Rainbow Family Tree

tell your story - change the world!

Workshop Blog - Session Two
Hi all! Hope you're settling in and finding your way around OK... just to re-cap... make sure you have:

1 - joined the Virtual Storytellers group so that you receive the workshop tips I'll be posting to the group
2 - download the 'How to make a Digital Story' manual RFT_Overview.pdf
3 - check the workshop blog for updates on Tuesday and Friday mornings
4 - participate in activities posted on the workshop forum...
5 - download the legal release, sign and e:mail/post back to me ; )

I can't emphasise the PARTICIPATE point enough! At this point, if we were all in a room together... we'd be nervously commencing the STORY CIRCLE... which is what we'll be doing on-line in the workshop forum between now and Friday.

A digital storytelling workshop normally involves a fair bit of camaraderie and much-needed mutual support. The first one I ran, I chose to make a story too... and I had invited my Dad to be part of the group. I wanted to explore the difficult subject of how my sister and I talked about sexuality/christianity to our kids. I was really nervous about Dad knowing all about this as, in our family, we don't really talk about stuff and mostly he finds out what's going on via my Mum.

It turned out he was really encouraging... when I was worried that I was being too confrontational, his response was something like 'better out than in!'. My finished product is here - 'Dear Sister'

I tell this story because it's now time for us to share... this may bring up all sorts of shy/reluctant/obstinate 'I'll do it on my own terms!' responses in some of you... but, if you can manage to do it, it's worth it... and let's face it, the story you're about to make may well be quite revealing (as all the best ones are)... for me, I'd rather practice all the tricky self-exposure stuff in a safe space before venturing out into the big wide world out there...

For those of you who are looking ahead and wondering when we start the actual technology stuff - this is the rough schedule for the next five weeks (also in the overview guide)

Week One - Session One

Intro to Digital Storytelling – overview and some examples
Who am I? Why am I here? Name games… and a few sentences about your story

Week One - Session Two

Write down and share about 250 words about your story
Find 10-15 photos or images to ‘bring it to life’
Together these elements form your draft script

Week Two - Session Three
How to Edit – introductory concepts
Setting up your project, Software tutorials

Week Two - Session Four
Recording a ‘guide track’ voiceover

Week Three - Session Five
How to Edit 2 – Creative choices for sound and picture

Week Three - Session Six
Finding music/sound FX/images on-line

Week Four - Session Seven
Photo editing (PhotoPlus or photoshop.com)
Sound editing (Audacity)

Week Four - Session Eight
Pulling it together

Week Five - Session Nine

Fine tuning and tech checks

Week Five - Session Ten

Export and Upload

If you'd like to skip ahead and start familiarising yourself with the technology - download the MovieMaker guide (if you're on a PC) or iMovie (if you're on a Mac).

But remember... 90% of the hard work is working out what your story is about and who you're making it for... see you at the workshop forum for further exploration of all that ; )

Session Two Activity
Whether it's about some goofy thing that happened at the supermarket or some profound and identity-shaping memory... the stories we tell often get better in the re-telling. We watch people's reactions to the various plot points and descriptions of key characters... and we elaborate upon the 'good bits' and skip over the boring parts. A good digital story does the same thing - short (maximum 3 minutes) with a clear beginning, middle and end. With images and sometimes music that offer another level of meaning to the carefully chosen words. Of course there are heaps of good stories that don't fit the conventions... but 'conventional' is not necessarily a bad place to start.

There are lots of storytelling tips in the 'How to' guide... Who is your story for? What is it's main 'point'? What feeling (or questions) do you want viewers to come away with?

Session Two's Activity is all about helping us discover the 'essence' of our story... and making that message is communicated clearly and simply. It really helps to get feedback from other storytellers - but make sure, when you're offering feedback, you do so with respect and consideration.

So now... don't think too much about it... tell us what you're thinking of making a story about. What kind of images and music will you put with it. Don't censor/edit... just 'blah!' You might find yourself using parts of this exploration in your actual narration, down the track...

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Thankyou Sonja, there were some great images there that I'll definitely try to incorporate into my video.
I'm in Townsville working at the moment, hence little engagement with the forum (Louise and I are sharing one laptop while we are away - how dreadful, to have only one computer between us!). Anyway in the workshop I was running today, we talked about life journeys, and how everyone's journey has periods of: "woodshedding" (long periods where nothing happens), low turning points (aka rock bottoms, then things start to go up), high turning points - ie things getting really good before a crash, "mountain climbing" - long slow difficult periods of gradual improvement, and "ceilings" - when things are going along pretty smoothly but not much changes.

My mind started wandering and I thought it might be a useful way to start thinking about important points in our digital stories, looking for dramatic points or plot points that are useful for the narrative. There are probably other important stages too. Just thought I'd share!
That's very cool Molly... been encouraging people to think about anecdotes rather than analysis/overviews... specific illustrating the general is always more potent... trouble is we live IN our lives so sometimes it's difficult to have the omniscient knowledge it might take to tell a good story about it... let's have a bash though ; )
Well done Ann Marie - it works! However still there are clearly issues with signing in as yourself? I'll give you a call to see if we can sort it ; )
This is beautiful Nikki... I have chills ; ) I can't wait to hear how it flows when you read/perform it... and the images/music choices will no doubt add even more impact. If you can do some thinking work on a storyboard before Sunday (ie what images with what words) we'll be able to 'feel' whether there are words that you don't need because the pictures are telling the story. Right now though, it's just perfect XX


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