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Digital Storytelling. Crafting your story. Knowing and writing your story is the first step. How will you use your story?. An introduction to a book or a reading assignment An introduction to a lesson; i.e., about a point in history Special content to get across in a lesson.

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Digital Storytelling

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digital storytelling

Digital Storytelling

Crafting your story

knowing and writing your story is the first step how will you use your story
Knowing and writing your story is the first step. How will you use your story?
  • An introduction to a book or a reading assignment
  • An introduction to a lesson; i.e., about a point in history
  • Special content to get across in a lesson
something should happen
Something should happen.

Your story should contain:

  • Beginning
  • Middle
  • End
  • Dramatic quality
  • Point of view (1st or 3rd person)
  • Will you use video as the message or the medium?
Consider focusing on a character in order to tell your story.

An important part of a compelling story is a character to care about.

have a script
Have a script.

1 double-spaced page of typed script = 1 or 2 minutes OR,

120 words = roughly 1 minute

  • Tell your story in the simplest way possible.
  • You may need to narrow your topic.

1. Sound bites

a. Single phrases of importance taken from an interview

b. Main ideas that express a paragraph in a story

2. Voice-overs - Pre-written scripts recorded onto tape or the computer


3. Nat-sound - Natural sounds that enhance a story

4. Additional audio elements

Sound effects

Copyright free music tracks

Music from CDs - Copyright issues

  • Choose background music that will not compete with your narration.
  • Natural sound helps to convey a sense of place.

Be aware of voice quality during narration.


  • Emphasis
  • Inflection
  • Variation in speed/ pace
  • Variation in pitch
  • Variation in volume

Helps students:

  • Retain information
  • Maintain interest
  • Create meaning
  • Use a steady camera, unless you are trying to convey a sense of dis-ease or distortion
  • Pay attention to the horizon line and keep it square. Few things detract from an otherwise good picture as quickly as a tilted horizon. Also remember the Rule of Thirds and don't place the horizon line in the middle of the photo.
types of shots
Types of Shots
  • Establishing – shows setting/ time period
  • Wide – shows figure and environment
  • Full/ long – frames entire person
  • Medium – frames person waste up
  • Tight – close-up
  • Action/ reaction – used in sequence
camera angles
Camera Angles
  • Bird’s eye view: suggests fatality
  • High – from above: suggests inferiority
  • Worm’s eye view: disoriented, self-conscious shot
  • Low – from below: suggests superiority/ dominance
180 degree rule
180 Degree Rule
  • if a viewer is introduced to a space in which person A is on the right and person B is on the left, the camera should not rotate beyond 180 degrees, because that would invert the relative positions of person A and B (person A would suddenly appear on the left and person B on the right).
  • Rule of Thirds
  • Place important elements of your composition where these lines intersect.
  • Place the eyes in one of the upper intersections.
  • Place the horizon along one of the horizontal bars.
rule of thirds
Rule of Thirds

rule of thirds17
Rule of Thirds

  • Head room - the amount of space between the top of a person's head and the top of your frame: Less is best.
  • Lead/ nose room - space in front of your subject. Leave extra space in the direction your subject is looking or moving.
  • Natural cut-off lines- neck, elbows, waist, knees and ankles.
which is best
Which is Best?

head room should increase with longer shots
Head room should increase with longer shots

framing and primary movement of subject
Framing and Primary Movement (of subject)
  • Figure on right – suggests dominance/ heroism
  • Figure on left – suggests subordinance/ antagonism
  • Movement from left to right - natural
  • Movement from right to left - unnatural
  • 3-point lighting - A key light (the brightest light) is supplemented by a fill light, to one side, and a light in back. This allows subjects in the frame to appear three-dimensional. Otherwise, the subject may appear flat or blend in with the background.
  • High-key - comparatively little contrast between the light and dark areas
  • Low-key - creates a strong contrast between light, dark and deep shadows
let s do some math
Let’s do some math.

On average, a shot should last 3-5 seconds. A pan, maybe 7 seconds.

20 pictures at 3 seconds each = 60 seconds


Say Bear, See Bear!

Set a tone through the pace of your movie:

  • Quick suggests action, urgency, excitement, nervousness
  • Slow suggests contemplation, romanticism, simple pleasures
start simple
Start Simple
  • Start with basic content and sweeten your movie afterwards.