Dr. Anthony Curtis – UNCP Mass Communication
What is a Digital Story?
A digital story is a 21st century form of mass communication that harks back to the ancient art of oral storytelling. This contemporary form of mediated communication combines traditional techniques from television, video production radio, newspapers and magazines with contemporary multimedia tools to deliver informative and entertaining short productions with text, still and motion images, sound, music, and voice. They are script-driven and all about the articulation of a coherent verbal expression – the voice – of the narrator.
Digital stories are narratives, which help us make sense of things. We learn from stories and remember their meanings because they are personally understandable. Stories penetrate human understanding and engage feelings. Someone has said, the deeper the emotion, the deeper the learning.
The best digital stories usually...
- Begin with a script that focuses the writing before audio and video are created or manipulated.
- Are quite personal with the narrator making it clear how something or somebody impacted her or his life.
- Are concise at two to five minutes long with story narrowed down to a single nugget of one central idea.
- Use easily-available source materials such as still photos, hand drawings, scanned images, transition effects, and recorded narrative.
- Include universal story elements of conflict, transformation,and closure in a way with which the audience can identify and be changed.
- Involve collaboration in which people give and receive feedback during scripting and production.
Digital stories come in many forms:
Personal narrative Very short documentary Fictional story Reminiscence Movie or book trailer Persuasive charitable pitch Public relations message Animation Movie or book review Learning instruction Interview Poem Song Photographic journey Rebus riddle Lots of other forms
Examples from UNCP students
UNCP Mass Communication student digital storytelling productions
Examples from Elsewhere
Choices Helen Barrett
My Life as a Winklepicker Shoebox Stories – 10 videos
Coming Full Circle Norman
Ghosts Thomas Robert Mallon. 10th Grade, Lick-Wilmerding High School
A Bracero's Journey Yesenia Chavez, 9th Grade, SOTA, Awarded Special Achievement
A Walk on My Dark Side Yale College – 10 videos
More Like the American Nightmare Created by Xiana Wang, 9th Grade, San Francisco School of the Arts, Awarded Second Place
Picture Me Black Created by Dakarai Ramel Griffin, 10th Grade, San Francisco
Peace Created by Michael Sheard, 11th Grade, CollegeTrack, East Plao Alto, Awarded PeaceNow Prize
Holy Bunion Created by Natasha and Anabel, 10th Grade, SF SOTA, Awarded Outstanding Artistic Achievement
Sparring Partners BBC Capture Wales – 7 videos
My Potato Story Created by Silvia Jeong, 9th Grade, San Francisco School of the Arts, Awarded First Place
River Stories Brisbane, Australia: State Library of Queensland (streaming server)
Africa KQED's Digital Story Initiative
Capture Wales BBC
Stories for Change Digital storytelling community
Scribe Video Center West Philadelphia community
Digital Drive-In Dana Atchley Memorial
I Photograph To Remember IPTR
Grass Born to be Stepped On Apple – 9 minutes
Documenting Child Labor in Nepal Apple – 6 minutes
The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard free range studios – 21 minutes
What is Scion City? Second Life
Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling University of Houston, College of Education
Documentary Filmmaking in the Classroom Apple
iLife How-To Guides Apple
DigiTales Bernajean Porter
jakesonline.org David Jakes
The Center for Digital Story Berkeley
Schoolhouse Video Raw materials kits
KitZu Raw materials kits
Digital Kids Club Raw materials kits
Google: digital storytelling resources