Background | Augmented Reality | Comics | Components | Copyright | Future | Games | Hypertext | Image | Information Design | Interactivity | Locative | Multimedia | Oral History | Planning | Remix | Social Media | Sound | Storyboards | Telephone | Transmedia | Typography | Visualization | Writing
Digital stories, as pioneered by Joe Lambert, his wife Nina Mullen, and colleague Dana Atchley, are short, first-person video-narratives created by combining recorded voice, still and moving images, and music or other sounds. Digital storytellers are anyone with a desire to document life experience, ideas, or feelings through the use of story and digital media.
Lambert, Mullen, and Atchley founded the San Francisco Digital Media Center in 1994, and developed the Digital Storytelling Workshop for K-12 educators. The workshop taught participants how to use computers and multimedia tools to make videos 2-3 minutes in length often augmented with voice narration, images, text, and perhaps music, each telling a personal story.
Lambert describes the experience as a process of discovery. "I came to understand that mixing digital photography and non-linear editing were tremendous play spaces for people. They could experiment and realize the transformations of these familiar objects—the photos, the movies, and the artifacts—in a way that enlivens their relationship to the objects. Because this creative play is grounded in important stories the workshop participants want to tell, it can become a truly transcendent experience (Lambert 32).
The San Francisco Center for Digital Media moved to Berkeley and renamed itself Center for Digital Storytelling, in 1998. In 2015, the name changed again, to StoryCenter. Over the years, digital storytelling expanded to activists, health and human services agencies, businesses, and artists who, with affordable and easy-to-use consumer-grade computers, cameras, audio recorders, and digital media software, thought about and used story, media, culture, and the power of personal voice to create change.
7 things you should know about . . . Digital Storytelling
Provided by Educause. Describes the who, what, when, where, and why of digital storytelling.
Alexander, Bryan. The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media. Praeger, 2011.
Alterio, Maxine and Janice McDrury. Learning through Storytelling in Higher Education: Using Reflection and Experience to Improve Learning. Dunmore Press, 2004.
Barber, John. "Digital Storytelling: New Opportunities for Humanities Scholarship and Pedagogy". Cogent Arts & Humanities, 6 May 2016.
Benmayor, Rina. "Digital Storytelling as a Signature Pedagogy for the New Humanities." Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, vol. 7, no. 2, June 2008, pp. 188-204.
Bran, Ramona. "Message in a Bottle: Telling Stories in a Digital World." Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 2, 2010, pp. 1790-1783.
Images, audio narration, video clips and/or music + traditional text = a more dynamic story. Author presents experiences and outcomes with first year students majoring in Journalism, after a semester dedicated to digital stories.
Mira Calix Creates a Labyrinth of Sound and Storytelling Out of Paper
Artist Mira Calix says storytelling is "something we have done across cultures from the beginning of time. I think we feel the urge to share and will continue to use every device available to us in order to convey and express the very things we find so hard to articulate. We create, improvise and embellish in order to make ourselves heard. It seems to be a human instinct."
Calix believes we are narrating, "our own lives, thoughts and feelings" and that we "edit, frame curate and choose to share" these with the rest of the world. "So many of us are now participating in fiction building, creating characters and narratives, it seems to me the art of storytelling is simply taking a new form, while we build new languages to pursue this most ancient of needs."
"[W]e continue to share the book at bedtime, perform plays, make films, sit around the campfire and so on. Storytelling is something we just do, fantastical or simple, local or global"
Clarke, Robert and Andrea Adam. "Digital Storytelling in Australia: Academic Perspectives and Reflections". Arts & Humanities in Higher Education, vol. 11, no. 1-2, 2010, pp. 157-176.
Dogan, Bulent and Bernard R. Robin. "Implementation of Digital Storytelling in the Classroom by Teachers Trained in a Digital Storytelling Workshop". Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, edited by K. McFerrin, R. Weber, R. Carlsen and D. Willis, AACE, 2008, pp. 902-907.
EdTech Teacher: Digital Storytelling in the Classroom Discussion of tools, media resources, and classroom integration ideas.
Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling From University of Houston. Examples of digital storytelling from around the world, articles, research, Web 2.0 resources, and websites.
Ira Glass on the power of storytelling
Glass asks, "What are stories for, what are they good for?" and answers by describing a storytelling experience.
Kearney, Matthew. "Investigating Digital Storytelling and Portfolios in Teacher Education." World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, vol. 1, June 2009, pp. 1987-1996.
Lambert, Joe. Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community. Routledge, 2013.
Now in its fourth edition, this is the story of digital storytelling, told by the man who pioneered the name and practice.
Malita, Laura and Catalin Martin. "Digital Storytelling as Web Passport to Success in the 21st Century". Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 2, 2010, pp. 3060-3064.
McLellan, Hilary. "Digital Storytelling in Higher Education." Journal of Computing in Higher Education, vol. 19, no. 1, 2006, pp. 65-79.
Miller, Carolyn Handler. Digital storytelling: A Creator's Guide to Interactive Entertainment (2nd ed.). Elsivier, 2008.
Robin, Bernard R. "Digital Storytelling: A Powerful Technology Tool for the 21st Century Classroom. Theory into Practice, vol. 47, no. 3, 2008, pp. 220-228.
Rossiter, Marsha and Penny A. Garcia. "Digital Storytelling: A New Player on the Narrative Field. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 2010, pp. 37-48.
Sadik, Alaa. "Digital Storytelling: A Meaningful Technology-Integrated Approach for Engaged Student Learning". Educational Technology Research and Development, vol. 56, no. 4, 2008, pp. 487-506.
Smeda, Najaf, Eva Dakich, Nalin Sharda. "The Effectiveness of Digital Storytelling in the Classrooms: A Comprehensive Study". Smart Learning Environments, vol. 1, no. 6, 2014.
Wang, Shuyan and Hong Zhan. "Enhancing Teaching and Learning with Digital Storytelling". Advancing Education with Information Communication Technologies, edited by Lawrence A. Tomei, IGI Global, 2012, pp. 179-191.
Originally published: International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education, vol. 6, no. 2, April-June 2010, pp. 76-87.
The practice, according to Bryan Alexander (The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives With New Media), of connecting digital content to the physical world.
Matsuda, Keiichi. Hyper-Reality
In this film, Columbian design artist Matsuda explores the place where the physical and virtual worlds merge, and everything is saturated in media. In this place, virtual reality, augmented reality, wearables, and the internet of things are intertwined and envelop every aspect of our lives. Hyper-reality will be the glue between every interaction and experience, offering amazing possibilities, while also controlling the way we understand the world. Intriguing and scary.
Park, Jun. Evaluation of Interaction Tools for Augmented Reality Based Digital Storytelling
Focuses on identifying "intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces and interaction methods to be used for manipulating virtual objects and scenes in AR applications."
Comics and Graphic Novels
Comic Strip Creator
Emphasis on structured dialog rather than free form image composition; two characters per panel maximum; Encourages blocking out dialog within constraints of context.
Comic Strip Generator
Library of character and object icons; Users arrange dialog with ease; Suggested uses: reproduction of movie scenes, illustrating song lyrics.
A web-based journal committed to advancing the academic study of comic books, comic strips, and animated cartoons (www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/)
Loyer, Erik. Upgrade Soul
(2012). An immersive science fiction graphic novel for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The reading experience is complimented by fluid navigation, interactive accelerometer-driven 3D effects, and dynamic music. Panels slide and reshape dynamically as the reader swipes through the story.
Interview: Erik Loyer on Immersive Graphic Novel "Upgrade Soul"
Upgrade Soul trailer
Upgrade Soul preview
Erik Loyer's website. Browse the "Projects" section and be amazed at the work Loyer has produced. See especially Technologies of History and explore the dense layers of mediation to which the assassination of John F. Kennedy has been subjected over the years.
Young, Evan. The Carrier
(2009). The first complete original graphic novel to be published exclusively on the iPhone. The original version included time-based delivery of content and optional backstory information delivered by email. Ported to iPad but now, sadly, not available.
The Carrier website (NOTE: download options no longer functional)
The Carrier Facebook page (NOTE: still functional?)
Archival iPad version in .PDF format. Does not include the design, format, interactive, or extra features of the original iPhone version but it does provide the opportunity to read the graphic novel.
Components of Digital Storytelling
BrandJuice. A Whiteboard History of Storytelling
40,000 years of storytelling in 4 minutes; illustrates the power of video to enhance storytelling.
This website, maintained by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides great examples of different types of narrative structures including dramatic arc, Kishõtenketsu, hero's journey, Hollywood, and Robleto.
Story Structure: Parts of the Narrative
This video provides in depth information about narrative (story) structure including exposition (beginning/setup), rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement (resolution).
Copyright, Creative Commons, Fair Use
Eric Faden. A Fair(y) Use Tale
Bucknell professor Faden cuts together words and scenes from various Disney animated films to present a funny and articulate lesson on copyright: what it is and how it works. In the process, he demonstrates fair use, using content from one of the strongest corporate voices for even more restrictive copyright laws.
Some sources that will continue to drive the evolution of digital storytelling.
Alternate reality games, multiplayer online games, social gaming and the cultures surrounding each, all promoted by developments in digital technology, extend the capabilities of games, and add fun, social collaboration, interaction, and immersion to the mix.
Serial, fan, and multimedia culture
Fan cultures have always surrounded a good story, and in many instances, these fans have created their own versions of the stories, or added to the original stories with additional materials. Serial culture, in the form of print magazines and books have contributed to storytelling. Multimedia culture has promoted a tremendous opportunity for fans and others to participate in the creation and consumption of digital stories including websites, hypertext writing, video, animation, radio, and television.
The Electronic Literature Organization
Established in 1999 to promote and facilitate the writing, publishing, and reading of electronic literature. The term "electronic literature" refers to works with important literary aspects that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer. Within the broad category of electronic literature are several forms and threads of practice.
* Hypertext fiction and poetry, on and off the Web
* Kinetic poetry
* Computer art installations with literary aspects
* Conversational characters, also known as chatterbots
* Interactive fiction
* Novels that take the form of emails, SMS messages, or blogs
* Poems and stories generated by computers, either interactively or based on parameters given at the beginning
* Collaborative writing projects that allow readers to contribute to the text of a work
* Literary performances online that develop new ways of writing
The earliest games were perhaps developed to prepare peoples for success in hunting or warfare. Often these games were conducted as competitions between opposing teams of players. Later, board games were developed to provide training in strategy and diplomatic skills. Alternate reality games, multiplayer online games, social gaming and the cultures surrounding each, all promoted by developments in digital technology, carry forward these original purposes of games, and add fun, social collaboration, interaction, and immersion to the mix. We can point to many elements from these different types of games as the sources for the gameplay components of digital storytelling, including
* Drama and excitement
* Competition, often intense
* Demanding of physical and mental skills
* Regulated by rules
* Structures for beginning and ending
* Clearly-defined goals or objectives; succeed at winning; avoid losing
The graphic video adventure game Myst was first released 24 September 1993 and quickly immersed players in its fictional world. Hoping to build on this success, brothers Rand and Robyn Miller (Cyan; Mead, Washington) created a massive online multiplayer game, Uru, which was canceled and restarted several times. This is the current iteration and it speaks to the idea of immersive, interactive experiences promoted by digital media that we will investigate in this course.
Seltani: An Introduction (2013) is an interactive (collaborative, social) fiction narrative/game with the look and feel of Myst Online. This is a transcript from a talk at Mysterium, August 2013.
Montfort, Nick and Emily Short. Interactive Fiction Communities From Preservation through Promotion and Beyond. Dichtung Digital 41 9 November 2012.
Montfort, Nick. Riddle Machines: The History and Nature of Interactive Fiction. This is a chapter. In R. Siemens and S. Schreibman (Eds.). A Companion to Digital Literary Studies. Oxford: Blackwell. 2007. 267-282.
Montfort, Nick. Twisty Little Passages. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. 2003.
Nelson, Graham. (2001). A Short History of Interactive Fiction. Inform Designer's Manual 46. 4th ed. St. Charles, IL: IF Library.
Nepstad, Peter. (2012). 1893—Bringing a Real Setting to Life in Interactive Fiction. The Illuminated Lantern.
The Nokia Games
(1995-2005) A series of alternate reality games designed primarily to promote the latest Nokia mobile telephones, involved communication between players through various forms of mass media and featured storylines that changed each year. Each game lasted 3-4 weeks.
Uncle Roy All Around You
(2003; Blast Theory). A game played online in a virtual city and on the streets of an actual city. Online and street players collaborate to find Uncle Roy's office before being invited to make a year-long commitment to a total stranger. Building on Can You See Me Now? (2001; Blast Theory), Uncle Roy investigates some of the social changes brought about by ubiquitous mobile devices, persistent access to a network, and location aware technologies.
The hypertext approach to digital storytelling uses the ability to link between "chunks" or discrete units of information to provide multiple pathways through a narrative. Linked text is called "hypertext." In addition to facilitating easier access to the information, a hypertext digital story allows storytellers to experiment with non-linear narrative and users to enjoy different experiences each time they engage the narrative. Many pioneering works of electronic literature used this feature to promote more active reader involvement with the text.
Bush, Vannevar. As We May Think. (especially sections 6-8).
First published in Atlantic Monthly (176 (1) July 1945:101-108), this essay by Vannevar Bush, then Director of the Office of Scientific Researdh and Development and responsible for coordinating the World War II efforts of some 6,000 scientists, proposed "MEMEX" (MEMory EXtender), a machine that would store and provide access to a large amount of information. Use of the memex would create a series of trails between the documents, personal notes, photographs, and diagrams and allow one to develop knowledge from such a collection of information. Although noted more as a starting point for current day considerations of hypertext, Bush's discussion of the MEMEX (see section 6 of his essay) might also be seen as outlining browsing via hyperlinks.
Memex animation—Vannevar Bush's diagrams made real
This short video demonstrates the process behind Bush's MEMEX, or MEMory EXtender.
(2009). "A collaborative research and educational platform for traveling back in time to explore the historical layers of city spaces in an interactive, hypermedia environment."
Johnson, Steven. Why No One Clicked On The Great Hypertext Story. Wired 16 April 2013.
A work of hypertext writing in which the author argues such writing is very difficult to do well, and, that people explore a hypertext story, not read it.
Joyce, Michael. Twelve Blue (1996).
Swiss, Thom. "Shy Boy"
Donna Leishman. "Red Riding Hood"
Man with a Movie Camera
1929; full length; original silent version.
Man with a Movie Camera
Full length; with sound; Alloy Orchestra version
"Man with a Movie Camera"
A participatory global remix. People worldwide record images interpreting the original script; with soundtrack; everyday a new version of the film is compiled using images uploaded to the site.
I Have A Name/Yo tengo nombre
An online visual database developed and maintained by the Texas Observer to help identify immigrants who died in the Rio Grande Valley of South and West Texas. As a tool, this website focuses on the personal effects of unidentified immigrants. Stunning photographs of these items may help identify their owners, bring closure to families seeking missing friends or relatives, and put a human face on an ongoing humanitarian crises. Introducing 'I Have A Name/Yo Tengo Nombre' in the Texas Observer/
With interactive narrative the reader interacts directly with the story, influencing its narrative outcome(s). The reader becomes a participant, an interactor. Examples / prototypes can be found in games, radio programs, and location-aware applications.
(2014) by Dene Grigar and Greg Philbrook. An interactive, multimedia poem about one man's encounter with the forces of nature.
YouTube video demonstration of the London Museum Streetmuseum iPhone app
A BBC London television report on the Streetmuseum iPhone app, with demonstrations.
Live Augmented Reality—National Geographic
A pretty amazing demonstration of augmented reality in a shopping mall.
Malloy, Judy. The Roar of Destiny
(1996, 2016) An electronic manuscript constructed with hundreds of carefully crafted, intertwined lexias, accessible through interactivity, which Malloy defines in her writer's notebook. "Interspersed throughout are lexias with audio readings, a practice that began in 2014 when John Barber invited me to contribute sound to radioELO. . . . More readings will continue to be added."—Judy Malloy
The Roar of Destiny-Twentieth Anniversary Version
The Roar of Destiny-Archival copy available at The Well website
The Five Mysteries Program
one of the few interactive radio shows
Ellery Queen's Minute Mysteries
During the 1970s, this syndicated radio filler began with an announcer saying, "This is Ellery Queen..." and then outlining a case in one minute. The radio station encouraged callers to solve the mystery and win a sponsor's prize. Once they had a winner, the solution part of the spot would be played as confirmation.
Radio Event No. 3: Furniture Mix
(50:59; 20 November 1969) dance choreographer and intermedia artist Anna Halprin leads the audience listening to KPFA radio (San Francisco) in a participatory event where they rearrange their home furniture in time to the music played during the radio program and then visualize a fantasy that occurred to them during the process. Audience members were included to call the station and share their fantasies, which were included in the program's conclusion. This was one of several audience participation programs where artists were given time to create situations that physically involved the listening audience.
Locative storytelling (AKA location aware narratives) generally focus on a specific location, real, virtual, or a combination of both. Participants can move around the space(s) and interact with digital narrative elements, and each other, using mobile communication devices, to explore different storytelling techniques, or deep, rich content.
7 Things You Should Know about Location Aware Applications. Educause Learning Initiative, March 2009.
Barber, John. Walking-talking: Soundscapes, flâneurs, and the creation of mobile media narratives. This is a chapter. In J. Farman (Ed.). The Mobile Story: Narrative Practices with Locative Technologies. Jason Farman, ed. New York: Routledge. 2013. 95-109.
Boyle, Jan E. Re-moving Flat Ontologies: Mobile Locative Tagging and Ars Combinatoria in the Hollins Community Project. Proceedings of the Digital Arts and Culture Conference 2009. University of California, Irvine, 12-15 December 2009.
Dekker, Annet and Virtuell Platform. New Ways of Seeing: Artistic Usage of Locative Media. Proceedings of the Digital Arts and Culture Conference 2009. University of California, Irvine, 12-15 December 2009.
Hight, Jeremy. Narrative Archaeology. NewmediaFIX 22 May 2006.
Hight, Jeremy. Views from Above. Leonardo Electronic Almanac Vol. 14, 07-08, November 2006: 1-9.
Hight, Jeremy, Jeff Knowlton, and Naomi Spellman. 34 North, 118 West
A former industrial area in downtown Los Angeles, California, is turned into a locative narrative project. Imagine walking through an urban area surrounding the former Freight Depot with a tablet computer equipped with a GPS card and headphones. Physical maps are also available. GPS tracks your position in the neighborhood and triggers audio-visual narratives when you enter hot spots created by Hight, Knowlton, and Spellman. Physical elements/details at each location augment the narrative, providing metaphors and symbols for your interaction(s) with the characters and history of this place. By wandering about the area and evoking multiple narratives, many lost or forgotten, you can uncover the hidden history of this once thriving part of downtown Los Angeles. The streets, the buildings, the ghosts of former residents, all provide fragments that, taken together, provide a deep and rich narrative of this place. Learn more.
(2009). "A collaborative research and educational platform for traveling back in time to explore the historical layers of city spaces in an interactive, hypermedia environment."
LA Flood Project
(2010; Christy Dena, Jeremy Douglass, Juan B. Gutierrez, Jeremy Hight, Marc C. Marino, and Lisa Ann Tao). Positions the audience/user/narrator as the ellipses (. . .) the points between the narrative action: "Voices are being heard on cell phones . . .."
(2003). A digital storytelling initiative launched by The Canadian Fim Centre's New Media Lab, Toronto, Canada. The project involves integrating audio interviews into cellphone-based tours. Participants walk neighborhood streets, find signs with a telephone number and/or access code. If they dial the number and enter the access code they can listen to an audio narrative regarding the very spot where they are standing. The project has expanded to other cities worldwide.
Løvlie, Anders Sundnes. Flâneur, a walkthrough: Locative Literature as Participation and Play. Dichtung Digital 42 20 December 2012.
Oppegaard, Brett. Brett Oppegaard's Big List of Mobile Storytelling & Location-Awareness Technology Resources
Focusing on "storytelling technology that incorporates awareness of locative, spatial and contextual factors in mobile interactive environments (situations where people move around and interact with digital content as well as each other in a specific real-world space using mobile communication devices)"—or, mobile narrative on your cell phone—this website is not only interesting, but a gold mine of resources.
Digital Art+Culture: J Rock Teaching Blog
Information and examples of locative media
Rock Blog for more information and examples of locative media
Wood, Jeremy. Mowing Lawn
(2010). GPS artist Wood uses satellite navigation technology to compile a personal cartography of his relation to space and time while mowing his lawn.
Pioneering examples of digital storytelling are short videos (2-3 minutes) combining narrated personal writing, photographic and other still images, and a musical soundtrack. Beyond this basic form, multimedia digital storytelling might include narrated slide shows, movement capture or tracking, live multimedia performances, locative media, DJing, electronic literature and/or multimedia books, web-based stories, interactive stories, hypertext, audio productions, narrative computer games, podcasting, video blogging, Internet radio and/or television, and digital graphic novels. These media might be used separately or in combination depending on the storyteller's purpose and skills.
Much of this pioneering work was led by StoryCenter, founded in 1994 by Joe Lambert, Dana Atchley, and Nina Mullen as San Francisco Digital Media Center. The three producers felt that people could create powerful personal stories using digital tools like computers, cameras, audio recorders, and digital media software. Moved to Berkeley in 1998 and renamed Center for Digital Storytelling. In 2015, the name changed again, to StoryCenter.
Branch, John. Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek
This article for the New York Times utilizes multimedia in such a way to set the standard for all future reporting and/or expository writing. See for yourself.
The Displaced: Introduction (Jake Silverstein, 5 November 2015). Published in The New York Times Magazine. Includes The Displaced, an 11-minute, 360-degree virtual reality film about three children—from Lebanon, Ukraine and South Sudan— torn from their homes by war. Virtual reality gives a sense of immersion, of being present in distant worlds. You can watch the movie online, and manipulate the view by clicking and dragging on the image, but it benefits greatly from the downloadable NYTVR app. You can also use Cardboard, a viewer from Google and the free Cardboard app for your Android or iOS phone.
Chen, Sande. How Technology is Changing Storytelling
A short video provided by the Game Design Aspect blog.
Digital Storytelling: Tips and Resources
An Educause guide describing strategy and sample rubrics.
Grigar, Dene and Stuart Moulthrop. Pathfinders: Documenting the Experience of Early Electronic Literature A Scalar book, with hypertext and multimedia.
Shook, Carla. Digital Story: Secrets and Codes of the Underground Railroad
A multimedia digital story apparently created by Shook while attending Catawba Valley Community College.
Silverstein, Jake. The Displaced: Introduction. The New York Times Magazine, 5 November 2015.
Includes The Displaced, an 11-minute, 360-degree virtual reality film about three children—from Lebanon, Ukraine and South Sudan—torn from their homes by war. Virtual reality gives a sense of immersion, of being present in distant worlds. You can watch the movie online, and manipulate the view by clicking and dragging on the image, but it benefits greatly from the downloadable NYTVR app. You can also use Cardboard, a viewer from Google and the free Cardboard app for your Android or iOS phone.
Matthews-DeNatale, Gail. Digital Storytelling: Tips and Resources
An Educause guide describing strategy and sample rubrics.
Managing a Digital Storytelling Project
Goals and practical tips for managing digital storytelling projects. Check the "Pages" sidebar to the right of the screen and follow the links for an amazing amount of information amassed in this website. This website, now archived, was a project by the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
A Quirky Take on Making A Radio Show
(Nora Young 2008). Substitute "digital story" every time Nora says "radio show" and learn a lot about planning a media production.
Storytelling begins with sound, the sound of the storyteller's voice.
Remember WENN 1x01
Comedy-drama television show about a fictional radio station (WENN) late 1930s-1940s. While television is based on viewing, radio is based on listening. Pay special attention to the power of radio sound to create reality in the imaginations of its listeners.
A Digital Audio Primer by Adobe.
McHugh, Siobhan. Audio Storytelling: Unlocking the Power of Audio to Inform, Empower, and Connect. Asia Pacific Media Educator, December 2014; vol. 24, 2: pp. 141-156.
Carson, Anne. "The Gender of Sound." Glass, Irony and God. New York: New Directions Books, 1995. ISBN 0-8112-1302-1
Storyboards are graphic organizers, blueprints, usually in the form of a series of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of previsualizing a motion graphic or interactive media sequence or website interactivity.
The storyboarding process, in this form, was first developed at the Walt Disney Studios in the early 1930s. Earlier forms were used by Disney and other animation studios. The first film to be completely storyboarded was Gone With the Wind. Storyboarding became very popular in live-action film production during the early 1940s.
Storyboarding is most recently used for outlining websites and other interactive media projects during the design phase. The storyboard is used to present and describe interactive events as well as audio and motion, particularly for user interfaces and screens. Storyboarding is also used for films, theater, animation, slide shows, and business.
Storyboards are created by hand, or by using computer software programs.
Allows experimentation with changes in the storyline; allows a group of people to brainstorm, develop ideas, and generate consensus.
Basic Steps for Developing a Storyline
Decide topic / what you want to say / "big idea" message: the one message you want visitors to take away from their experience with your story.
Decide what you will use for storyline development. What artifacts do you have? What do you want to say about them? What research do you need to learn enough about any artifact to tell story about it?
Decide how your digital story will look. What design / development are needed to accomplish your goal?
Decide how you will produce your storyline. Do you have the ability? If not, can you learn? Or, do you need to find a collaborator?
This website is a project funded by the European Union to provide resources and networking for usability practitioners, managers and EU projects. You can use it as well! Good information about how storyboarding can help improve the usability of digital objects. NOTE: Storyboards historically have been used for films and/or animations. There is no reason, however, why they cannot be used for all kinds of digital storytelling projects, especially those that will appear on digital media platforms.
Stanford University Academic Computing Services. Storyboarding
Storyboarding is a form of planning, and planning is essential for high-quality productions. This webpage, developed and maintained by Academic Computing Services at Stanford University, offers a tremendous number of resources and links to many others, all focused on using storyboards to plan and develop your storytelling project. NOTE: Storyboards historically have been used for films and/or animations. There is no reason, however, why they cannot be used for all kinds of digital storytelling projects.
Storyboard Images found on Google that you can download or copy for your project. A storyboard is very helpful for planning your digital story.
The Easy Storyboard Creator
A free, online tool for creating storyboards. See Using storyboards to tell a story to learn more. NOTE: This program is fee-based, but you can use it free for 14 days. Why not take advantage of this opportunity!
Part of American Film Institute's "Lights! Camera! Action!" series.
"How to Storyboard Your Film: Indy Mogol"
Part of the "4 Minute Film School" tutorial series.
Amerika, Mark. Immobilité (2007)
The world's first feature-length mobile phone art film. A story about a future world where the dream of living in utopia can only be sustained by a nomadic tribe of artists and intellectuals. Immobilité mashes up the language of "foreign films" with landscape painting and literary metafiction. The work was composed using an unscripted, improvisational method of acting and the mobile phone images are intentionally shot in an amateurish or DIY [do-it-yourself] style similar to the evolving forms of video distributed in social media environments such as YouTube. By interfacing this low-tech version of video making with more sophisticated forms of European art-house movies, Amerika both asks and answers the question "What is the future of cinema?" Download free Immobillité app from iPhone App Store. Amerika says this about this work:
The performative remix of the NOW, moving through and around the bits of information. Art about the future using materials of the now, especially when technology removes us from contact with the physical world. We're borrowing from one another. People are making up their lives while learning to navigate virtual, online spaces.
What Are Cell Phone Novels?
The answer: ongoing, serial literature generally written in poetic, short chapters with 100-200 words per chapter. This article provides background about the origins in Japan over a decade ago and some ideas about the future. The website, Textnovel, is a social sharing network for authors and readers of serial fiction.
The practice of distributing narrative across different media platforms to provide multiple, yet connected, narrative experiences focused on the same subject. The Matrix franchise, with its movies, animated films, comics, games, and books, is a good example. Another is Firefly which began as a television series and ended as a feature film. In between, these two narrative worlds were linked by a three-part comic. Consumers must engage with all media utilized in order to experience the complete story. Each media provides a different perspective. A flowchart visualizing this process at This is transmedia website.
Rather than using different media channels to retell the same story, transmedia storytelling utilizes these channels to communicate different elements of the story. Success relies on fragmenting a narrative and making each platform do what it does best rather than bending to fit a central idea repurposed for multiple platforms. This extends the life and longevity of the story. With a solid transmedia strategy, everything is connected by a central narrative and theme. (Transmedia Storytelling—What's It All About?)
Media theorist Henry Jenkins calls this "transmedia" (Anagrams for the word "Transmedia") and explains the practice of media flowing across multiple media platforms in his book Convergence Culture (New York University Press, 2007). "Transmedia storytelling" he says, "represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story." See also Jenkins, Henry. Convergence? I Diverge." MIT Technology Review 1 June 2001. Download PDF here.
In his blog, Transmedia Storytelling 101, Jenkins makes several points about transmedia storytelling.
Point #6: each episode must be accessible on its own terms even as it contributes to the narrative system as a whole.
Point #7: requires coordination across multiple media.
Point #8: collective intelligence = new structures for production and circulation of knowledge within a networked culture and how transmedia storytelling is the ideal aesthetic form.
Point #9; transmedia does not simply disperse information but rather provide rules and goals readers can assume as they enact aspects of the story in their everyday lives.
Point #10: Given the encyclopedic ambitions of transmedia stories, readers have a strong incentive to elaborate on story elements, filling in the gaps, until they take on a life of their own. (Henry Jenkins. Transmedia Storytelling 101)
Christine Weitbrecht says such applications add another perspective to transmedia: to "deliberately use the unique properties of each media platform to help the consumer experience the different parts and perspectives of a story in the most meaningful way possible." In this practice, transmedia storytelling does not simply distribute a narrative among several media platforms and/or remediate a narrative from one platform to another (like adapting a novel as a movie). Rather, transmedia storytelling attempts to use each platform to add something new to the overall narrative. (Follow Weitbrecht's thoughts about Transmedia Defined. Follow through to her thoughts about stylistic platform potency.)
Jenkins, Henry. Transmedia Messionaris: Henry Jenkins
In this video, Jenkins describes transmedia storytelling as "a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story."
Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture Slideshow
Jenkins describes convergence culture as the merging of traditional and new media. He describes five processes that comprise convergence culture. Read the discussion under the slide show for even more insight into this new and exciting opportunity for creativity across multiple media.
Jenkins, Henry. Convergence? I Diverge
Jenkins argues that rather than converging into one black box, media will continue to proliferate through multiple channels and ubiquitous connection. As a result, "We will develop new skills for managing information, new structures for transmitting information across channels, and new creative genres that exploit the potentials of those emerging information structures." Read or download as a .PDF file.
Vogel, Mike. This is transmedia website, maintained by film maker and author Vogel.
Transmedia Resources A collection of multiple resources associated with transmedia. Worth the time spent browsing.
Moloney, Kevin. Porting Transmedia Storytelling to Journalism Moloney's master's thesis argues "journalists can better engage their publics by adapting the methods of transmedia storytelling to journalism." By comparing entertainment transmedia storytelling theory and technique with examples of journalism that illustrate one or more of these techniques, Moloney explores whether journalists can reach more individuals, achieve better engagement and participation from their publics and more thoroughly communicate the complexity and context of any story. The upshot: It's necessary to make newspapers stop trying to be newspapers in the digital era. Could this be insight for academic scholarship and research presentation as well?
Incredible ASCII Art
Art by numbers and letters; created entirely from text. Once the only way to to create computer graphics. Now cool retro.
Your story may be about data, or involve data, or require data for its complete telling. Here are some resources.
Manovich, Lev. "What Is Visualization?"
Manovich, Lev. "A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods"
L'Astorina, Edoardo. Big Data Visualization: Review of the 20 Best Tools
This information provided by a commercial business, perhaps to increase their business, Still, the introduction to data visualization tools could be valuable.
Mars, Roman. Episode 14: The Periodic Table: Infographic Apotheosis
An episode from Mars' 99% Invisible, a "Tiny Radio Show about Design," which notes The Periodic Table of Elements contains an amazing amount of information, if you only know how to read it.
Felton, Nicholas. The Feltron Report
Feltron is an information designer for Facebook whose "personal annual reports" enjoy a worldwide following of fellow designers.
Feltron, Nicholas. "Feltron Annual Reports"
Mars, Roman. "Episode 31: The Feltron Annual Report"
An episode from Mars' 99% Invisible, a "Tiny Radio Show about Design," that provides more information about Nicholas Felton and his Feltron Report.
Panchaud, Martin. Star Wars Episode IV
An adaptation in the style of an infographic.
The Fifty Tools
Using digital media, there should be many ways to tell the same story. This webpage presents 50+ web-based tools, grouped in categories, you can use to create digital stories. The same story is told with each tool, illustrating the point that, "there is more than one way to tell a story." NOTE: These are not current tools, but they should provide you with many ideas for how to produce your own digital stories.
One Sentence: True Stories, Told in One Sentence
An experiment in brevity. Telling the best part of a story, a true story, a poignant story, in the one, most interesting sentence.