For thousands of years, storytellers passed down their stories orally. Around 8,000 years ago, the first story was recorded on a clay tablet called a cuneiform. That story was called, “The Epic of Gilgamesh.” Oral tradition was the preferred method of telling stories until the 15th Century when the printing press was invented. Today, the magic of digital technology has created a whole new reality in storytelling–digital storytelling.
Digital Storytelling can combine: pictures, video, multimedia, audio, hypertext, 2D & 3D animation, music, sound effects, text, and narrations into an interactive and engaging format that can motivate and increase learning across the board. In addition, the four learning styles: auditory, visual, reading, and kinesthetic are in full force in the majority of good digital stories.
So, what is Digital Storytelling? Jerome Gratigny did a fine job of telling exactly what it is.
But at its core is still the message. The rest of the digital storytelling elements are metaphors that keep supporting the message. Therefore, the music must become a metaphor for the message, the colors, animation, images, dialog, whatever you are using becomes a metaphor for the message.
Now, because of the wide array of digital elements available the old method of ‘writing it up’ needs to evolve. It is best to use a storyboard. So, what is a storyboard?
A comic strip is a good example of a storyboard. This is a four-panel storyboard from beginning to end reading left to right. Every time I mention storyboard a hand goes up followed by, “I can’t draw!” In truth, you don’t have to know how to draw. You must just understand a storyboard is no more than a map showing where you start and finish. We will go over in more detail tomorrow about how to put a storyboard together.
The next element is timing. How long should your story be? That depends on your message. The commercials in Super bowl 2018 will cost over $5 million dollars for a 30-second ad. Take a look at these 2017 Super Bowl ads, which cost only $166,667 dollars per second. Can you identify the message?
When telling a story all you need is a little creativity and imagination. When putting a digital story together you must think outside the box. Don’t just think of still images anymore. Think of images that actually move.
There are thousands of ways to add digital media. It is not about how much, but more what you need in order to move the story and the message forward. The big difference between the 1951 and 2008 remake of, “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” was the 1951 had a message; whereas, the 2008 decided to concentrate on CGI and SFX. That is why the 2008 remake movie bombed. People go to the movies to be entertained with a story and to come out with a message.
A computer hooked up the Internet is a magic wand for you to deliver your message. But it can also be Pandora’s box. Tomorrow, we will explore the story-board.