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Digital Storytelling

18 Oct

Mister Monkey & the Finite Flying Contraption:
Reflection on Digital Storytelling

(Please note: this post is the REFLECTION on my Digital Story. To view the Digital Story itself, please view this post:

My online story is a culmination of a variety of tangible forms of art, translated into an online medium. I have used the major elements of a picture story book (still images and text), used photography instead of illustrations and added an accompanying soundtrack to engage the viewer further and elicit and stronger emotional response. In this sense, the digital story is part storybook/part short film/part photographic story (as many elements of the story are actually not revealed in the text, and rely on the photographs to be communicated).

Drawing on the flipped lecture on visual storytelling I made sure I had a clear idea from the very beginning. As pre-production was already thoroughly thought out, I believe this meant that I avoided any errors during the production stage as I was fully prepared and knew exactly what I needed for completion. During the editing (post-production stage) I utilised slideshare tutorials to work out how to add audio and time the slides in a way that communicated my story in the way I desired.

Composition was very important in my photographs. I used low angles to communicate the height of the balloon and made sure colours complimented each other. I also made sure I minimised reflections so there was nothing to distract the viewer. I drew on my understanding and practice in cinematography to help compose the photographs – they are a lot more like stills from an animated short film rather than stand alone photographs (i.e. the use of close-ups). This flipped lecture was especially useful in understanding key compositional and visual techniques.

Using various elements (sound, photography, powerpoint, audio, text) was an idea I got from the flipped lecture on transmedia.


Disseminating and Sharing Digital Story

The flipped lecture ‘A Perfect Storm’ was particularly useful in developing my marketing strategy. The concepts of ‘hypersociability’ and the emphasis on the connectivity of social and media networks online, got me thinking how easy it would be to spread this digital story via the communicative networks I already utilise with friends and acquaintances. For the purpose of this story, my aim is to delight people…and I don’t mind just starting with people I know. If they enjoy it, they may pass the link onto friends. My marketing strategy therefore involves:

1. A Facebook Post via Slideshare

2. Tweet on twitter (#netmed) as well as using hashtags that relate to similar creative media (#digitalstorytelling, #photography, #story etc.)

3. Attach hyperlinks into youtube videos of short films I have made in the past/other creative content.

4. Share the blogpost on Facebook

For the type of audience I am after for this digital story, this is a perfect, personalised marketing strategy. As in the flipped lecture, ‘A Perfect Storm‘ I am utilising the social networks and connections I already have!






A Picture Storybook

18 Oct

Mister Monkey & the Finite Flying Contraption

A little picture story book for you.

Please wait a minute or so until the play button is enabled (don’t move side to side with the arrow buttons).

Watch in ‘full view mode’.

Go on.

Have a gander.


Strengths & Weaknesses: An Infograph

17 Oct

The Web – A Universal City

6 Oct

We try to tame the World Wide Web by giving it names. Web 2.0, Web 3.0. But what does this achieve?

Does it stop it’s expansion? Help us understand it? Does it change anything? Does it define anything? How do we define something that is constantly in flux? Constantly evolving?

This short story is told through the eyes of a girl who reflects on the city she inhabits – the Web – and how a man in a black suit came down from the clouds one day, and tried to name that which was unnameable.

See my story on Cowbird here:

Friendship, Faux Grown-ups & Folly

6 Oct

It’s a strange feeling, growing up. But even stranger, is realizing that you thought you’d been grown up all along, but now, now you’ve actually grown up. (Just a small side glance to the audience to my right, perhaps we haven’t really grown up at all. Perhaps we never do. Because if growing up is about understanding things and knowing things and feeling things as they really are – and not as we want them to be – then maybe we can’t ever, actually, ever, grow up. I am sitting on the artificial lawn, surrounded by prison walls. Quite profound. It sits there, looming; a metaphor, an allegory, a motif…or maybe, it’s jut a historical wall that we’ve now built a university around. It’s lost all significance; all prisoners; all screams; all somnambulists – they fade with the times, like all specter things – imprints, allusions to something that once was there, and now is not. It surrounds the university like a cage, or perhaps a fortress. But it’s a museum now, not a prison. Just something we go and gawk at.

So we sit on the plastic grass, in a circle of sun, surrounded by shadow of the dark prison walls. And we talk about things. I have known her since I was a child – and though by this, I literally mean for 15 years – it would seem that perhaps I am still a child, because perhaps we all are. So perhaps I have known her since I first started being a child, and as children, we know each other still.

We are sisters. Not real sisters of course. Though we have often been mistaken for sisters by the colour of our skin; the hair always caught us out. Mine is dead straight and thin, hers is thick and frizzy, like a black American popstar from the 70s. So yes, the hair, always proves we aren’t real sisters. We are something better, I do believe. Sisters of a certain inner something that is quite inexplicable by blood or biological reasoning.  When I say an inner something, that is because I must deny any relation whatsoever to her, in anything at all that is visible or observable. When people say that so-and-so is their ‘other half’, they usually don’t mean that the person that is closest to them is actually the exact inverse of the self. She is an exact replica of all that I am and love, but then reversed. What I could call the antithetical polemical of our friendship. The paradox that renders a friendship impossible, ergo: we must be sisters.

Composed. In tears. Running onwards. Run away. One smokes. One eats cake. One breaks. One mends. One has had boys in her life, till they turned into men. The other, well, hasn’t at all. A love for knowledge, learning, education. One dropped out of school, then dropped out of TAFE, then pretty much dropped out of life for a bit (don’t worry, this won’t offend her, because she’s actually sitting right beside me).

As they were sitting in the sun, they realised something about life. Whilst one had broken up with her boyfriend the day before (whilst the other has had none at all), whilst one had abandoned her home long ago (whilst the other may well end up living with her parents for a life time. Maybe not quite that long) and whilst one planned to be out all night long to avoid the problems of uncovered secrets and regrets (whilst the other looked forward to her cosy blankets and a good sleep) both began to realise something terribly profound. The steps, the streets, the stairs, the moments, the leaps – they all lead somewhere. We grow old. We make mistakes. We make mistakes again. And it happens like it does in the movies. We always heard the term in books and films and songs; a lament to a loss of childhood innocence.

I actually thought, that I had already passed this stage of child-like naivity last year. After taking a year off after graduating in 2010. After I had turned 18. I thought I had grown up. But it’s not until you realize, that it’s not the new things you experience (like independence and travel and uni) but it is the old things that you suddenly experience in truth; in reality.

It’s not new, scary, frightening things that suddenly come knocking on your bedroom door. It’s the old things that have been with you in your bedroom, all along. You just never noticed that they were there; that there were monsters under your bed; everyday of your life, for a lifetime.

And before any of this happened. And before any of us realized this was happening, we were greatly deceived. Deceived into thinking, it was ever possible for a world of grown-ups to actually exist. We think we grow wiser, because we see wise grown-ups. But when the wisdom we think we’ve gained turns to folly, as it always, always does. Then the grown-ups are exposed as children. So what the world needs then, is not a festering quagmire of self-deceiving grown-ups, but a Father.


26 Jul

Yes, Youth Lagoon is one of those dudes. Drenched in reverb. EX-treme reverb. You know what I mean. Distortion and echoes and effortlessly heart-wrenching vocal whisper-like musings from the broken soul. With reverb. Think Antlers ‘Hospice’. With a little more…reverb. And a little less genocidal-ear-drum-massacre distortion.

Yes we can’t understand the words half the time. Think Bon Iver, bless ‘im. Yes he’s plagued with the crooning indie school boy whimper. Angus Stone, eat your heart out. (Anyone even remember that old chap? Oh that’s right, you went out and called yourself something worthy of a posthumously-titled, Romantic poet’s final semiautobiographical epic before he grew old and withered away into the oblivion of ‘artists-we-once-appreciated’. Lady of the Sunshine. Only joking. You’re still smokin’ in my eyes Mr. Stone. Still a gun. Still a smokin’ gun. See what I did there?)*

This is all endearingly teasing to be frank. I don’t give a damn about the reverb, weighty audio effects and inarticulate whines of the reigning postmodern Indie Kings. I say postmodern because their lyrics – not unlike the vague (and arguably, therefore worthless) and indefinite term imbued upon an era that can no longer be called ‘modernism’ – are inaudible and indefinable enough, to almost be themselves in a constant state of flux. Like the era itself, who’s to say that’s of any great worth or of no worth at all. Indeed, what is worth? What is the qualitative measure of ‘any’? What ‘is’?


This is what happens when we have to use words. Humanity complicates everything.

SO. Montana. Review it. That’s your task. Get on it woman.

In short, this video clip is great. As is the song. Probably not much to it when you pull it apart from a technical music point of view. But it’s incredibly moving. And reverb does always help. Makes everything feel magical and nostalgic and just better. I think we must’ve been conditioned that way a long, long time ago. We can probably thank the Gregorian Chanting Monks and their high-ceilinged Medieval Churches for that. Tyler T Williams does a beautiful job on this music video. Out with the curly-haired white boy with mud on his cheeks running through open fields to jungle-inspired indie-folk rock with featuring the occasional glockenspiel and banjo! There just isn’t any narrative quality in that my friend. Especially when it’s been done for every second song out there. Occasionally they’ll include some sheep, or a tree with interesting roots. So thank you Tyler T for having your kid play baseball and for shooting at night. And for shooting in a lake. And for having legit-looking costumes. And for throwing a toy soldier with some baby blue smoke about the place. That was cool.

Williams, what a marvellous concoction. You’ve somehow produced a child born of Terrence Malick and Tony Hawk. The filmic beauty of The Tree of Life and grainy Polaroid photographs (in 2.35: 1 Anamorphic Scope YEHA) whilst cutting clips together in synch with the beat; like a mad dog skateboarding vid.

It’s pretty and artistic, whilst also being engaging. Don’t see that everyday. This is pretty special.

*Apologies. It would appear I’ve been living under a rock for the past few months. Angus Stone returns! And apparently it’s quite good. (Nevertheless, it was still worth the dig)


Uni Made Me Do It

26 Jul

Some things you should know:

1. I didn’t make a blog because I’m egotistical and narcissistic.

2. Not all people who make blogs are egotistical and narcissistic.

3. A large portion are.

4. Especially film and media students.

5. We suffer from a severe condition of repressed narcissism.

6. Because until we have money, no-one cares about what we create.

7. Repressed. Depressed.

8. First World Problems.

9. Point is; Uni made me do it.

#1 Created a wordpress (Y)

#2 Applied a theme (Y)

#3 Made a post (Y)

#4 A link to something rad (Y)

10. It’s a surprise. And it’s good:

BOOM. 2 Marks.