digf15 first person audio and photo assignment

Assignment Overview

This assignment is going to ask you to compose a 2 – 3 minute first person story that combines original audio narration and original photography. The photography should contain a mixture of metaphorical representations of emotion and actual depictions of events.

The story you tell should reveal something significant about you. By this I mean, it should reveal something that gets to the core of who you are as a human, as a member of a family, as a member of a race, as a person in this world who feels and thinks and emotes and learns and reflects.

There are, of course, multiple possibilities for how to start this. We’ve experimented with sequential narratives and starting with an emotion, as Tommy Orange did in “Red Moon”:

You might, however, use an object to launch into a meditation on a subject, such as in Ryan Trauman’s wonderful “Ironing”:

And Cavanaugh Nwese does as he works in natural metaphors in “Springboards for Life”:

There are, of course, many other options. The key is, as Lambert describes, and we have discussed in class, to become a “self-archaeologist,” one who digs through the layers of self that we often present to the world to reveal something meaningful and reflective and surprising.

Assignment Specifics

Your story must:

  • be 2-3 minutes in length
  • contain a first-person non-fiction audio narrative
  • contain a mixture of original photography made specifically for the assignment and photos from your past (at least 50% must be new photos)
  • be edited with a movie editor (such as iMovie or Adobe Premiere)

Your story must employ two or more of the following narrative techniques discussed by Lambert:

  • The narrative follows Aristotle’s 3 stages three stages of narrative (protasis, epitasis, and catastrophe) that Lambert breaks down further into 5 sub-stages
  • The narrative falls within one of the 7 paradigms outlined on page 12
  • The narrative is located within one of the stages in the tree metaphor
  • The narrative is located within one of the body narrative stages
  • The narrative corresponds to one of Erickson’s stages (pages 64 – 65)
  • New photographs must consciously employ several of Bartoff’s color, composition, and setting suggestions

Your reflection statement(s) will, in part, ask you to discuss how your story represents and/or is informed by 2 or more of these techniques.

Consider the Following Carefully

  • Interplay between sound and image
  • Color palette
  • Style
  • Tone
  • Pacing
  • Transitions
  • Ambient sound/music (must be original, creative commons, in the public domain from Archive.org, Freesound, Jamendo, MusOpen, or other CC or PD site). If Creative Commons or public domain, cite at end of story on a slide.


Your reflection should discuss your project in terms of Knowledge Integration and 3 of the remaining 5 areas listed on the assessment rubric (.pdf): Overall Design, Storytelling, Audience Engagement, Assembly, Creativity, and Knowledge Integration.

  • Each area discussion should be 250 – 350 words long and include a bold heading so BW knows exactly which area you are discussing.
  • Your project will be assessed in terms of the 4 areas you select; the other 2 will not be assessed.
  • This is your opportunity to help BW understand why you think your project is successful in the 4 areas you select; be specific and point to examples from the readings and in your final project
  • In your Knowledge Integration discussion, must describe how your story represents and/or is informed by 2 or more of the techniques discussed by Lambert; in this discussion point to specific parts of your project that represent the techniques and state why the techniques was used at that point in the project
  • Name your reflection file: yourlastname-digf15-reflection.doc or .docx

Important Dates

Monday, October 19: Project Proposal due by class time
For your proposal, please bring to class the following:

  • a 300-word summary of what your project is going to explore, describing what it reveals (as discussed in bold above), and how it will allow you to become “self-archaeologist”
  • a 100-word description of how the project will start and what the initiating idea, object, emotion, or other initiator will be
  • an original photograph you will use as the opening photo
  • an original photograph you’d like to use in the piece but aren’t sure how

Friday October 23: Upload 1 minute Rough Draft 1 to YouTube by class time

Monday October 26: Upload 2 – 3 minute Rough Draft 2 to YouTube by 12:00 noon; email BW a link to the video and the first draft of your reflection

Monday Oct 26 and Wednesday October 28: Conferences in Bronstein 211

Monday November 2: Upload 2 – 3 minute Final Draft to Youtube by 11:00pm; email link to video and reflection to BW

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