iRoom Stories by Dana Atchley

Let me say
something
about stories
:

Stories make up our identity.
Stories define:

Who we are
Where we come from
Where we are going
and. most importantly,
What we care about

All stories are told to make a point and the point of iRoom is to tell a story about who you are using the contents of your room along with your voice and the voices of your family and friends.

Points of View

If the point of our iRoom story is to tell something about ourselves, then it helps to incorporate a point of view–something that is emotionally engagingÉsomething we care deeply about. Things like:

A dream
A wish
A disappointment
A fear
Something exciting
A belief
A loss
A discovery
Something imaginary

Story Styles
Once you have decided on the iRoom story you wish to tell then there are several styles that you can use to create it.

1. A story narrated with your voice
In this case you would write a short story and read it or speak it aloud to the camera. Use the suggested interview techniques, but have someone else hold the camera or videotape yourself in a mirror.

2. A story with music
This is iRoom MTV–a story without words. Choose your favorite piece of music and shoot lots of shots to edit to the music.

3. A story with interviews

This is a story where different people (including yourself) tell the story and you illustrate it with lots of shots of the things they are talking about. Try to keep each interview very short and limit the questions to three per person.

4. An illustrated story
Write a short iRoom story that you can illustrate with series of drawings of things in your room–or drawings and other art that you or your friends have made. Videotape ten seconds of each drawing and then edit them together with your voice telling the story

Types of Shots
Your room has many possibilities for your story. You can tell the story using lots of individual pictures (details) and also with a wide shot or pan of everything in the room (the big picture). Everything in your room says something about you. When you look around try to notice things such as:

Posters: What do they mean to you?

Toys: How do you play with them? Who gave them to you?

Awards: What do they mean to you? How did you win them?

Scrapbooks & Collections: What are you collecting? Why?

Pictures and Drawings: Did you make them? What inspired them?

Photographs: Who are they? Why do you care about them?

Books & Magazines: What are you reading? What do you have to read?

Your phone machine: What messages are on it? What is your message?

Your closet: Full of surprises? Things you don't use any more?

Your TV/VCR: What tapes are you watching? Your favorite programs?

Your computer: What games do you play?

Your favorite Internet sites?

Your stereo or radio: Your top ten CD's?

Your favorite DJ? Why?

Your bureau: What's on top? What's in the top drawer?

Your bed: Is it unmade and messy? Is it neat?

Your pockets or purse or backpack: What's inside? Do we want to know?

The view out the window: What do you think about when you look out your window?

Friends: What do they think about you? What do you think about them?

Pets: Are they your best friends?Are you their best friend?

Remember:
Your edited iRoom story should be no longer than 2-3 minutes. Think of it as a short story–even a poem. Creating a good story idea before you start to videotape is the most important part of the process. A story will help you to make the right decisions about what to videotape and what not to videotape. Being selective with your videotaping will help you to edit the story more easily.

Resources:
Examples of stories created with iMovie may be found on the Apple website:

The Center for Digital Storytelling has a website devoted to storytelling which includes the "Digital Storytelling Cookbook" The Cookbook expands on some of the ideas here.

Webreview articles by Derrick Story:
"iMovie Makes the Scene"
"How to Edit and Export in iMovie"

Contents © 1999 Dana Atchley