Reflect: Fire or Light?

Several elements came together to inspire me to tell this very personal story using Animoto.   First of all, in the seven step process described in the Joe Lambert’s Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community , I read that finding the right story to tell meant looking at your life for those moments of significant change (30).   Again, in the lifeline exercise in The Power of Personal Storytelling¸ by Jack Maguire (86-88), in which one identifies moments of decision that change one’s life, this moment came to mind because, though it is very significant, I felt I had no choice in the change.   This change defined my life for the next several years, and in processing the experience I learned far more about myself and the Universe than I ever could have without that calamity. I hope to reach an audience of people who have experience similar loss, to help them find the light in the experience. 

Using Animoto to create the project presented several challenges. First of all, there is little flexibility in the timing of the display of images with regard to the soundtrack. Secondly, only one soundtrack upload was available, and I wanted to include both narration and music. I used an external audio editor to create a two-track .mp3 file. Another challenge was the time limit of the assignment to 1 minute. I wanted to get as close to that as possible, but telling a story in one minute is hard! I had to edit the text and re-record it a number of times to get it down to near the right length. 
What I learned most from this exercise is to include only those details that are really necessary for the audience to connect with the story. I didn’t need to include a lot of background or explanation. I had to learn to trust my audience, essentially. That’s another way that this story showed me the “light”.
Works Cited

Lambert, Joe. Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community. Berkely, CA: Digital Diner Press, 2009.

Maguire, Jack. The Power of Personal Storytelling: Spinning Tales to Connect with Others. New York, NY: Tarcher/Putnam, 1998.

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