The Process

THE PROCESS, Bring YOUR story ALIVE!

Narration, Write the Script
The written narrative script, telling the story in the author’s own voice, is the centerpiece of digital storytelling. It is the action and/or dialogue of your digital essay. It is meant to organize all the other media elements used (images, sounds, transitions, titles, special effects) and should be completed FIRST!

Voiceover
Your voice is key component to your story. You will want to practice reading aloud your narrative several times before actual recording. Use inflection when needed and represent the tone of the story through your voice. Remember to feel your story not just read it! Pitch, tone, and inflection convey meaning and intent.

Using the Audio booth or field recorders
The Audio booth will give you the best quality recording possible. This sound proof booth allows you to capture audio without any external noise to interfere. You can also use a field recorder to capture any ambient noise. These are available at the equipment desk.

Seeing your Story, Image Selection and Filming

Imagine your content, what does this look like visually. What images do you see? What images will best tell your story? Images play a role in your argument. They help strengthen your message.

Images are a key factor in your visual narrative, especially if there is no narration to accompany it. Choosing the best most iconic visuals will is key in gripping your audience. There is more than one way to tell a story and that is a creative, unique, and challenging task.

Images don’t always have to be so literal or explicit. They can have metaphorical meaning and add layers to your message. These are called Implicit images. How will you visually describe fear to someone? A close up a blood shot eye, a light bulb swaying, rotten fruit in a bowl on the table, a dark figure jerking down a hallway. There are a variety of ways to visually express fear. Of course the faster the cuts, the more intense the meaning.

The juxtaposition or placement of images plays a key role here as well. Images on there own may mean one thing but placed together can represent something completely different. An image of a house followed by an image of cardboard boxes represents moving but what else can it mean? Does the moving represent loss, freedom? If the next shot is of an open road, it can possibly mean freedom. Your audience will read the placement of images as having implicit meaning on that goes beyond the explicit meaning of one of those images placed alone.

“Images have the power to reveal something to the audience that words just can’t say.” -Joe Lambert

Planning the Project, Create the Storyboard

The Storyboard-What is it? A combination of multi-media (video, text, still photos, music, narration). A visiual representation of your story. An organization tool. Because it is an organizational tool, this should help you find holes in your story. Your final draft should have no holes if visualized correctly.

Why it is important? Helps find holes in the story before the edit takes place. Identifies resources you will need.

It is here you block out images and arrange the content of your story. Here you get a sense of timing and how long your images will be on screen according to your narration.
This is where you will work out the bugs

Music/Sound Effects

Music should add in the development of your argument not take away from it. It should heighten and convey a feeling and tone that matches your images, narration and argument. Music and sound effects can add depth to your piece when added correctly.

Post-Production

Now that the script is written, images have been selected, the storyboards have been created, and the voiceover recorded, you are ready to edit using Final Cut Pro X.
Here you have full control over the look and feel of your finely crafted essay.
Use titles, transitions, and effects to bring your narration to life. Let your storyboard guide in the process of post. The usefulness of your storyboard really comes into play here.
After you have completed your digital essay, allow others to view to make sure your story makes sense not only to you but to others as well. Revise if necessary.

Here you will finalize your edit with titles, transitions, effects. These are the periods and commas of your piece.

The Critique
After you have completed the rough cut of your Digital Essay if would be highly useful to get the perspectives of others. Whether this is in the classroom setting with your professors, your peers, or with Instructional Technologists on campus, it would be wise to have another set of eyes view your essay prior to your due date.

You are now ready to hand in your Video Concept!

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