Discussing KDMC’s “Multimedia Storytelling” tutorial (and NOT Ridley Scott)

First what we’re not talking about: as a few (three?) of you noted in email messages to me, the video for  “Ridley Scott Demystifies the Art of Storyboarding” doesn’t work anymore– ironically enough, some kind of copyright violation. That’s okay; it’s not like Scott had anything too profound to say about the whole process of storyboarding; it was just kinda cool.

What is a little more worth reviewing/discussing is the KDMC tutorial on “Multimedia Storytelling,” particularly the section specifically on storyboarding (though I think the connections between what this is about and the work you need to be doing on your PSAs are pretty obvious). As has been the case before, these tutorials are both great and quite straight-forward, so I’ll just leave it at that for now to get the conversation kicked off here. What did you all think?

16 thoughts on “Discussing KDMC’s “Multimedia Storytelling” tutorial (and NOT Ridley Scott)

  1. Molly McCord

    First of all, I like how the tutorial provides a specific example of a project to guide the reader through the process of storyboarding. I think it just makes the reading more accessible and “real.” I’m also just fascinated by the dancing rocks (I saw a piece about them on the news awhile back, and I enjoyed revisiting the story in this tutorial). I thought it was helpful to read that “A rough storyboard doesn’t have to be high art – it’s just a sketch. And it isn’t written in stone – it’s just a guide.” I was finding it somewhat difficult to envision a detailed image for each scene for my group’s PSA, and I guess it’s good to know that it can be rairly rough to begin with.

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    1. Lisa Pignotti

      I felt the same way about storyboarding, too. I’ve always been under the impression that it is the visual plan you’ve committed to following, but looking at it as more of a guide and a sketch of things you want to do and the way you potentially want to organize them helps to alleviate some of the pressure to make a beautiful sketch that you have to follow…or else.

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      1. skrause Post author

        I think it’s fair to say that storyboards are used in a variety of different ways– that’s part of what that Ridley Scott piece was about, actually. If we were doing these PSAs as an “agency” model and there were different groups “bidding” to get the win to do the PSA for the writing center or the writing program, then I can imagine how the storyboards might play more of a “presentation to the client” role. But as often as not, I think the idea of storyboards being sketches/notes that are created to make things visual to a whole team of people is probably more accurate.

        For our modest purposes, the main thing I want you all to do is to make a storyboard and be ready to present it (along with a script and an analysis) next week.

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    2. Jonathan Furlette

      Yes the storyboarding example did make the reading much more real; I was trying to relate it to our PSA project as I was reading along. I also found it helpful to think of “storyboarding” as “sketching;” just the thought that it is a “skeleton” or rough outline of the project rather than something that is set in stone was comforting to me. The “pre-thinking” that we ALL do before we actually “do” any project is valuable in my opinion, and documenting that experience can be advantageous (as long as it doesn’t disrupt the natural creative process). I believe that in general our initial impressions of things/subjects are more commonly correct than incorrect and that it can be useful to think what you already know/can apply to a subject before taking on an expert’s perspective. The first mind is normally right, in my experience.

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  2. Jennifer

    I’m finding myself liking these KDMC tutorials more and more, they are full of practical information. A few things struck me with this piece:
    The concept of “multi-media” stories, what makes a good one and thinking about “this part” and “that part” vs. “first piece,” “second piece.” I tend to be a linear thinker and want to line things up neatly in rows, so this simple mantra will be useful for me.

    Also, the “backpack journalist’s checklist.” While I would most likely remember my camera and tripod on a shoot, I probably wouldn’t think of a towel and plastic bags without a list like this.

    Lastly, a week or so ago I made my own “storyboarding” template and I’m pleased to see that I’ve covered most of the pieces described in the article for multi-media work. Interestingly, I got the idea for what I put together after working with Wevideo and all of its layers. I can take my organized “chunks” and arrange them however I want without sticking to a “line.”

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    1. Danielle

      I’m the same way, Jennifer. Before I read this, I would have assumed a storyboard would be linear in progression, and I’m a very linear thinker myself. I still it may be a challenge for me to think differently, but I liked the “this part, that part” advice as well. I think it will be helpful.

      I also found it a relief to know that storyboards are just a basic sketch of ideas and nothing we need to stick to concretely.

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    2. Tracey Sonntag

      You might want to look into that storyboarding tool Molly found. I know it was very helpful to be able to move “chunks” of information around on the board without losing any of our data or notes.

      It’s also helpful to know that it’s okay to keep these things in motion, even though I really really want to nail it all down! That’s okay, we’ll be finishing up our script soon, and then maybe then I can relax and let the items on the storyboard stay in place.

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  3. Lisa Pignotti

    I think it is also helpful to really plan what parts of the story will work best in what medium. The reiterate the audio concept that Bunk brought up…bad audio can ruin good video.

    And for these multimedia story’s, the text is only used when the story cannot be conveyed through the other mediums. I have a tendency to over rely on text. I’m presenting a digital poster at a conference this week, and I did my best to eliminate as much text as possible because conveying ideas through visuals can be more effective and give the audience a quicker understanding of my materials as they pass by….but wow. It is hard to do when I’m so used to thinking in terms of text. My poster is still pretty text heavy, but I’m looking forward to seeing how other people handle that.

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    1. Molly McCord

      I completely understand your point about relying on text, Lisa. I definitely have a tendency to “overtext” (I know, not a word, but it should be!) a presentation that really should be more visual. A couple of years ago, when I took ENGL 516, Dr. Mueller assigned an Ignite presentation, which was basically a Powerpoint presentation involving five-second visually rich slides (like 20 of them). He stipulated that any text on a slide had to be limited to 5 words or less, and this was challenging for me. It was a good exercise in relying more on images than words to represent ideas. I think the storyboarding part of the PSA will also be a good exercise in making more use of images than text. The tutorial notes that “Often, text is what’s left over when you can’t convey the information with photos, video, audio or graphics” in a multimedia story. Again, the emphasis is on a non-linear kind of writing.

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      1. Danielle

        I’ve taken two classes with Derek where we’ve had to do Ignite presentations. They’re so stressful for me! I tend to rely on text, too. That kind of a presentation really does force you to focus on the images. In fact, if I remember correctly, Derek even cautioned us not to rely on a script for the presentation because all it would take was stumbling over one word to throw off the whole presentation (with the auto-rotating slides and all).

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  4. Molly McCord

    I’m sure others have seen this, but there are online storyboarding sites, like this one:

    https://www.storyboardthat.com/

    I checked it out, but it seems like the free version is pretty limited in terms of how many cells you can create and how many users can collaborate on a project. It’s just interesting to think about how storyboarding can be done the old fashioned way (via pencil and paper sketches), or with the use of technology.

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    1. skrause Post author

      That looks pretty cool. I don’t have time right now to play with it too much, but if it’s free and useful and y’all have time to figure it out, let me know. I can see all kinds of uses for that if it’s not too hard/too expensive.

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    2. Danielle

      Cool! Thanks for sharing, Molly. It would be cool to be able to collaborate on a storyboard online. I was kind of wondering what my group would end up using to put our storyboard together, but Jennifer was way ahead of us and created some blank storyboard pages that I think we’re going to use. It would be nice to have a computer-based storyboarding program, though…would make editing easier.

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    3. Jonathan Furlette

      Wow, this is pretty neat! Thanks Molly, maybe we will be able to use it for our PSA assignment or for a future project!

      Reply
  5. Molly McCord

    You can do a free trial for educators, which allows you to create a multi-cell storyboard with stock images from their site, as well as upload your own. It’s a 14-day free trial. I’ve started one and will share with my PSA group and see if we want to use it or not. The creator would just have to share the username and password with the whole group I guess. It’s not really very collaboration-friendly.

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    1. Tracey Sonntag

      Molly that is really cool. I’ve just spent some time checking out what you and Seth had already managed, and then I went in and added a bit and moved some other things around. The tool lets you keep the whole design process very fluid, in that you can move just bits from one panel to another, or you can even swap entire panels if you want to. Having been through the reading, I can think of several different projects I might like to use this for.

      Reply

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