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The TechSoup Digital Storytelling Campaign
kicked off with a special edition of Nonprofits Live on the topic of
collaborative storytelling. Collaborative storytelling refers to working with a
team, sometimes distributed, to produce video.
Featured on this edition of NPLive were:
Bramley spoke to getting a project off the ground, which can be difficult because
of the many pieces that go into creating a video. Bramley suggests that a video
project's stakeholders develop a video production grid to get everyone on the
same page. A production grid outlines:
Some production teams will use storyboarding, but a production grid is
helpful for teams that don't have illustrative or design skills. A production
grid is easy to produce in a collaborative tool like Google Docs and is easily
shared via email or file sharing.
Borman's experience has taught her that team building is important to
collaborative storytelling. If you need to look outside of your organization
for collaborators, look to your network. If you cannot identify anyone in your
network who can help you with video production, ask someone in the network to
When you recruit collaborators that you've never worked with for
a project, look for people who have positive working relationships with other
professionals. One valuable trait your collaborators should have is good
communications skills. Video production requires that collaborators communicate
what is wanted and needed and that they be realistic about those wants. Clear
communication not only makes the task easier, it can also reduce production
costs and time.
Grasty, who has a background in video production, often experienced the
difficulty of collaborating with a remote production team. Grasty decided to
help other video creators with Stroome,
a collaborative video editing site. The site allows users to upload content —
video, audio, and images — and invite others to put the pieces together. Users
invite others to collaborate by creating a group; the group creator is
designated the administrator. The site has social media integration to better
facilitate sharing and collaboration.
Harris rounded out the conversation on collaborative storytelling by sharing
the story of the Global Lives
Project. The Global Lives Project captured a day in the life of people from
10 countries. Harris was capable of traveling to only three of those countries
and required collaborators for filming in the others. Working with his
distributed production team required Skype, cloud storage, and email. The
global production team included filmmakers, photographers, artists, architects,
and designers, some of whom were volunteers.
Harris advises having patience
with collaborators, especially volunteers, who all want to help and require
good leadership and direction. Working well with collaborators requires playing
to their strengths, as Harris did by asking multilingual volunteers to provide
subtitles using the tool GotSub.
The hour ended with audience questions and links to digital storytelling
tools, which can be found in the full
recording. See more digital storytelling learning opportunities at the
official TSDigs page.
Susan ChavezOnline Community & Social Media Team, TechSoup Global@Susan_Chavez
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.