Inching Forward Into Video for Digital Storytelling

Addressing the faculty desire to actually work with video footage.

For some time, I've been reluctant to introduce video in the creation of faculty and/or student digital stories. This audience generally needs simple tools which are freely available and which have a low learning threshold. In addition, I feel that the one needs to first understand the power of still images and the impact of multimedia in conjunction with them as a means to create powerful stories in video format; somewhat in the style of Ken Burn's documentaries. However, technology has increasingly made it easier to incorporate video footage into storytelling, and simple editors such as iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker are examples of tools which can produce surprising results by those who are not a professional videographer. Making the transition to video production still requires intense focus on images and in addition, requires careful editing and attention the value of movement which might breathe new life into productions.

Today, I found a great example of video production which incorporate powerful still images and appropriate small video clips to create a compelling narrative. The example I will offer is provide by and it is the story of Falsely accused prisoner Dewey Bozella, who earned the 2011 Arthur Ashe Award for his courage to never give up fighting. As you view this story, consider the powerful images first and ask, what does video add to this story? Choose your technology carefully. Can less be more? Do I need 5 minutes of video or 5 seconds? How can still images inform the choices of video shots?

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