Here’s my Course 3 video. I didn’t finish it in time for the Course 3 Reflection, but better later than never, right? It was a fairly straightforward process to create it, but for me it looked like:
Brainstorm in my head, come up with initial concept
Outline on notebook paper
Match images to outline
Match music to outline
Write script & record voiceover (2 hours to this point)
Find images and music (4 hours to this point)
Add voiceover to iMovie; then add images and music
Shoot footage; add to iMovie (another 2-3 hours)
Tweak, tweak, tweak (probably 7 hours total from inception to completion)
I didn’t use a storyboard template to sketch out my scenes because I shot little original footage and relied mostly on images from the web. For the footage I did shoot, the purpose was instructional so it wasn’t as important to have creative cinematography.
I made my video using iMovie, still images, and the original footage that I shot on a handheld Panasonic camcorder recording to an SD card. Of the hours and hours that I spent, some of it was in figuring out how to work with clips in iMovie, but more of it was in tweaking the pace of the audio and figuring out when to cue music, video, and images. In other words, my problem was creative and artistic, not technical.
Here’s the video:
And here’s everything that could have been done better:
The first I heard of transmedia storytelling – using diverse media including TV, Web, games, and print – to tell a story was The Matrix. The creators started off with a movie, but also released animated short films, a comic, and video games. Each of these contained unique clues and backstory to the Matrix universe, so to get the whole story you needed to process several mediums and use several skills (for example, to read the comic or beat the video game).
The discipline of history and social studies emphasizes using a variety of sources to get students to understand a theme. Transmedia storytelling is a perfect match for this. From a teacher’s perspective, we might use the textbook as our text resources, add video interviews or newspapers as primary sources, and use photographs of artifacts or paintings as visual resources. For example, a unit on World War II examining the causes, processes and effects of war might include:
newspaper editorials from British newspapers (causes and processes)
Roosevelt’s Declaration of War speech (available on YouTube) (causes)
playing a level from a World War II video game, like Call of Duty (processes)
radio broadcasts from the end of the war (effects)
Or, you could have students organize a transmedia campaign about a specific event. For example, my students just studied the French Revolution. I could have had them tell the story of the French revolution by:
Finding paintings of pre-revolutionary life to illustrated the causes of the revolution
Mashing up documentaries from Youtube and popular movies to tell the story of one stage, such as the terror.
Finding primary sources to talk about the ideas of the revolution – the writing of Enligtenment philosophes, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, etc.
Creating a comic book to tell the story of another stage
Telling the story of yet another stage from the perspective of the participants, but through a series of Twitter posts
Come to think of it, maybe this is something I should consider for History Circles 2.0!