MCDM student Nicole Collins shot the film above as part of my Multimedia Storytelling class this winter. The course stressed storytelling structure (Aristotle, Joseph Campbell), as well as the benefits of using amateur technology (Nicole used a Flip Mino HD and iMovie) to tell stories to a larger audience.
Then, we teamed up with community “clients,” in this case, Seattle’s Pacific Science Center to prove how storytelling could help reach an audience. The PSC’s Stan Orchard was so thrilled with our students’ work, he featured Nicole’s film on the upcoming Geocaching Exhibit’s homepage, and included all of the films on the PSC site.
I’m especially pleased that he “co-branded” the pages with the MCDM. By creating this value-added content and entering into a relationship with a respected community member, we’ve also helped to spread the word about our unique Master’s program. Stan intends to display the films in kiosks near the PSC’s IMAX theater. And he sent word of the collaboration as a front-page headline to the Center’s 12,000 subscribers.
We also went well beyond Washington state’s borders to Kenya, where UW alumni Donald Giesen runs The East African School of Media Studies. He suggested that his students would produce films about the slums of Nairobi, so a few of our students decided to create a few videos about people in need here in Seattle.
Donald’s students are aspiring media practitioners based in the Nairobi slums. The participants share the goal of enabling people in these slums to tell their own stories — and they actually reside in the slums themselves. Here’s one of their films:
And here’s an MCDM-produced film about “Nicklesville”:
I encourage our readers to check out all of our class films: they’re innovative, and sometimes entertaining.
I’ll be taking a similar “client partnership” approach to my upcoming Social Production class this spring, as my students attempt to produce social media strategies for the Seattle International Film Festival, Habitat for Humanity and local startup Zooppa.