Digital storytelling at the University of Brighton
Digital storytelling is the term for a process that helps inexperienced storytellers create and share a short film about their own world, issues and ideas.
The technique has been used with diverse groups to help people develop tell-able stories from complex thoughts. It can help those with difficult challenges in their lives to develop a new voice, or help the elderly share memories. Equally, it can help teachers and researchers break down complicated projects into a succinct, engaging communication.
Typically, a digital storytelling workshop is conducted over three half-day sessions, during which participants are introduced to the principles of narrative and film-making, and work alongside each other in a group to refine their stories and their skills. This results in a two or three minute film, often using a selection of still images and their own voiceover from the scripts they have produced.
Many of the digital stories that emerge from workshops are wonderfully crafted films in their own right. The real benefit for most participants is, however, in in the process rather than the completed work. Stories can bridge the past, present and the future; they can give new meaning to emotions by working with techniques such as narrative voice and point of view. Sets and groups of stories with larger workshops can acquire a wider representative meaning and, in doing this, say something deeper about the place they come from.
As Joe Lambert has expressed,
Digital storytelling has evolved to become an international movement of deeply committed folks working with story in virtually every field of human endeavour (2013)
Joe Lambert is director of the Center for Digital Story Telling (est. San Francisco 1993), and author of Digital Storytelling Cookbook, Digital Storytelling – Capturing Lives, Creating Community and Seven Ages of Story.