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Digital Storytelling


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Slides for a workshop for an audience of international journalists visiting DePaul University in Chicago, June 2016. Workshop learning objectives:
1) Understand key concepts in digital storytelling, as applied to news production, and be able to apply to story development on current political news example;
2) Improve photography with a smart phone for using in social media and/or digital news stories, plus in-the-field activity to practice concepts; and
3) Using Snapseed photo editing application to edit photos on a smart phone.

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Digital Storytelling

  1. 1. Jill  Hopke     @jillhopke   Digital  Storytelling  
  2. 2. •  The  visual  brain  and  storytelling   •  Developing  narra8ve  arc  with  images   •  4  C’s  of  good  storytelling   •  BeAer  digital  photography  with  a   smartphone     •  In-­‐the-­‐field  Exercise   •  Mobile  photo  edi8ng  with  Snapseed   applica8on     Workshop  Overview  
  3. 3. The  Power  of     Visual  Imagery  
  4. 4. •  Gestalt  Theory   – See  a  larger  picture  before  its  parts   •  Vary  shots     – Helps  brain  analyze  story  from  variety  of  “points   of  view”  (POV)   •  One  element  is  subject,  all  else  perceived  as   background   •  Filter  through  our  personal  experiences     Percep8on  Processes  of  Visual  Imagery  
  5. 5. •  “Pictures  and  words  should  not  match,”  Al   Tompkins  in  Aim  for  the  Heart  (p.  103)   •  Use  text  and  cap8ons  to  explain  images   – Give  viewers  informa8on  they  otherwise  wouldn’t   know   – Don’t  just  state  what’s  happening  in  picture   – Explain  the  “what  about  that.”   Words  Explain  Images,  Not  Match  Them  
  6. 6. Your  Visual  Brain     on  Storytelling  
  7. 7. Think  back  –     What  is  an  experience  when     you  remember  being  totally   absorbed?  Wonder  or  awe?  
  8. 8. “Being  completely  involved  in  an  ac8vity  for   its  own  sake.  The  ego  falls  away.  Time  flies.   Every  ac8on,  movement,  and  thought   follows  inevitably  from  the  previous  one,   like  playing  jazz.     Your  whole  body  being  is  involved,  and   you’re  using  your  skills  to  the  utmost.”   ~Mihaly  Csikszentmihalyi    on  FLOW     Source:  hAp://      
  9. 9. •  Developed  by   Mihaly   Csikszentmihalyi,   formerly  of  U.  of   Chicago     •  Science  of  crea8vity     FLOW:  Theory  of  “Posi8ve  Psychology”    
  10. 10. •  Completely  involved,  focused   •  Sense  of  ecstasy  –  Outside  everyday  reality   •  Heightened  inner  clarity   •  Ac8vity  feels  do-­‐able   •  Serenity   •  Timelessness  –  Focused  on  present,  lose  sense   of  8me   •  Inner  mo8va8on   How  does  in  “the  flow”  feel?  
  11. 11. •  Human  universal   •  Appeal  to  us  as  social  beings   •  Persuade  and  mo8vate     – By  appealing  to  emo8ons  and  our  capacity  for   empathy   – Engaged  through  “psychological  realism”   – Relate  to  story  à  Higher  transporta8on       The  Science  of  Storytelling  
  12. 12. •  Social  cohesion   –  Research  shows  storytelling  develops  social  bonding   in  groups   –  Pass  on  knowledge  between  genera8ons   –  “Flight  simulators”  for  social  life  (Oatley  and  Mar)   –  Learning  tool  within  groups   •  Read  more:  Hsu,  J.  (2008).  The  secrets  of   storytelling.  Scien0fic  American  Mind.  Available  at:   hAp://­‐secrets-­‐ of-­‐storytelling/     The  Science  of  Storytelling  
  13. 13. Narra8ve  Structure  
  14. 14. Narra8ve  Arc  –  Drama8c  Curve       Exposi5on   Inci5ng  Moment   Rising  Ac5on   Resolu5on   Crisis  or  Climax   Adapted  from:  Rabiger,  M.  (1998).  Direc0ng  the  Documentary.  Boston:  Focal  Press.       Time   Intensity  
  15. 15. •  Take  audience(s)   somewhere     •  Focus  on  “why”  and  “how”   •  Subject  in  their  reality   •  Basis  for  all  produc8on   decisions   •  Usually  OK  to  take  sides   Point  of  View  (POV)    
  16. 16. Types  of  Conflict    Internal    External    Societal    Environmental  
  17. 17. ① Connec0on  –  Emo8on     ② Context  –  Explain  moment   ③ Change  –  Turning  point,  see   something  in  new  way   ④ Closure  –  Reflec8on,  personal   growth   Four  C’s  of  Good  Storytelling  
  18. 18. •  Did  you  go  somewhere?   •  Did  you  meet  anyone  interes8ng?   •  Did  you  learn  anything?   •  Did  you  feel  something?   •  Were  there  surprises?     •  Did  it  transform  your  thinking?         Adapted  from:  Wadhams,  S.  (n.d.).  Thinking  about  radio.  Unpublished  manuscript.   A  good  story  will  take  you  on  a  journey  
  19. 19. Storyboarding  
  20. 20. •  Lead  photo   –  Grab  viewer  aAen8on,  maybe  a  portrait   •  Establishing  shots   –  Mood,  ac8on,  humanity   •  Close-­‐ups   –  People  engaging  with  each  other   •  Extreme  close-­‐ups   –  Light,  texture,  paAern,  etc.   •  Closing  shot   –  Resolu8on,  sense  of  closure,  par8ng  moment       Developing  a  Photo  Essay  Digital  Story  
  21. 21. •  WriAen,  or  graph,  sketch  of  all  your  story’s   elements   – Brainstorm  for  images,  text,  technical   requirements,  any  audio  or  other  elements   – Chronological  order?  Other  organiza8onal   schema?     Start  with  a  Storyboard  Brainstorm  
  22. 22. Ques8ons?     Jill  Hopke