I'll be honest. I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I walked into MMC6936: Digital Storytelling. I felt confident in my ability to report the news, go in-depth, and create quality pieces of work. But that's for television. The online platform brings in so many elements of storytelling it's hard to keep track. Once I was able to look through the syllabus, I knew I had my work cut out for me.
I'm totally unfamiliar with DSLR cameras, and I'll admit I'm afraid that because of the experience I do have in this field, I'll be expected to perform just as well with this new equipment. I'm also somewhat new to AP style and web writing as opposed to writing for broadcast. Not to mention I have two other graduate courses, an internship, two jobs, and a teaching assistant position. Regardless, I'm excited to see how this class improves my storytelling abilities!
For our first assignment, we read a few chapters of "Aim for the Heart" (3rd Edition) by Al Tompkins. I've read the 2nd edition, and I have to say I'm a huge fan of this book. Immediately I was hooked to the concept of breaking stories up into a list of possible topics. Even the most minute detail can be an entire story. Such a simple concept, yet easy to forget. Tompkins example of "Christmas in Korea" made me want to watch that documentary too for inspiration.
Something I've always wanted to become good at is what Boyd Huppert called "gold coins." I've also seen them called "reveals." I can see how easily they draw viewers/listeners/readers into the story. I also found Tompkin's "Upside Down" method of framing stories to be really useful as well. Again, so simple and so easy to forget.
Perhaps the most unfamiliar part of this reading was the chapter on photos. I was amazed when Tompkins wrote "photojournalism has the power to influence foreign policy and even military actions." I hope just from these few chapters I can already start improving my writing and photography and one day make that kind of impact.
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