This week I created a digital story to increase engagement and build an audience on my digital storytelling blog. Since I just posted it today, I can’t offer any stats about how it actually worked out or if I gained more followers from it. On my end, I’m happy with it for several reasons.
The assignment was to create a video that was related to our blog topic. While I’m sure the majority of my classmates did all the shooting and gathering of the materials for their video, I went another route in order to provide myself an idea of what the average digital storytelling goes through when building their videos.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been involved with digital storytelling for several years. One of my jobs as a digital storytelling grant consultant was to shoot video, audio and still images on different topics and then assign them to class groups to create a digital story. This, coupled with the fact that I shoot video fairly frequently for my job, has given me a good chunk of experience in shooting good video. I also have experience with Final Cut Pro. If you’re not familiar, it’s the same software that was used to edit the movie “Eat, Pray, Love.” In short, it’s great software and I use it whenever I have a video project I’m working on.
But knowing how to shoot good video, having access to good equipment and using high-quality editing software is not the norm for a digital storyteller. So I decided to make my video under many of the same circumstances of those storytellers.
First, I didn’t shoot any of my material. I borrowed material a friend took while on a trip to India. This was a positive because she didn’t have experience shooting video and wasn’t using a professional camera, meaning I had to find ways to use the best quality material and make it look better than it did originally.
Second, I didn’t use Final Cut Pro, even though it nearly killed me since that software can help you make anything look better. Instead, I used iMovie since it’s free and a lot of people use it. While I did like it much more than MovieMaker, it still lacked a lot of the abilities I was used to, which required me to improvise.
And lastly, I had to put myself in her shoes and think about what her story was. Since I didn’t take the trip, it wasn’t my story and I had to really focus as I storyboarded to consider what story she would want told.
This was good practice for me since it allowed me to explore how digital storytellers are creating content on a non-professional level. Even though it was a challenge, it also let me see why so many people are creating digital stories and gave me insight into why some digital stories with poor format still make an impact on an audience.
Make sure to take a look at the digital story I created on my friend’s trip to India.