Digital Storytelling Reflection

For this project our class teamed up with junior high students to create digital narrative animations by appropriating classic fairy tales and stories. There were two students per group, and two or three mentors per group. It was awesome to have so many mentors for the students because it helped work go faster, and the students always had a resource to answer questions. Mentors designed a storyboard as well as a guide that showed examples of an artist students would draw inspiration from as well as a color guide. The mentors and students then collaborated to come up with how they wanted to create their animations. In the Frog Prince group Monet was our inspiration. We updated our story by having the "princes character drop and i-pod in a pond instead of a pearl. We chose to scan in hand drawn images and manipulate them in photoshop for speed and to go with our painterly aesthetic. We also created a paint animation which was the background for most of our animation. After creating our clips in photoshop we brought them into I Movie and added sound effects, special effects, and music.
Overall this project wet really great. The students and mentors loved it although it was stressful at times. If I had to do a similar project again I would look for ways to simplify the animation process so the students would be more involved. I think I would also let the kids build their own narrative around their own character so they would have more freedom, and perhaps be more free to create and have fun. The pressure around building a long narrative based on an already existing story seemed to be a little too much for the amount of time the kids had to work. No matter what story or project is used I would also allow for a few more class periods for students to work.

Ideas for how to use similar animation in classroom:

-Use the idea of a flip book to make simple animation. Girl flying background changes, body moves. This way movement and animation could be simple but you could really play around with the visual elements. I would accomplish this with photoshop, but you could also add in background stills of other animations. Perhaps your character will fly through a paint animation.

-Have the class collectively work on one narrative so they are all responsible for one scene. You could set up basic characters and story plot but each group could reinterpret them to create their part of the movie. You could then piece the clips together to get a remix type loose story line.