My name is Emma Raga and I study Digital Communication and Audiovisual Communication at Universidad San Pablo CEU. I have lived my whole life in Spain and now I have had the opportunity to study a semester abroad in London. When I was 15 years old I got my first camera and since then I have not stopped taking photographs and making videos I believe in the hidden meaning of still images and I think everything has a hidden story I want to show. In school I edited the graduation video for my senior year and I made two other videos for our talent show in 2013. I have many experience in filming as in every trip I make I take my camera and just take shots of what I see. As I am in a creative degree I have some experience in creating stories, I have done two short films for one of my classes last year and I have had experience in informative programes broadcasting news. Last year I had a class which was “Television” and we had to write, film and edit two different news diaries that we wanted to share and it was lot’s of fun and create a TV documental, I learn a lot from it. Finally I have also filmed and written an add of Doritos for a contest in my university and done a radio feature of the difficulties in finding jobs related to audiovisual communications in Madrid.
This course is really challenging for me because I have never done such a big project in which the important part is the voice and it is the first time I do it without a team. It is going to be a great opportunity to learn more about the audiovisual word and expand my knowledge!!
Here are some of the things I have done!
In order to create a good and worthy Digital Storytelling project it is very important to use a good quality audio which you can complement with other visual elements such as text, video or photography. Using these elements will help us to engage with our audience and make our work more interesting for them as they will be looking at it in more depth. Moreover, in the past years technology is evolving and changing and people want and need visual content to go along with the voice. It is way more interesting to listen to a podcast where you have a copule of images as a visual identity, rather than just having the voice by itself. This mixture of having the voice with visual content is what we call Digital Storytelling and it is a great way to explore the art of telling and transmitting stories. These elements work fantastically together to broadcast stories as it makes them be really attractive, compelling and interesting. However, it is really important to have the voice be the most important part of it, and having the audiovisuals to complement it, because if not the pice will lose strength.
Reality Radio : Telling True Stories in Sound
What most impacted me more about this concrete chapter was the first sentence which is written in capital letters: “ I GREW UP WITHOUT A TELEVISION”. I was born in 1996 so having a TV at home was just normal for me so knowing that people grew up without one really captures my attention as since I was small, most of the content I have seen has been visual and audio content together. Of course I have used to the radio but until I was 14 or 15 years old the purpose I gave it was for listening to music. Now that I can say I have listen to many types of radio storytelling I can say that it is incredible how it can capture your attention in such a way that you are fully concentrated in it, the feeling you get form it is really strange and unique, I have to say, you don’t usually get it from watching TV. I was amused reading this story because since the protagonist was really young she worked in audio projects and had had really good ideas for the. I find the project “Dressy Girls” really interesting as it is a simple and common topic amongst teenagers but that it is rarely talked about. Having your interview be the same age as you gives you more confidence as it is easier to talk with someone that is where you are and that is going through similar problems you have. In my opinion this court of radio features will have plenty of listeners because it was made in a school for students in it so it will definitely have a good number of audience and many girls will feel identified with the speakers. Moreover I totally agree with the fact that teen agers did not have a place to talk about themselves and their stories in the media and having this opportunity opened a very big for for them. Things have changed incredibly fast and nowadays anyone with a good and worthy story, regardless of their age, can have it shared in multiple platforms and in the media. It is a matter of moving and wanting your story to be known and listen to. The means for making it happen are available for any person who has access to the incredible platform the is the Internet.
I have chosen two very different pieces, one called Firestorm which was published in The Guardian on May 2013 and the second one in the New York Times called One in 8 million. These two pieces talk about really strong human and intimate stories which I have found incredible and really interesting. Regarding Firestorm I found amazing how the protagonists of the tragedy spoke, it was as if I have lived that moment with them, as if I could see what they saw and lived. The voices used in this piece of digital storytelling where just amazing, I could really picture what they where talking about. Moreover, I loved the way in which it is presented, the use of text, photographs with different colors that explain perfectly the situation and maps work perfectly with the voices. I like that it is simple and complicated at the same time. I found really nice that instead of using a still image of nature which can seem vague in some locations, they used a still image of nature but where we can see and hear how the wind moves the leaves, it is a simple idea with gives realism to the story. Furthermore I did also enjoy the way it is portrayed as you can follow the steps of the story very easily and having interviews with the people that suffered this catastrophe where you can see their faces helps to give credibility and seriousness. Finally, I enjoyed a lot that it is a mixture of text and voice which video and images, after watching and reading Firestorm I got a perfect idea on how things happened that 5th of January. On the other hand we have the story in The New York Times which I think it was great and really interesting too. Starting with the simplest idea of transmitting humans ordinary stories One in 8 million came up. I found it touching and revealing and I have understood that good stories are just everywhere, in the most random places and in every one of us. Here, the photographs used are all in black and white, which I think works perfectly, and there is only one per story. I think that having just one photograph helps the viewer to concentrate in the voice without being distracted by having to follow the pictures and the story with it. I though it was really good the slide show used as you can jump from story to story and find the one that suits you better. All in all, I have to say, I enjoyed both pieces so much and I think both of them are lovely made, but I think it is more interesting because of the format used the Firestorm it breaks with established schemes and I just loved it!
It was very difficult for me to find a good story that would suit what the model of Digital Storytelling was asking for. It is the first time I had to do a project like this by my own as in Madrid my modules focus more in the image than the voice and we do everything in groups. This project has been a challenge for me since the very first start but I have to say I am very happy with what I have accomplished.
I decided to do my work based in a human story as I believed it will get to the audience better and it will be easier to engage with them. Eating disorder is a topic that surrounds everyone of us, as more than 725,000 people in the UK suffer from it. I have a friend which had been suffering with this for a long time and I thought it would be a good idea to tell her story, and so I did.
The most difficult part for me was the interviews, it is a very delicate topic to talk about and I found it challenging to ask some very intimate questions to Paula as there have been many moment in her life which have been painful and I did not wanted to push her. Moreover, as we saw in class, it is essential to have a pace and same rhythm throughout the whole piece and although it was not easy to do it I think it turned out good. What I most like about it are the mix of voices and accents in it makes it more engaging and original. Also, having the point of view of some of sibling provides more credibility to the story. I did not include music because I wanted the voice to be the major focus point and the visuals are really strong, so I think they work well with the words.