Telling stories is an impulse unique to humans. Animals exist and survive on instinct while humans use storytelling as a way to teach lessons, share experiences, organize thoughts, relive memories and make sense of desires. Maybe this impulse goes back to our earliest childhood, when the adults in our lives first shared their stories with us. Once upon a time… Suddenly… The end.
Storytelling is directly affected by the technology used. For example, it is a very different experience to read To Kill a Mockingbird than it is watching the movie- how was the story impacted by this shift of technology? How different is it to read a tactile book, turning pages vs. reading on an iPad? The computer screen offers a different storytelling experience from the television or the movie screen; yet all ultimately bow, in service, to the story. These various forms of technology are simply tools we use to continue that age-old desire – to sit around the glow of a campfire (a screen?) and tell stories.
MY WORK AS A MEDIAMAKER
I have often referred to myself as a storyteller in that I have always sought to find the stories, whether my own or others. In my film, video and media work I am attracted to subjects where people are at the center of an investigation. Whatever the subject, I feel all of my work is ultimately an exploration of myself.
MY WORK AS A TEACHER
The challenge of teaching media production lies in asking students to interrogate objects of popular culture as they investigate themselves, and in so doing, helping them to develop a personal aesthetic to bring to their media of choice. Critical thinking is key to project development and critique is a crucial tool in this process. I employ a student-centered approach to teaching production, asking students to contribute to class discussion and to critique their own work, as well as the work of their fellow students. This format offers the opportunity for direct discussion with students and it requires me to also share my personal experiences and opinions. The reality is that this approach brings my personal work directly into the classroom. As a working professional creating original film, video and media productions, I find that sharing my production experiences with my students continues to enhance my classroom credibility and teaching.