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Multimedia storytelling July 11, 2008

Posted by luzrimban in journalism.

“Narratives Models for Multimedia Journalism” was the title of Prof Ulla Marquardt’s seession. Here are some notes on her lecture:

Prof Marquardt’s talk covered four main areas: principles of storytelling, principles of design, professional competencies required.

elements of a narrative—narration of connected events
-space and location
-dramatic forms
-personification – told through exemplary characters

two main models of visual narration
spatial – separate realities from contingent parts of a single image
sequential — separate realities form consecutive moments in time

traditional storytelling: exposition—conflict—climax—resolution
multimedia packages are the most complex—combination of graphics, single pictures, photographic slideshows, video

principles of storytelling
– introduce the location and the characters
– give the story a face (personalize)
– Let people tell their own story
– Contextualize
– Follow a dramatic form
– Use all channels appropriately (audio, video) to deliver your story
– Use info as often as needed (redundant info )—info comes and goes and can’t go back
– Use narrative (move story forward), descriptive (atmosphere), and explanatory (background to explain what’s going on) sequences to tell your story
– Use spoken language and music to draw the audience into the narration (audio is very powerful)
– Create a unity between audio and visuals
– Keep it simple, don’t overload

Principles of design:
– the moving image organizes time, whereas the still image freezes a moment. Single still image can only acknowledge
– photography: complete in itself

viewer expectation and perception
– photo condensed visual info, a thought, an abstraction
– moving image shows development, representation of an event that unfolds over time

there should be no silence in a multimedia story, every room has a sound, every situation has a sound. Makes the audience feel that they are part of the story.

Professional competencies:
– continue to make great pictures (photojournalism have the better pictures in the beginning, deeper training)
– think in terms of a stor. Do not only see and record what is happening in front of the camera, what else do I need to know?
– Produce telling and transition images
– Be able to create different narrative concepts for different platforms
– Be able to create different visual concepts for different platforms (tech quality, image size, image detail) — images with a lot of background info, detail, will not be seen
– Be able to produce according to your target audience needs
– Know the power of audio because more power
– Know how to prepare and conduct interviews
– Be able to edit your own materials



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