This week my Digital Media Production and Storytelling class had to shoot a door scene in groups of three with very specific parameters, one of them included NO video editing. At first I thought this would be a roadblock but it actually made our video better. The readings we have done for this class so far stresses the importance of focusing on the story in digital storytelling and without the "extras" my group was able to focus on the story itself. We focused on how to convey emotion through facial expressions, movements and dialogue. We were much more focused on precise recording because we couldn't go back and clip scenes or rearrange them. This project was an exercise in telling a very specific story, which is what students can be asked to do in an assignment. The success of the story rests in the storyteller's ability to "stick to the script" and tell the story as the assignment requires. On the technical side, shooting with the iPad, compared to a camera, was a little difficult because it is big and cumbersome and lacked the option to zoom in and out of a shot. With the option to zoom, the iPad might be a better choice for filming but for this assignment, the iPad's use was limiting.
While working on our video, I became worried about spending too much time on planning and not being able to film in the allotted time. Reflecting afterwards made me realize my difficulty with digital story planning. I think I have trouble with the planning stages because in real life when I tell a story, I don't plan it, I just tell it so I feel as though digital storytelling should be the same way. I value stories for its emotional aspects but there are practical elements that go with it that I need to remember. Our assignment this week is to map out our story and come back and film it again. My hope is that putting the exact scenes on paper will clarify our vision for the video and make it even better than our first one. What am I taking away from this experience? Planning beforehand is valuable because it makes shooting easier and more efficient.