Digital Story Telling: 5 x 5 videos

Whilst preparing for a workshop about digital storytelling, I came across this idea of video stories which I thought would be quick and easy to do. I was attracted the idea of short glimpses of life that together create a story.

The premise is simple; take short 5 second clips of your everyday life. Link them together without any editing and publish, no commentary.

Ha! Easier said than done!  First of all I kept forgetting to record, and then when I did, the videos were too long. Never mind, I thought, I can trim them in the process of putting them together.

Next question was which video creation tool to use. I started with WeVideo as I have used that quite a lot already and know that it is reasonably easy. All seemed to be going well. I did add a title slide and a end credit slide, but other than cropping the too long videos to 5 -6 seconds, that was it. Until I processed the videos and got the final result.

The videos I had taken in portrait mode on my phone were tiny little rectangles on the screen. Unfortunately, that was most of them! In editing mode, the videos played fine and filled the screen albeit with the black background showing on each side. I edited, trying to fiddle with the size but whatever I did made no positive difference. I googled it, tried ‘help’, but the only information was that it was best to use landscape if possible.

I managed to make this one out of just the landscape videos:

I still wanted to use my portrait videos so decided to see how iMovie coped.  I haven’t used iMovie before despite having a MacBook for 3 years! (I know, I know! but you get used to something…) So, it was little unfamiliar to me and took me a while to get my head around the interface. But 15 minutes later I had a video that was made up entirely of portrait videos and it worked!

Next frustration was uploading to YouTube.  Several failed attempts before checking with Google – Is YouTube down?  Err! Yes! 77 error reports in the last 5 minutes!

Anyway here is the iMovie. The story behind this one is that as part of Kingitanga Day celebrations at the University of Waikato, there was a Hikoi Rongoa to look at the native plants and how they are used for wellbeing, nourishment of the body and soul.

These videos are simple, no (or little) editing, no narrative, so I wonder how they might be used to stimulate further storytelling in the classroom.  A prompt for children to interpret, to invent, to imagine the dialogue, the connections, the missing links?

As a stimulus to create their own videos and then to add a narrative, an interpretation.

I have still shots of the Hikoi Rongoa and a brochure with information about the plants that we examined. I want to explore the stories behind some of those plants and how they were used. How people worked out how they could use them and which ones were edible, which were not, which needed to be processed, which healed and which soothed. I plan to tell the story of our hikoi rongoa …..soon!