Cricket has a reputation for being a posh sport...we're not like that at all, we're very inclusive and cricket is widespread in Bolton...it's just everyday people who do every job under the sun Lesley Cryer
Project supported by MCC Lord's and University of Glamorgan

Marylebone Cricket Club, Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood, London, NW8 8QN | Project enquiries: Neil Robinson | 020 7616 8559

Digital Stories - An Introduction

A Digital Story is a short, first person video-narrative created by combining recorded voice, still and moving images, and music or other sounds.

(Definition from the Centre for Digital Storytelling)
 

'Digital Stories' are relatively new, but are really easy to make and a great way of expressing yourselves and your clubs. Here, you will find all you need to know about making digital stories to upload to Taking the Field. Don't be put off by the 'digital' label - all this technology is really easy to use.

Digital Stories

Digital Storytelling started in the 1990s in the US. The Centre for Digital Storytelling (CDS) is a non-profit organisation that promotes and creates digital stories. They were the pioneers of the format. In the UK, Digital Stories made their first impact when photographer and academic Daniel Meadows teamed up with the BBC to create a major Digital Storytelling project CaptureWales. Those fellow Welshies of you (Croeso i TTF!) may remember watching the digital stories on BBC 2W, back when BBC 2W was on the air. Digital Storytelling is now a worldwide phenomenon.

The appeal of Digital Storytelling is that anyone can do it - you don't need great technical knowledge to tell your story. We all tell stories throughout our lives, they're part of how we understand our world. At TTF, we want you to tell your stories around your cricket clubs, but theres no need to stop there...

As well as our Stories here at TTF, the CaptureWales website has a collection of hundreds. Click here to view their stories and get some inspiration!

Methods

On this site, I'll give you instructions on two different methods to make your Digital Stories. Whichever way you decide, there are some key things to remember:

  • The important element in any Digital Story is the story itself and your voice. This is not the medium for a detailed portrayal of the history of your club - but a short, emotional and personal reflection on one aspect or event
  • Cricket is such a dramatic sport, and from my time at TTF I can clearly see how much everyone cares about their clubs. Digital Stories are best when they convey this drama or emotion, so keep that in! Tell us stories about the great moments, the funny moments, the performances you were proud of - on and off the pitch - and be as honest and open as you can
  • Don't use your 'telephone voice'! This is the chance for you to express yourselves so be as natural as possible
  • Keep the technical stuff around your stories simple to start with. Here at TTF, we're not aiming to win Baftas for our editing prowess or fancy special effects. However, the technology is available to make your stories pretty high quality if you keep them simple and concentrate on the story itself. That's what we care about.

The two methods vary slightly. The first method tells you how to make a 'classic' digital story following the CaptureWales method - this involves recording a prepared speech and building your photographs around that. The second 'TTF adapted' method is to create this narrative from snippets of oral history interviews, sometimes using more than one voice.

It is considerably easier to make Digital Stories using the first method, and in doing so you can make them pretty high quality. Some people, however, feel that the stories can sound rehearsed, and so prefer to use snippets taken from interviews. At TTF, we use a mixture of the two.

I would suggest that you start by using the simpler, CaptureWales method - perhaps using oral history interviews (or discussions over a pint!) as your inspiration. As you get more comfortable with the medium and the technology, then move on to the second method if you want to.

Either way, these rules should always be followed:

  • Digital Stories should ideally be 2-3 minutes long. DO NOT MAKE THEM LONGER THAN 4 MINUTES! They really lose their impact if they're too long.
  • THE VOICE, OR STORY, IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT. Take some considerable time thinking about what you want your story to say, and if you're using a script, the words you use.
  • BUILD THE PICTURES AROUND THE NARRATIVE. By all means use pictures as an inspiration for your story, but record/create the audio track first and then put in the pictures around the voice.
  • MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO USE ANY AUDIO OR IMAGES. This applies to film, pictures, voices and music. Most commerical music will be in copyright so steer clear of that. Remember your release forms for your audio tracks and always get permission to use photographs or videos.

Making Digital Stories is really fun - I hope you all have a fantastic time doing so!