Career Ex ‘08 – Digital Storytelling – Day 3

Things have wrapped up, kids are getting ready to travel home to the 4 corners of New York state and I’m a bit exhausted. Unlike previous years I flew solo and there were moments when another brain and set of hands would have been welcome, but we survived. 4 videos produced, some new skills learned and a long weekend coming up. My immediate, after event, thoughts/questions are:

What happened to iMovie? – It’s been a while since I used iMovie. As a matter of fact last years CE may have been the last time. In the interim it went and changed on me and all I can ask is – What was Apple thinking? The interface is gnarlier, much more confusing to work with and some effects …basic effects like slow motion …have been stripped away. I used to love iMovie for work with teens who have never done video before but now I may have to take a look again at MovieMaker, as painful as that is to contemplate.

Did we accomlish our goals? – A qualified yes, I believe. Given the groups size (20 participants), the time frame and my lonely self we covered some contextual material before unleashing the technology but I just didn’t have enough time to work with each of the three teams they divided into to reinforce some of the fundamentals about structuring stories and so on. Next year I may limit the size down even further and have been wondering whether some sort of pre-screening is possible or desireable.

Given a few days more willl filter in but for now….it’s over, we did some things, no one got hurt and I’m thinking about next years programs, so it must have been good.

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  • I pray to your accomplish my friend. good luck!

  • Hi Paul,
    I wondered if you might share your impressions, pitfalls, advice for someone who might be embarking on working with teens on a 6 week full time sound/media project? How did you outline your daily activities? Did you end up throwing outlines out and letting kids run it? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

  • Hello Beth,
    I used to throw out the schedule, figuring that maximum freedom would lead to maximum creativity, but lately (maybe it's age creeping up on me) I tend to use the schedule more – it helps maintain focus and cause me to be a bit more disciplined. And my schedules are generally blocks of time, 3 hour chunks that I try to structure by working backwards from my end goal.

    Six weeks full time is more intensive than I have to work with. You have room to flow freely there but my advice, such as it is, would be to have some benchmarks along the way and to try to guide, without constricting freedom….sounds kind of useless when I phrase it that way.

    The biggest pitfall is ending up with nothing to show at the end. There has to be something the kids can show to others that represent an accomplishment. Youtube really helps, cause the video can be posted there and it's all very public and provides "thrills" (if you will). The other challenge in my experience is dealing gracefully with that one obnoxious participant – there's always one, whether its kids or adults, who will create ample opportunities to derail or sideline the positive energies you're building up.

    I'd love to know more about your program, as well as how it turns out, what your thoughts are, ect.


  • I have an upcoming seminar and was looking for some things to discuss. I appreciate your expertise Paul.

  • John,

    I wish all the best in your endeavor.

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