Final Weekly Summary

Intro to Visual Technique: Summary (Week 1)

Intro to Design: Summary (Week 2)

Introduction to Sound: Summary (Week 3)

Introduction to Video: Summary (Week 4)

Final Blog Post Link:

Final Summary

Personally, I think that I have learned so much about digital storytelling throughout this course. I had previously never really thought about how important combining and utilizing video, audio, visuals, and designs could be when attempting to portray a specific, engaging narrative. Our first week in this class focused on visual components. During that week, I learned about techniques that could be used when taking pictures to produce a more creative and intriguing final product. One technique that stood out to me was the idea of being picky, or attentive to detail, instead of taking hundreds of shots of one scene. I learned that doing this would be most conducive in capturing an amazing moment with precision and tact. Secondly, I learned about how anticipating events that could take place in the immediate future is also useful in deciding how and when to take the best pictures you possibly can. Additionally, I learned about how spacing, color, contrast, patterns, and any minute aspects of a piece of art, photograph, or anything that represents visual media can impact the piece’s general theme and how it is seen by others that are outside of the artists’ own realm of understanding and perception. I also learned that viewing inanimate objects around you from different perspectives, such as via different angles, is more beneficial to provide a piece of work with meaning that is open to interpretation. This implies that you must not see the world around you with preconceived notions and with anticipation that other people must conform to a specific viewpoint. Lastly, I learned that playing with what is plausible in terms of mixing genres, fonts, mediums, or stories can create funny and yet interesting art that can be the basis for a variety of tales developed by any audience.

During the second week of class, we focused on components of design in the context of telling stories. The first thing that I learned was the power and influence that the use and manipulation of colors in images have over an audience. I learned that altering and intermingling various concepts, such as rhythm, colors, negative space, dominance, proportion, or balance can and should be effective in solving problems for clients or yourself as the viewer of your final work, according to The Vignelli Canon. I found it fascinating when I learned that patterns via the consistency, or vice versa, of rhythm can evoke emotions from the viewer in combination with the use of certain colors. I also now understand how visually appealing symmetry can be in graphic design, but how asymmetry can be valued in certain situations as well. I was able to demonstrate my new understanding via an example of symmetry within my Design Blitz that I found on the patio of my house. Therefore, I think that the most valuable piece of information that I learned was that viewing your surroundings with these specific concepts in mind can completely transform how you see the world and lend itself to more in-depth, interesting designs. 

During the third week, we learned about sound, or audio, and its role in telling stories. One important idea that I learned about was how to create an interesting and enticing audio story via the advice of Ira Glass. Throughout the multiple videos of his that I watched, I learned about the importance of an anecdote, a sequence of events, bait, or an enticing question, avoiding sounding fake when telling a story, trial and error in finding the right story to tell, and being yourself when you tell it. I found the concept of being a unique voice in your own story as opposed to mimicking someone else’s style because they already existed for a reason to be meaningful because it perpetuates the idea that individuality is and will continue to be valuable within storytelling. Learning from Ira Glass’ videos via words of wisdom will definitely change the way that I see audio-based stories in the future. However, the overall most useful thing that I learned from this assignment was how sound effects and music can impact the message and overall energy, pace, theme, and emotion behind a story. This was an overarching concept that  I was able to hear for myself in the episode of Spooked that I wrote about during that third week.

During the fourth week, we learned about how to use and create videos within the realm of storytelling. I learned a lot of new information about and developed many abilities in creating, editing, and uploading videos in a way that developed and perpetuated fascinating stories. Firstly, I learned that actually adding content to YouTube is an incredibly frustrating and time-consuming task that I will definitely need to practice more in the future so that I become more comfortable with the site. Something else that I learned is how to complete important editing techniques via programs such as iMovie, including adding voice overs for videos, integrating various video clips, speeding up said clips, and changing the level of sound in videos. I learned how to connect both audio and visual components of a story within a video in a way that helped me synthesize the elements of storytelling that we had worked with during the first three weeks, including design, visuals, and sounds. I find this new skill to be valuable because I did not know how to do or implement any of these techniques prior to completing this assignment. Therefore, I am grateful that I now have further, more in-depth experience with the editing, producing, and actual construction process behind story-based videos for my own future use.

During the final week, or week five, I was able to use and combine almost everything that I learned above to create an intricate and, in my opinion, magical story. Therefore, this narrative was not solely composed of words. Instead, I included visual components, audio stories, and video-based media that added to the overall quality of and provided further detail for the plot line of my story. I created a ‘wanted’ poster for the main character in my story, Snow White, an audio portrayal of Snow White approaching the other main character in the story, Flynn Larkstone, a visual representation of an important object in the story, the Fairy Godmother’s wand, and a video announcement for the people of story’s city, Somerset Lane, about the upcoming debutante ball. My inspiration for these additions to my story came from the assignment banks and creations that I had made during the previous weeks.

If I could redo this class and do something differently, I think that I would definitely read the assignments and their descriptions more closely. This way, I would ensure that I was completing everything that I needed to for that week and doing so with adequate detail that satisfied the requirements. Additionally, I would probably meet with Dr. Polack on Zoom more than just the one time that I did instead of sending emails. I think that doing so would have helped me understand the assignments and content even more thoroughly so that I could fully immerse myself into my work instead of trying to understand what I needed to produce. I would also probably learn more about WordPress before even beginning my website so that I knew how to manipulate the site and make my life easier in terms of creating, tagging, and categorizing posts. This is just a small change that I would make that would have saved me a few hours of time throughout the past five weeks. 

Lastly, my favorite project throughout this five-week course was actually the final project. I had so much fun using every element that we learned about all-in-one story and post. I liked that I had such extensive creative liberties when creating my story and how I could show what I had learned through my final product. I also think that I liked this project best because I had a much deeper understanding of how to work with the technology and how to find helpful sites than I did during the first couple of weeks of class. Therefore, creating my post took less stress and time which left more time and space for creative and critical thinking. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Daily Creates after I understood how to actually do them. They were fun, engaging, and allowed me to use my own artistic interpretation to tell a story or represent an idea via a piece of media. So, in conclusion, thank you for a great summer term, Dr. Polack!

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