Tuesday, August 8, 2017

CLMooc 2017 Maker Cycle: Animation

I've always been interested in telling stories in different ways. And when I saw the makers cycle for this week, and I read the description about telling a story through pictures, it brought me back to a concept that I had a long time ago. 

The idea was to create the image of a house destroyed by a tornado and bring that to the computer. By clicking on the interactive screen, people could read about the various clickable pieces of debris and from the story they think is important, based on their desire to click on elements in the debris. That being said, I never found the right way or even the possibility of doing that project. 

For this cycle, it is important for me, as a writer to hold on to the writing part of my projects but still do something that is animated in some way. I still wanted to create something similar to the tornado story, but I had a vision. The concept and the vision came all at once. I would write The Fire. It would be 10-20 flash fiction stories woven together based on an image of a fire. Using an image from the tragic London tower fire, I am trying to connect and make the story work. 

The first part will be the stories and how they connect. The next part will be navigation. And finally, the overall look will be important to the story. While I know that not everyone will love reading this and connecting the concepts, the most important element is to try it. Prezi seems to do the job right now and I think it will work out in a linear fashion. I think my vision of clicking into a space and having it tell you a story would work, but for this first prototype, I will have to let the presentation play itself out in order. 


Storytelling can be interconnected and there are a lot of different elements now to teach and tell these stories. I worked with students to create panel cartoons to tell stories. I gave the students complex stories and asked them to tell those stories in five panels. In some cases, it was near impossible, but there is something important to cutting it down to just the basic story and attempting it. I also had them create their own superhero or (as some preferred) anti-superhero to create their own satirical space for storytelling. I created the Dyslexic Man comic because of my own issues and created the dread "homonym brothers" who always confused people with their confusing words. 

The infusion of image and word and the evolution of the digital age has brought us to an interesting time and space. In The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image, the visual need to engage the world is returning. And the coded (male dominated) alphabets and convoluted languages are falling away. Storytelling and the modes to tell our stories will certainly change. With abbreviated text-language and memes evolving into shorthand, we are already speeding along in a new way of seeing the world, laughing, and making complex and satirical points about society, politics, and our own experiences. 


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