New changes to Aberth Digital Storytelling

I’ve changed this site so you can now add your comments to any post. You do this either at the bottom of the post’s own page or by clicking on the word ‘comments’ or ‘no comments’ at the end of the item on the homepage. I’m hoping the anti-spam device works and I’ll keep an eye on it over the coming weeks. Happy commenting!

The design’s been re-vamped. I lost some categorisation in the migration and I’ll try to fix this in future.

60000 storytellers

Wow, I've just been reading about the Singapore International Storytelling Festival that's going on this week. 60,000 storytellers are expected to attend. I'm struggling to imagine that many people all coming together for a storytelling festival. Fantastic!
Digital storytelling is on the programme this year and Denise Atchley is taking part. I'll never forget Denise's speech at our 2003 Digital Storytelling Conference here at BBC Wales in Cardiff. From the platform, she presented an unfinished digital story made by her late husband Dana in which she filled in the gaps live. It was incredibly moving. The ingternational digital storytelling community of course owes a huge debt to Dana and Denise.

If you're one of the 60,000 in Singapore this week, be sure not to miss Denise's presentation.

Digital story shopping list

We looked at workshop space in the last post, today it’s the kit.
You want to bid for funding to set up a digital storytelling project, but you’re not sure what you’re going to need? Here’s a list to build from of examples of equipment needed to run digital storytelling and participatory media workshops. The kit specified below is all portable so, as long as extra trained personnel are available, workshops can be held in external community spaces as well as in the Workshop base.

apple titanium photo
Photo by c_ambler

Here’s the shopping list:

  • laptops with software to capture/edit/show video, image and audio with mains leads and spare batteries. I think Apple computers have been better-suited to digital storytelling than PCs, whilst there’s a higher penetration of PCs here in Wales. At least two of the laptops to be designated and set up for trainers.
  • image scanner(s) which can be powered from the USB lead – not plugged into the mains
  • Bluetooth-enabled printer(s)
  • some digital cameras with fast, large memory cards
  • tripod (e.g. Manfroto)
  • two microphones (e.g. Rode)
  • USB audio interface by Edirol or M-Audio
  • two mic stands, cables, windshields and clips script stand
  • portable audio recording solution
  • portable powered speakers
  • DV camera for archiving stories. MiniDV tape, not disk, with DV-in enabled.
  • other appropriate capturing/authoring devices as required for workshops (e.g. Nokia N93 mobile phones)
  • tape, disk, card and storage stock
  • portable hard drives
  • data sticks
  • external USB floppy drive and card reader
  • USB and firewire cables
  • mains extensions/splitters
  • gaffer tape and rubber mats
  • flight cases
  • trolley
  • access to transport suitable for carrying equipment will be needed by trainer
  • other equipment, as advised by trainer

Written and first published by Gareth Morlais on 5 September 2007.

Dream digital storytelling digilab

If you’re planning to set up your own digital storytelling or participatory media project, you’ll need somewhere to hold your workshops. You can base yourself at one venue or roam around using existing community facilities as venues. Here’s a solution which has the capacity to combine the two scenarios. If you’re making a bid for funding, good luck.

The overall vision is a space where members of the public can go to get help to make their own video and audio which the can be broadcast and published on the mass media. Here are the required features:

  • accessible by public transport.
  • parking nearby for loading equipment.
  • ground-floor room of 440 square feet or more.
  • accessible toilet on the same floor.
  • the room needs to be able to be blacked out for presentations.
  • it can be open for public drop-in but with restrictions during productions.
  • a see-through lockable capture booth in one corner for audio recording and one-to-one video editing.
  • plentiful mains power points along all four walls of the room, some at bench height.
  • lockable equipment storage bays.
  • re-configurable desk/seating capacity for one trainer plus six members of the public who are authoring their own piece of rich media using DV cameras, stills cameras, mobile phones, etc. in workshop formation.
  • desks in middle of room and benches around edges.
  • twelve chairs needed.
  • computers (see separate post).
  • all computers in the workshop can access wireless/Bluetooth-enabled data projector, printer, speakers and large collapsible screen.
  • data projector pointing at the screen or a large plasma screen with DVD player and speakers.
  • a navigable kiosk showcasing people’s content. The navigation of kiosk application to be based on Storybank’s model (University of Swansea and University of Surrey) and is aesthetically inspired by the superb archive kiosks at the Swansea Waterfront Museum.
  • some planned activities that aren’t digital-literacy-connected to be scheduled here too
future photo
Photo by Kevin Krejci

In the next post, I’ll make a shopping list of the kit that may be needed to run workshops at this venue and beyond.

Written and first published by Gareth Morlais on 4 September 2007.