Thoughts About digital storytelling

The form of digital storytelling is not strange to me personally, since I have already seen several short clips on Youtube which was made by different people. They seem to be amateur, doing rought stories due to their interests, upload randomly, to be honest, didn’t attract me too much.

After doing the reading, I tried to reconsider digital storytellings in a different way. Though the cameras may be of low quality, they could still be good stories from the form to the contents,of small scale. They story teller is aware of the fact that the story would be shared after it is done, so he or she is likely to think of the shape of a story elaboratively before editing. What’s more, the collaboartion process, with the multimedia tool, digital narratives aspire to the variety and plentitude  of constituting a world, enabling a personal story to be shared by more people.

In the first video, the girl tells the story through a slides of photos during her growth with her own voice. The photos are composed of portraits and certain things, replacing each other to show her life story. Compare to the video footages, photo footages are more steady, which is helpful for her to express her topic of getting infected by HIV while embraced by society. Her voice is plain and clear, without involving any mood,making the viewers feel comfortable with what she is talking about. Above all, the editing of the video is very authentic, making the audience know that there is a real story happening besides them.

The second video, all about kids.In my opinion, it’s more like a little documentary of Teacher Paula. The camera style is rough, even didn’t aim at Paula accurately, swagging most of the time, making it just like an ordinary recording of the class. Moreover, the voice is not so clear, with much noise,  so the contents are the stories that Paula told the kids through drawing, while the class itself is a story. Therefore, to me, it’s like a double story integration, Paula told story to kids and the camera told Paula’s story, from this percpective, it takes time to constructe the digital story telling form and contents together in a proper way.


13 responses to “Thoughts About digital storytelling

  1. I agree. The first one is done through a workshop where professionals help her tell her story, while the second is documentation. So maybe we need experts to move from documentation to documentary?

    • I think that depends on the goal of digital storytelling, nowadays more and more companies and organizations reliazes the importance of using digital sotrytelling as a method of advertising or public relationship, rather than just sharing with the audience. Therefore, digital storytelling becomes a commercial method, which the audience are aware of that, so in this level, it’s better to get a expert in the digital field to help them tell the story.

  2. Yeah, I think these are great examples to show the usefulness of “experts”. I think in Cultural Studies at least, we often get worried about the role of the expert as pedagogue; as some authority figure opposing his/her will on the powerless student. But it is obviously important to share knowledge, and one who understands effective means of video production and storytelling can help an amateur digital storyteller make a more effective video.

    • Hi Andrew, I agree to your point. But it’s really hard to have an expert helping the amateur digital storyteller without too many authority issues, sometimes they are just unconcious.

  3. stompingoneggshells

    Tianyu, I think you point out some very pertinent shortcomings in both clips. While some improvements could greatly contribute to a more professional-looking piece, I wonder why it is that we want a more professional look at all. Is it because we simply find it more appealing, or is it because we find the stories so interesting that we want more people to see them? What do you think?

    • I think it is the mentality that everyone has when watching a video clip, no matter intentional or unintentional, we hope the video could be well edited, of good quality, though sometimes professional could prevent the video from being authentic to some extent. So it’s really hard to find the balance between being authentic while well edited………..

  4. Tianuy, I like your way of thinking regarding storytelling. Presentation of your direct voice by supporting your argument about possibilities of creating good stories even through low quality cameras is noticeable.

  5. Experts have made a profession in editing, crafting and mastering the art of digital storytelling, while many amateurs choose to make one or perhaps a few videos to share their personal stories (seems they don’t mind that their story doesn’t end up on the big screen because it was about documenting in and sharing it to whomever was willing to listen and watch). So, is the goal of most digital storytellers to tell the story as a form of expression or to tell the story in order for it to be noticed? Or could it be a mix of both of these motives?

    • In my opinion, nowadays, getting noticed is always companied by expressing yourself, it’s likely someone want to post a clip abot himself or herself on Youtbe without letting other see it, but they would rather set a password for it.For most storytellers, it takes time to do the shooting and editing, so they are fully aware of the fact that their videos are going to be shared with people on the internet, and this point has already been taken into considerations when shooting and editing.

  6. I wonder what the reaction would be if the experts took some of the best content encased in the “worst” production and cleaned them up? We would end up with the story in a pleasurable format.

  7. Tianyu, you make a great point about how, in digital storytelling, it isn’t just the content of a message that has an impact. The form is also very important. The topic made me consider my own education in media literacy. As a young person in public school, I spent quite a bit of time learning to read and write critically, but practiced these skills as they applied to visual media much less often. As more and more messages reach us in forms like video, it seems to me that increasing our focus on being able to construct and deconstruct these messages is necessary and that experts can indeed help us here. Perhaps childhood is not too early to begin “reading” and creating visual digital media the way that we learn to read and write text.

  8. I had an idea about your digital storytelling assignment. I know that you have a huge interest in facebook and your other projects for class have been on facebook. But, I have to tell you that I would love to see you do something about skateboard culture. I say this because I know that you have a passion for skateboarding and I think that would show through your assignment. Just a thought……..good luck!

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