Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Spotlight: Mr. R's Digital Story - The Social Constant

For those of you doing digital stories for your Chiang Mai project, here's a special treat...Mr. R's very own digital story from his leg of the trip.  Watch his process, product and consider his great advice.   Well done, Mr. R. :)  Thank you! 

The Social Constant 

I hope that sharing my digital story from Chiang Mai as you work on your stories will prove to 
be helpful. Take a look and read the notes following the clip for some advice and tips on 
your stories.

A few things to keep in mind and notice:

The four elements: 

  1. Text- a narration
  1. Images- well composes photos
  1. Video- to help move the story and give it life
  1. Music/sound effects- to add texture and possible narration with lyrics
I chose to create a poem from the Wikipedia page on The Sun as my text narration. 

The Solar Constant
The Sun formed about 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a region within a large molecular cloud. 
Most of the matter gathered in the center, while the rest flattened into an orbiting disk that would becomethe Solar System.
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields, 
She is currently traveling through the Local Interstellar Cloud (near to the G-cloud)in the Local Bubble zone, within the inner rim of the Orion Arm of the Milky Way galaxy.
Sunlight is Earth's primary source of energy. The solar constant is the amount of power that the Sun deposits per unit area that is directly exposed to sunlight. 
Earth's ultimate fate is precarious.By the time it is an asymptotic giant branch star,the Sun will have lost roughly 30% of its present mass due to a stellar wind, so the orbits of the planets will move outward, The Earth will be swallowed by the Sun owing to tidal interactions
I contrasted this scientific story with random text narration to add a sense of universality and wonder. The next layer were the lyrics from the song Hard Sun. I wanted to add texture and deeper meaning to the running narratives (follow the research to see the connection to this filmBy using the sun poem, the random bits of text and this song, I was trying to tell three stories at the same time:

  1. Scientific
  1. Cosmic
  1. Lyrical
The main theme of my story was the fact that the sun is a part of everything on earth. It is a part of us. I felt that the lyrics showed how we are under her power:
There's a big, a big hard sunBeating on the big peopleIn the big hard world 
I could have had Eddie Vedder sing the song, but I wanted to give it a try myself. I know I am not the best singer, but I think there is value in trying. I wanted to model for you that you don;t always have to be perfect or great to share a talent and a love. I love to sing. I love music. I love this song and I wanted to give my voice a chance.
I chose soft images to contrast the idea of a hard sun with the reality of a meaningful and tender one. You can find the whole set here. I added video to help move through different parts of the story:  

  • Rising sun (Dawn)
  • Moving leaves
  • Cat
  • Caterpillar
  • Drive from nature to city
  • Butcher
  • Drive to village
  • Buddha statue
  • Sunset

Go ahead! Give him some feedback.  Here are some of his questions for everyone?

 What do you think? What did you notice? What ideas did you gain? What questions do you have? Any feedback? 

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