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Driven to Discover

Beth Anderson

Institute on the Environment

The arc of a story is an important and difficult concept to facilitate when teaching the digital story assignment. As a writer, I try to bring the awareness of a story’s movement from the beginning to its end, and the importance of the narrator in ushering the viewer into the world of the story.

Along with the story line, there are all of the technical choices the students will make in creating and editing their stories. I asked videographer, Beth Anderson, from the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, to be a guest speaker in the seminar. Along with addressing how she produces her short videos (2-4 minutes), I wanted Beth to give feedback on one of the completed digital stories from the previous seminar, so students could see what a videographer noticed, both in terms of technique and story line.

Though Beth was busy completing the final edits of her documentary, “Water for Mulobere”, for an upcoming public premiere, she agreed to come. At that point in the semester, seminar students had already begun the process of weaving in interview clips with still shots and text, and they were all ears to what Beth had to say.  Of the many insights Anderson provided us, the one I highlight here is for students to consider the audio version of their digital stories as separate from the visual shots, so that someone who was only listening to the audio could follow the story line. Anderson creates transcripts of her videos, and chooses her interviews so that they satisfy the core components of her story. As a writer, this kind of revision of text in order to move the story along makes good sense.

Beth Anderson's Staff Page at IonE

Producer of Documentary, Water for Mulobere

Beth Anderson in Uganda

Photo by Beth Anderson from her documentary, Water for Mulobere.

Courtesy of Institute on the Environment

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Last modified on 8/23/2011