Storytelling, do people still use that word? The connotation I have with that word is that of ancient people, Native American tribes, gypsies, mystics; to me it’s a mythical word. I imagine people sitting around a fire and telling tales of legend and adventure, stories that are told generation after generation. These stories can be based in reality but embellished and exaggerated to keep the audience engaged and wondering about the mysteries of the unknown.
But in reality storytelling is something that people do everyday. We tell stories about our day and the people we encountered. Usually stories are quite boring: what we had for lunch, who we saw at the supermarket, what we learned in classes (except ds106!! ). Of course we all of those exciting stories of random parties, concerts, vacations that are usually very entertaining but they are not the stories of myth and legend. They don’t (usually) contain princes and princesses, dragons and dwarves, giants and talking animals. These types of things are what I envision when I think of storytelling.
It’s about painting a vivid picture for someone using words and giving them as much detail as you can so they feel like they were there with you. That’s hard to manage sometimes though because sometimes people add extraneous details and it muddies the story and ends up ruining it. I always think of that scene in “Finding Nemo” in the beginning where Marlin tries to tell the mollusk joke but ruins it by getting too exact about everything. Storytelling is an acquired skill.
Where traditional storytelling is usually done orally, I think digital storytelling allows people to use different media to tell their stories. You can create a story through various pictures (like our assignment this week), video scenes, music, or even use words but make them pop in a different type of way. For me digital storytelling means you can make your stories about princes, dragons, talking animals or whatever you want come alive with images. And we see that with a lot of movies that have been produced in the last 50 or 60 years like “Cinderella,” “Snow White & the Seven Dwarves” or “Hansel & Gretel,” pretty much any story that was created before the 20th century has been made into some sort of movie.
Digital storytelling has helped and will continue to help people fully visualize a story and all its details. It is really cool to see something evolve from pen and paper to a full-on media production that could take years and years to make and perfect. I think it’s amazing and I hope to be a part of that.