People have been telling me for a long time about digital storytelling.
I almost went to Colorado Springs for the Via Affirmativa art conference that one of my board members, Margaret Hensley, keeps telling me about. She had been highly impressed by a digital storytelling workshop that she’d taken before. Then at Alternatives 2010 in Pasadena I finally got to a workshop by Leah Harris who had also been taken by the digital storytelling bug. Lo and behold, they were showing my video that had been filmed the year previous at Alternatives in 2009 where I rode my bike to Omaha.
I finally realized that my limitation for good digital storytelling was software and that my PC didn’t have anything at all that could read what my camera was recording. I finally knuckled under and bought a cheapie version of Adobe Premiere. Turns out later I could have gotten a full version of the whole Adobe creative suite for about the same price from Tech Soup. I still need to take advantage of this offer using one of my nonprofit partners.
I made some preliminary video edits on the Poetry for Personal Power videos and learned just the basics of the program. People in the programs were really excited to hear that their videos were going to be posted online. I told them, “The photos from this event will be online in 2-3 days because that’s easy. But the videos won’t be up for a couple of weeks because that takes a little more time.” Well, the time was for me to figure out the video editing program. Then it seemed like it wasn’t that urgent and it never really happened very quickly. In the same time, my fiance was making video edits for free so I figured that it couldn’t be that hard. Except he uses I-Movie because he’s got a Mac. He’s my inspiration too for knowing I ought to update my blog every day.
Then along came a funding announcement from the US Olympic Committee that required a two minute digital storytelling video. I thought of a program called Olympic Combat KC where local combat sports clubs trade social media advertising for exercise prescription scholarships for people with emotional struggles. I figured by this time I could handle that so I started working on creating the program and made appointments with all five of our Olympic sports to shoot the video. The first place I shot video I had a hard time picking out the best sound and lighting and backgrounds to keep the people under 13 out of my video and to only get people in the video that had given me releases. Then I started figuring out more and more as I went about how to get good video and put together the good digital storytelling composition. I started thinking of more of a story line and asking people better questions. The hardest thing that I never did fully figure out was when I asked someone a question and they’d say, “Yes,” but then didn’t repeat my question back to me.
When I finally got to the editing stage I started having in mind the quotes I wanted to put in the video and the digital storytelling message that I wanted to share. I found editing fairly easy until I got all the quotes in and still had a 2:30 video. The grant only allowed 2:00. So then I realized that I could speed up people’s voices and talking, and my final product ended up being just a hair over 2:00.
Here’s my first real digital storytelling efforts:
Here’s some of people’s initial reactions to my digital storytelling.
- Christian Wade (our featured athlete at the end): I would also say this program is great. Martial arts, when I’m doing it, gives me confidence and even at times that I’m dragging myself to the school I’m always glad I showed up. I took tae kwon do myself a long time ago and would like to get back into it if there was such a school close to me. Actually I’m enjoying karate though…
- Kathleen R. Dake (on my board of directors): This is a great idea… During times I’ve been in the best shape physically, is also the times I have been in my best shape mentally.
- Michelle Kruse (member of the World Military Judo Team): I think this is an amazing idea Corrina! You can really reach a lot of kids this way!
- Nikko Mejia (A Native American warrior who helped me train for the Olympic Trials): just have to say that Im proud of you Corinna of what your doing for the people back home…
- Ken Braiterman (Chairman of my board of directors): Sounds fascinating, CW.
- Kevin M. Kraft (Cigar box guitarist of excellence): I”m impressed again!
Funny thing, it’s like all technology. Digital Storytelling is not that hard once you get past your initial fear and dig into it. Then – it’s really fun!