Storytelling skills

As well as working effectively with the regional ABC production team, my aim is to make it simple for people in the community to learn how to create multimedia, share stories and interact online and to get involved with the ABC Open project. I want to position myself as a community resource for encouraging and guiding story contributors.

Here are a few of my techniques for engaging the community and equipping them with the skills needed to create and contribute multimedia stories to the ABC Open project.

MY CURRENT MULTIMEDIA AND STORYTELLING SKILLS

From a young age I have been seeking, sharing, creating, collaborating and telling stories, either through documentaries, music, photography, books, blogs, advertising media, radio jingles, the internet, dinner parties and more. As a result I now have the skills to produce professional quality multimedia including:

In 2007 I embarked on a global adventure to interact with people of the world, seeking different perspectives, ideas and stories to inspire a novel. This project required me to develop skills needed to interact with a diverse range of people from different backgrounds, cultures and who spoke foreign languages. Returning to Australia in 2009, I wrote and published the novel and in 2010, at the request of readers, developed an interactive website to accompany my book and to enrich the readers’ experience. While exploring the world I continued to produce multimedia for different projects by operating my own multimedia production business and continue to do so at present.

Therefore, I am confident to be able to educate community members on the different ways to tell stories online and how to best use the different forms of digital media and online technology to tell their stories. I also enjoy the challenge of developing new skills and learning about new technologies, which I can add to my storytelling toolkit.

You can see examples of my passion for storytelling at www.mickstyle.com (online portfolio) and www.refugeeoflove.com (interactive story).

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

My basic tools for content creation include,

Equipment:

Software:

Social networking:

Regardless of the tools available, I am quite resourceful and innovative when it comes to creating media.

For this job I am investigating,

ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY

Confidence, social interaction and communication skills are a few of my personal assets which I tap into to help people seek, create and share stories. Techniques I would use to engage the community include:

HOW TO EQUIP THE COMMUNITY WITH DIGITAL STORYTELLING SKILLS

Doing is the best way to learn and develop new skills and I encourage everyone I meet to create digital media, whether this involves uploading a photo to a social media website or editing a documentary for broadcast television. Other ways to equip the community with digital storytelling skills include:

A regular online workshop may provide tasks where a new storytelling technique is shared and discussed each week plus a platform where people can show how they have applied their new storytelling knowledge, encouraging a discussion of ideas about how to use this knowledge to collaborate and produce a story for ABC Open.

Comments from people I have created digital media with include:

THE STORYTELLING PROCESS

There are many ways to tell a story and it seems that I learn a new storytelling technique or perspective from every person I interact with. The most important thing, though, is to enjoy the storytelling process as this passion comes across in the finished product. Here are a few things I consider when collaborating to develop a story:

Listening.

Every storyteller has a unique perspective on life. A culmination of events during their lives shapes their character and personality. When helping someone to share their story it is important to listen to not just the content of the story but the way they tell it. Listening to a story contributor could begin with a simple cup of coffee and a chat or an in depth interview about their chosen topic.

Structuring the story and choosing the most effective media formats.

After listening we would discuss ideas about how we could tell their story in a succinct, clear and entertaining manner and what digital media format (or combination of formats) we would use to help tell the story effectively. A single photograph can communicate a thousand ideas and a film soundtrack can trigger a plethora of emotion. What digital media formats are most effective for sharing your story?

We would consider the nature and content of the story and the creative strengths and weaknesses of the storyteller and decide on the best way to develop their story for sharing with the world. This stage often involves structuring a loose script.

Logistics.

What equipment, budget and resources are needed to produce the story? At this stage we work out the resources and schedule for creating the story. This can involve getting friends involved or sourcing a particular piece of equipment or digging up that old camera sitting in the attic. It can be as simple as going down to the beach and taking a photo of a sea shell or as time-consuming as finding archival material from family members spread out around the world.

Gathering raw materials.

Any raw materials required to tell the story will be created, captured or collected. This could range from creating a simple photo (such as wrinkly grandma) to developing a library of sound recordings (such as birds of North Queensland). This stage often refines and often defines the loose script.

To produce good-quality digital media technical fundamentals are required and can be taught to contributors through workshops, online resources and one-on-one interactions. Fundamentals include knowing how to produce good audio (recording techniques, music, narration, sound effects), video and photography (framing, focus, lighting, composition), text (style, structure) and interactive media (audience psychology) and being able to create and acquire good-quality raw material is crucial for developing a high quality story.

Editing and post-production.

This stage involves digital manipulation of the raw material to create a story. Everything from developing a pace and setting a tone for the story takes place during the editing and post-production stage. There are many editing tools available for different media formats and each contributor will edit a story differently based on their interpretation of the story’s content. This diversity adds contrast and colour to the ABC Open project.

Testing.

A great way to see if your story engages an audience is to test the story on friends, family and colleagues. Contributors can test their story before delivering it to the world and make any changes or tweaks they consider necessary.

Delivering.

Content will be compressed into the most efficient format for distribution on the ABC Open website and on social media networks. Stories can be turned into liquid media and links for viral sharing and distribution.

What I enjoy about working with the North Queensland community is their friendliness and enthusiasm to interact with creative, social and sporting projects. The weather and light during the winter season compliments the creation of visual media and I believe the North Queensland community has the attitude to contribute to the development of the ABC Open project. As an ABC Open producer I will help guide the community to produce engaging stories and provide storytellers help along the way.

Download my RESUME (PDF)