Process: Digital Storytelling

Process: Digital Storytelling

A digital story is a two to five minute multi-media narrative that uses photos, video clips, art, and sound to share a personal life story. A digital story workshop takes 24-32 hours, usually over 3 to 5 days.

The digital storytelling workshop begins with an oral storytelling circle. Up to 10 participants may share their stories with each other. Listening to each other’s stories helps to break isolation. People find comfort and strength in shared experiences; they learn and make connections across differences. The story circle is also an opportunity to develop story ideas. Once they’ve told their story in the circle, participants begin working on a concise script. With facilitator support, each participant finds the essence of his or her particular story.

The next phase focuses on visual and audio components of a digital story. Each person records their story in their own voice. Then, like a director, each participant creates a storyboard, planning the visual and audio elements. Participants can gather existing materials from their lives, such as family photos, artwork or music. They also have the opportunity to create original content during custom photo- video- and audio-shoots. We work to encourage and support each individual’s creativity throughout the process.

We provide lessons to teach participants how to use the video-editing software. Our teaching style allows for varying levels of literacy, language proficiency and comfort with technology. No prior experience with video-editing is required to make a digital story. Participants work on their videos individually and receive support and feedback from facilitators and peers.

The workshop ends with a collective screening of the completed stories. The group has an opportunity to see each other’s stories and reflect on how they evolved from the first story circle. The digital story workshop is an individual process in that each participant creates his or her own story. The workshop is also a strongly collective process. Everyone is invested in the importance of each other’s story and the significance of the stories as a collection.

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