Blog one & two:
My name is Pilar Romero Boned. I am an Erasmus student from CEU University in Madrid, Spain. I am currently studying Digital Communication, Public Relations and Advertising. Back in my home university, I have used sound, video and images to create projects in both Radio and Television classes. I had to create radio features and TV documental and informative programs, as well as news diaries. Anyway, as I only did one course and practice of each field, my knowledge is quite basic, so I think that this is a great opportunity to develop more my knowledge and learn more about digital storytelling.
To make an audio work interesting and avoid to bore people, we present it with visual content too. This is what is called digital storytelling. By using these visual content, we keep the audience interested on it, and we create with engagement with the user. We help the content to develop more its characteristics and we make them stronger (by using images we can make the story more emotional, thrilling, happy, surprising, scary…). In other words, we get to create emotions on the listeners. Furthermore, combining these visual characteristics with other audio features as the tone of voice, we can create the most effective and interesting stories. This is all needed to create the best digital story.
Chapter: The Voice and the Place
After having a look to al the different chapters of the Biewen & Dilworth’s book, I chose the one that talks about how important the voice and the place is when telling a story. The person talking in the chapter is Sandy Tolan, a north American journalist. He uses different stories based on his own experience to explain how important the voice and the place are. Also, he defends stories are in the voice and the place. As he explains, it is crucial to find a good talker. Someone that knows how to talk and describe a story as realistic as possible. That is what makes the story so emotional, that it’s real, everything is truth, and you can feel it. The person of course has to be open, and he or she has to be ok to let you get into your everyday life, to share all that happens in his/her immediate surroundings. This choice of the person who you are going to work with is very determining. The author says: ‘I often feel like a casting director than a journalist”. This shows how difficult is to find a suitable person that meets all the needed requirements. Of course, the place is as important as the voice. The best way to get totally involved with the story is to be there, to live the same as what your interviewee is living, to be in the same environment, to live in the same conditions, to be a part of his/her life. Thus, you can tell the story in a trustworthy way knowing exactly what you are talking about, because you base your facts in your personal experience.
I also found very interesting a question that the author asks himself: Would we be able to explain the whole by exploring the particular? He is taking about how we have to explain the general issue by presenting a specific case of a particular person or family. It is difficult and challenging, but it is what we have to do.
For this blog I have chosen two stories published in the The New York Times: Joseph Cotton: The Grandfather and Elizabeth Cousins: The Teenage Mother.
I personally enjoy a lot this kind of personal stories. I like the intimate tone they use, you can feel how the person is feeling, you become part of the story, you live it from the inside. It helps you to perceive I like that not all the photographs preview exactly what the narrator is saying, in my opinion, there’s no need to. I do really like that the photographs are in black & white, it’s more elegant and intimate. I liked the use of pauses, how you could feel so close to the narrator when he breathed or made any sound different from talking. For me, this stories are very touching and close. The characters are just explaining something about their lives, the reality of they everyday life just the way it is, but for some reason, it is special for me.
The combination of the audio and the images is great. It keeps you interested in it and catches your attention. It is entertaining. The length is perfect, it is not long at all and in fact, you might finish it wishing it was longer!
They are definitely good examples of digital stories.
Before starting to prepare my digital story I tried to find the best topic to do my project. I wanted to find something interesting that I was familiarized with, in order to do it the best way possible, and to tell the story from a personal point of view. While being in the Language School where I was taking English classes, I talked with a few Spanish people with different situations and stories. Some of them came here to London in order to find a job, or the position that they aspire to but they cannot find in Spain. Most of them didn’t want to come to London, but they had to. Some of them are happy about it, but some others are not. That’s why I thought about telling the story of those Spanish people who had to come to London because there was no opportunities in Spain for them. After lots of years studying degrees and masters, they didn’t find any position that was as good as they were. One day I was talking to a very high qualified engineer from Madrid, that had to come here to work. What really called my attention was how difficult it was for him, specially because he was separated from his girlfriend. It seemed that he was having a hard time. I don’t know why but the way he was talking about his situation made me think. Then, I changed my mind, and I though about using his story to explain this situation that Spanish people are going through. I though that it was a good way of explaining it in a more personal way. After this I had to research about data and statistics about this. How many Spanish young people come to the UK every year…
Once that I had all the material, I had to edit it and produce it. I took the photographs for the slideshow, then I edited all the audio I had recorded (using Audacity) and finally preparing the final project with Final Cut, as I am more used to use it than Adobe Premier.
The difficulties that I found in this project was to find the way of telling the story in order to interest people, and to be able to be told such a personal story.