FDST project update

My topic is my grandfather’s service in Guam during World War II and my father’s telling of that story from when he was a child. I have made real progress in collecting material for my video, it’s just a matter of putting it all together. At this point, I’ve done a 40 minute interview with my dad and scanned in over 70 pictures. So I definitely feel like I have enough material to put it all together. The open lab was really useful in learning the technical part of production.

My problem now is refining my argument. I keep avoiding a more abstract idea on historical memory, feeling like typical history classes want you to come up with a history-specific topic. Kelly suggested that I compare my dad’s telling of World War II to the descriptions of it in history books. That’s definitely a workable thesis that would be easy to implement, but I keep thinking it needs to be more complex than that (apart from the fact the professor suggested it, so obviously it’s not, lol). But I think I’m encountering some growing pains with digital storytelling. It’s not the same as a written paper. We’re doing so much more showing versus telling, so our arguments can convey more layers in a simple argument than we would in a linear paper.

As far as voice-over, I want to purely use the voice of my dad, and if I have to add more information in, I think I’m going to put text on a screen, at least that’s how I envisioned it on my storyboard. And like many others, I found the storyboard extremely useful in planning how I was going to organize my story and the elements that I needed to work on.

Another unexpected thing regarding the objectivity question and family stories–in some ways it’s easier to produce a video with family stories because you know them so well, yet it’s hard to objectively analyze them because you have so much emotional attachment.

Also–if anyone knows of any good sites where I can get free music, let me know!

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4 Responses
  1. tgoodwin says:

    I think one of the most impactful things about DST is the ability to include emotion into this story. While I understand Chris’ Objectivity issue with his Pearl Harbor DST, which is different than your DST because this is such a personal story, it should have that emotional weight.

    I would think that this could potentially make your DST powerful. I would say that because you know the stories so well that usually there is a “short hand” language that develops between family members when these stories are being told for the umpteenth time. Sometimes, in my experience, it’s hard to really get a toehold of the “narrative” when you are listening to families tell stories. I experience this with my friends I’ve known forever. Recently, I was at a birthday party (for Chris’ now one year old son, Brandon!) and discovered how easy it is to slide back into a comfortable communication style with the people I’ve known since I was a kid- it’s our own language!

    I would suggest trying to elicit as much detail as you can so you have enough coverage to cut your DST together and packed with as much emotion as you could possibly convey!

  2. Tad says:

    Jamendo is all free music to download, all of the music is on Creative Commons License.

    Archive.org has a good selection of music, too.

  3. Chris King says:

    Two excellent sources of music (some free to use, some pay to use):
    Digitales music page and Free Play Music.

  4. cjames says:

    You may have mentioned this already, but are you telling the viewer that your subject is your grandfather? That could free you from at least some of the objectivity issues.

    Also, I think that on-screen text has a lot of potential – remember, you can add captions to stills and footage.