When we were first given the rubric of this Digitale, there was one idea that came to mind that I thought would be interesting, and different from previous years works. This was the idea of recounting a statement that someone (Jimmy) said to me at a party, and using the statement as shock value to the audience. In the development of this idea, I found there were two issues; what photos would I use, and how would I integrate Jimmy’s statement? Initially I thought of using photos showing friends and me. However, I thought that this might be a privacy issue, as I would have to seek permission of those friends to be able show the photos. Also, I wanted to keep the people in the story anonymous, so this idea became implausible. It was then that I thought of taking my own photos, and creating my images in an artistic way – spelling words using Scrabble letters. My aim was to emphasise the importance of words throughout the film.
I am recounting the events on what happened at my friends 20th birthday party.
At the end of the night I run into the school captain of our year. I remembered how he was so popular and endearing at school. I start to explain how I believe that he is different now, and that my opinion of him has changed. I then reveal my sudden dislike for him is due to something he said, which shocked me. I then say what he said, hopefully also shocking the audience.
My plan was to build anticipation with information about Jimmy’s background and social history, and discussion of my reaction, and then insert his quote at the end. My aim here was to keep the audience interested throughout the film, and have them waiting and wanting to hear what Jimmy said.
My research for this Digitale included only very minor searches. A lot of my research was on iMovie and Digital storytelling, in which I found that a Digitale must have “a point, a dramatic question, emotional content, my voice, soundtrack, economy, and pacing” (Helen C. Barrett, 2005). I tried to make sure that the themes (friends, and words) of my Digitale were clear, and to make sure that they posed a dramatic situation, which was interesting for the audience.
The idea of taking my own pictures instead of the family archival photos came to me by watching past student’s Digitale films. One especially, that had drawn stick figures on a blackboard. This gave me the idea that I could capture my own photos to fit my story, which was great because I really wanted to convey this particular story in film. The link to Scrabble just came from a combination of thinking about still frames and words – it just developed from there.
I decided to take the photos on my phone so I could use the effects on the camera app:
After reviewing the first set of photos (above), I thought that they looked too busy and messy when the letters were placed on the Scrabble board. So, I decided to flip the board over and just place the letters on the plain side. I thought this drew more focus to the words, rather than the game of Scrabble.
After I had chosen my best recording of reading the script, I started thinking about extra sounds. I decided to add an audio clip of indistinct chatter in the background. I was trying to convey to the audience the idea of people gathering with each other and meeting friends. However, in order to give Jimmy’s statement the greatest possible emotional impact, I made the ‘background noise’ fade out at the time where his quote is asserted. This means that the audience has to focus on what is being heard/seen on screen, hopefully increasing the emotional impact.
I think that this is an original idea that has worked well on film. I think the Scrabble letters and the story compliment each other well, including as the subtle background noise implying ideas of meeting up with friends, affection, and belonging to a group.
Helen C. Barrett, 2005, from http://electronicportfolios.com/digistory/faq.html#1, accessed 20th August, 2013.