Last Thursday I went to the showing of the movie Girl Rising at Wheaton. I thought it was very well-done and definitely quite thought-provoking. It really made me think about how much we take for granted here in the US. Children here, myself included, are constantly complaining about getting up early for school, having to do so much homework, and having to take certain classes that they might not like. Whereas in many other countries around the world, children risk their lives everyday just to get an education. The amount of joy that just learning to read and write gives children in third world countries is incredible, and it makes me realize how thankful I should be for all the amazing opportunities I have here in the US.
I have been really looking forward to this week so I could write about my favorite digital medium for storytelling, photographs. I’ve been following Hakan Dahlstrom’s photo blog for quite a long time now, and I chose his blog because I think his photos are just incredible. I love the interesting angles he shoots photos at, and the vibrate colors in his photos. Many of his photos are of things most people see in their everyday life, but because they are presented in a different way, they hold a usually unseen beauty. To me, photos tell little stories about the person who photographed them. Every one of my photos is a little reminder of that moment in my life. Some remind me of a feeling or a special place, others of a person or a bit of beauty found in something ordinary, and others of all of these things together. All together, my photos tell the story of me. They show people and places and things that are important to me or that make me happy. They show the beauty that I find in the world around me. For me, looking at other people’s photos is like looking through little windows into their lives. Seeing the things that matter to other people and the beauty that they capture, inspires me look at the world in new ways.
The supercut I looked at was a montage of every time Rose or Jack’s names were said in the Titanic. I found this particular supercut very interesting because it was like a summary of the entire movie. Just by showing little bits of scenes where the two main characters’ names were said, you could see the characters’ emotions and feelings toward each other, and what the basic plot of the story was. The juxtaposition of the way the main characters say each other’s names shows the progression of their relationship. At first it was in a new, shy, formal way, but as time goes on the tones of their voice’s shows that they are getting more comfortable with each other. The emotion in their voices conveys the feelings that are developing between them, and by the end it is quite obvious that they are in love. Now, I have seen the Titanic so perhaps the story would not be as apparent through this supercut if I had not seen the whole movie, but in this case I found the supercut a very effective form of digital storytelling.
In my opinion, video blogging is a type of storytelling. Some people vlog about real events that happen in their lives, some about made up stories, some give advice, etc. People who vlog about real events tell the story of their own life, like the blogger I looked at. People who vlog about imaginary events or situations, tell fictional stories. People who give advice, or answer questions in their videos are telling stories about what they have learned through their own experiences. I think video blogging can be a good alternative to traditional blogging for people who blog about their life. Seeing the person’s face and the expressions they make while telling their story really adds a lot of depth and gives a better view of who they are. For me it makes the story a lot more personal because I have a face that shows emotion to connect with the story. I really like video blogging and in my mind, there is no question that it is a form of storytelling.
I looked at an infographic about Japanese whaling. I was immediately drawn to this particular one because of the interesting and detailed drawings, accompanied by short captions. Once again the visual aspect drew me in and inspired me to take a closer look and read the information. Based on this infographic, I think this digital medium can definitely be considered a form of storytelling. This infographic included statistics, graphs, diagrams, maps, and a mini comic, which together told the story of Japanese whaling. Instead of just displaying graphs or data tables on whaling statistics, this information is presented with other interesting facts: the different species of whales and what they look like, a diagram of the body of a whale, and a drawing of how a harpoon boat works. The infographic was created because whaling was banned in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, but Japan is trying to get this ban lifted. Statistics about endangered whales, scientific permit whaling, and the Japanese opinion on whale meat now verse years ago convey the main message, but the interesting facts and the visuals provide background information and setting to support the story and make it easy to understand.
I chose this comic about updates because it made me laugh. It seems like every other day some window is popping up on my computer about some update while I’m in the middle of something much more important. I liked this little mini story because I can relate to it. Most of the comics I found interesting or funny while looking for one to write about were ones that somehow related to my life. The reason for this is because the comic not only tells a story of its own, but it reminds me of other stories that have taken place in my life. Before this assignment, I had no idea what kind of comics I enjoyed most but I found that in my opinion, the best kinda of stories told through short comics are relatable ones. Like I said before, I am a very visual person so I find that the simple pictures that go alone with the captions are very helpful in bringing out the full effect of these short comical stories.