Sunday, November 18, 2007

Creative Media For the Community

I'm finishing up a Digital Storytelling course at Portland Community Media this week. This course has been a gentle, but exciting, introduction to creating a story with digital images, voice over, music soundtrack and Photoshop-created graphics. Taught by a born storyteller, Tim Rooney, a staffer at PCM, the course is geared toward digital media newbies interested in learning the art of digital storytelling to tell their own personal or a community-interest story. No video is used in this course, just still images and graphics. The goal of the course is to have each student become familiar with the basics of these tools: PhotoShop, Apple's Final Cut Express and GarageBand, and to learn how to tell a simple story. My story is entitled From East to West and is about my move from the east to the west coast. From the many themes that I could have chosen, I decided to focus on my own personal feelings, in particular what may have (or not) motivated me to want to move and what places I have here in Portland that replaces some important places to me in the Boston area. It won't be a perfect project. The idea is to get your feet wet with the tools and finish the project. So Tuesday night I plan on finishing it in the three hours alloted to me during class. If it's not done in time, I hope to be able to finish it very soon, before Tim chooses the time to have the stories aired on cable tv and put on the PCM web.

I'm really stoked about this medium of communication! I've always wanted to apply myself to the creative arts, having tried drawing, watercolor painting, photography, acting and guitar. I never got enough traction with any of them. But the combination of left and right brain synergy that is required to do great digital storytelling feels just right to me. I get to be technical (I'm sure my programming will enter the fray at some time in the future of a project) and I get to apply my creative instincts.

After completing this first project I will be looking for another project to do. I might even take the other PCM digital storytelling class which includes video. As Maria embarks on her para-legal education in January, I will be embarking on my new, exciting hobby.

Now... how can I use this new found talent to help eradicate poverty, or make for better communities in the Portland area, or help reduce the effects of global warming, or get people to eat locally and organic more?

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