteboard. This method has a distinctly personal feeling that I felt was appropriate to the story I wanted to tell. It allowed me more freedom to depict my family members lovingly without being bound to the small amount of photos that I have. Additionally, by simplifying the image of my uncle to just a few lines on a whiteboard, it immediately makes him and his story more relatable. Not everyone has an Uncle Boo, but in this style they might be able to find any one part of him that they can relate to someone in their own lives, making the experience more meaningful. So in this instance, I think choosing to tell the story through a progression of simple drawings was the best choice for my project.
The projects that we did throughout the semester, such as the snapshot reflection and the XP activities, definitely helped me in creating this project. I took what I learned from my (really rough) snapshot video and focused it into something that meant more to me, something about which I knew I had more that I wanted to share. With my new experience from this class, I know how better to write and plan for voice recording, and that definitely helped in creating a successful story in this format. The visuals were also an integral part of the storytelling because without the drawings that accompany the words, you wouldn’t have as much of a sense of Uncle Boo’s character. This was a learning experience and it’s still not perfect, but I’m proud of what I ended up with.
I have every intention of continuing into the realm of digital storytelling. I can take the techniques I have learned, such as the importance of finding a moment of relatability to draw the viewer into a story, as well as the practical techniques we have looked at, and apply them to any number of projects in the future. In particular, I have an interest in further exploring animation, games, and webcomics.
“Transience” is inspired by the reflective poems we did at the beginning of the semester. I chose to use fairly short, but descriptive sentences to convey who I think I am. I created “Transience” by plugging Wassily Kandinsky’s “Red, Yellow, Blue” into iMovie and read my narration over that. I chose Kandinsky’s painting because the abstract painting seemed to fit well with my somewhat eclectic narration. I chose the title “Transience” because the poem narrates a transition through life. I also wrote several lines about motion and change, so the title seemed fitting in light of them. This project forced me to think about who I think I am and then selectively post the ideas that I liked. Self reflection is a vital part of the human condition and this project gave me yet another opportunity to do so. Prior to this class I did not know how to use iMovie, so that is an obvious skill I’ve gained. I’ve learned several methods of story telling, and have attempted to use a different style for every assignment. The continued use of digital media in the future demands competence in digital story-telling. As an aspiring ethnomusicologist, the ability to self-publish research articles and such online will be of great use. Digital media will allow me to insert samples of the music I am writing about directly into the article as well as allow it to be distributed freely and easily.
I called my project Cowgirl Boots because that’s what it’s all about. I talked about my first pair of cowgirl boots and how important they are to me and how they define my relationship with my dad. I simply made a video using zoom and voiceover on iMovie to complete this project. Creating this video helped me develop as a digital storyteller by forcing me to pay attention to every ounce of information I gave my audience–visual and audible. I had to notice things such as skin showing, how close I should zoom in, and what parts of the picture needed to be cropped out. After this course ends I think I could further develop my digital storytelling skills by continuing to blog and to use and find new Internet tools such as Wordle and iMovie.
For my final project, I helped to create the digital story for the ICC. I got to work with very unique people who had the same understanding of what the goal was for the ICC and had tons of great ideas as to what direction we wanted to take in telling their story. Even though we could have taken a easier route with the type of software we could have used, we decided to work with something call Videoscribe, which through the usage of drawing preset and downloaded content can draw our story out. We felt that because the ICC is seeking to educate many people in different software and technology, it was important to show how we can use a piece of software and create something out of it.
We come to find out that some problems came up, such as the lack of knowledge of the software and the ability to obtain the software, would hinder the project. But once those cleared up, things and ideas started to fall into place and we created a story that we are very proud.
This project and this class has been a very enriching experience for me, because I am coming to points in my life that technology is entangled with everything that we do and that this knowledge is important to have. Technology is a very big wave of information at is very good for us to understand. Thus, much like everything that I do, I want to get a hold of it and understand it more. Moreover, stories have always been an important part of my life, because I have grown up with them in my family and I enjoy hearing everyone else. Thus, digital storytelling is important because while the spoken word stories are very important to look back on, as our history, they will be related to the digital stories that are told now, even combine. I have always thought of myself as a forward thinker, and taken these experiences from this class helps to further that ideas.
Thus, come on writing Story and telling them to everyone!!!!
For my final project, I took part in the creation of a video for Intergenerational Computer Center at Oklahoma City University. With the semester upon us, I truly feel that the amazing team I was apart of put out best into the video, and it serves as a culmination of our shared experience both inside and outside the classroom. Given the challenge of working with the ICC, which has its hand in so many beneficial activities in our community, and the Videoscribe software, which has many tools (both audio and visual) to contribute, the process of making our video helped underscore our understanding of the benefits and limitations of working with this media.
As with working with any combination of media elements (music, text script, and images), it was initially difficult to match the elements at our disposal with the aesthetic and image in our minds. We put our initial emphasis on the visual elements we thought that Videoscribe would provide, while keeping our script relatively simple. However, once we had Videoscribe at our disposal, we found that we had to fill in certain things that the program lacked. For example, we needed an image of a soccer ball and Videoscribe didn’t have that graphic in its library of stock images – this prompted us to seek it out on our own and incorporate it. Similarly, once we recorded our script, we found that written v. spoken text often didn’t translate as smoothly as we hoped, so we had a few rewrites that improves the overall sound of our work. This just further underscores the main thing I’ve had to consider in all of my work with telling stories in digital media – the more components and tools involved in composing a story in a digital format, the more consideration that needs to be given in order to create a cohesive and coordinated work at the end of the day.
In spite (or even because) of the new difficulties that arise when telling digital stories, they have many benefits. These benefits include a truly dynamic and enriched experience of storytelling and reaching a wider audience. In the case of our project, the audio and visual explanation of the ICC’s services offers information in a format that is accessible to a wide range of people. In addition, it helps to communicate these ideas in a compact way. If one is willing and able to work with the various aspects of digital storytelling, it presents a variety of new possibilities to tell and design stories.